2017 Has Been The First Year In A Decade Without A Major X.Org Server Update

Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org on 5 December 2017 at 07:45 AM EST. 19 Comments
It's been thirteen months since the release of X.Org Server 1.19 and there is no expedited effort to get the next major release out the door, but X.Org Server 1.20 is still expected to happen in the months ahead.

Whether you want to argue it as Wayland beginning to take over the Linux desktop, X.Org Server becoming mature and modern enough that the six month release cadences are no longer warranted, or simply because Keith Packard hasn't been too intimately involved with the xorg-server process now that his day job no longer involves X.Org and he's been busy in his spare time with VR HMD improvements, the fact is this is the first time in a decade since going without an X.Org Server major release. There has been at least one X.Org Server release each year since the formation of the xorg-server code-base with v1.1 back in 2006, but that's changed now in 2017.

Going from X.Org Server 1.18 to 1.19 was released almost a year later to the day as these release cycles have gotten longer and the focus on shipping six month releases has evaporated. Back during XDC2017 was talk of shipping X.Org Server 1.20 in January, but that's looking less realistic since there hasn't yet been any code freezes or release candidates. Additionally, no recent email communication about getting the 1.20 release process underway.

But at least when the X.Org Server 1.20 release does happen whenever that might be in 2018, there has been a lot of changes building up already in xserver Git and other work that should be merged in time:

- The DRI3 v1.1 and v1.2 additions.

- Atomic mode-setting for the xf86-video-modesetting DDX living within the xserver code-base.

- RandR leases as part of the SteamVR HMD improvements and related to that is the new "non-desktop" bit.

- Server-side GLVND has been discussed in recent months but hasn't yet landed. This should help NVIDIA as well in being able to support XWayland with their proprietary driver and there's been related work on EGLStreams support for XWayland. The server-side GLVND will allow for different OpenGL drivers to back different X screens.

- Multi-buffered XWayland support.

- XWayland keyboard grab support as well as tablet pad support.

- GLAMOR improvements.

- Better driver matching.

- DeepColor / HDR display improvements.

- Initial Meson support.

There have been more than 500 commits pushed since xorg-server 1.19 Git, so the lack of the xorg-server 1.20 release this year certainly isn't over lack of development activity. Ending with a fun fact, this next release is currently codenamed Shrimp and Grits.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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