The Shiny New Features Of X.Org Server 1.20

Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org on 3 May 2018 at 07:06 AM EDT. 27 Comments
With the release of the long-awaited X.Org Server 1.20 finally being imminent, here is a look at the many features that were merged over the past year and a half for this long drawn out release process. While more of the Linux desktop continues moving towards Wayland, X.Org Server continues evolving as shown by the 1.20 release and as part of that is also plenty on the XWayland side.

Among the many changes to X.Org Server 1.20 include:

- DRI3 1.1 and 1.2 were merged for multi-plane and buffer modifier support.

- Server-side GLVND / GLXVND for letting different OpenGL drivers back different X screens. This should help in multi-GPU setups where different OpenGL drivers are at play.

- RandR leasing and non-desktop quirk handling for better supporting Steam VR / VR head-mounted displays under the X.Org stack. Basically for ensuring VR HMDs don't get mapped as part of the desktop and allowing the Steam VR compositor direct access to the hardware without the xorg-server/WM getting in the way.

- EGLStreams XWayland support was merged late in the cycle, but allows for the NVIDIA proprietary driver to now have accelerated support with XWayland thanks to it no longer being tied to GBM with GLAMOR.

- Also among the general XWayland improvements are for keyboard grabs and tablet pad support as well as XDG-Output support.

- XWayland also now has per-window flipping with the Present extension.

- There is better support for 16:9 and 16:10 displays.

- Following work in Mesa and elsewhere in the Linux desktop stack, there is also now deep color / color depth 30 support within GLAMOR and the xf86-video-modesetting DDX.

- Many GLAMOR improvements from fixes to better OpenGL ES handling for this generic 2D acceleration method.

- Atomic mode-setting support for the xf86-video-modesetting DDX driver.

- Multi-buffer XWayland support.

- Improved driver matching behavior for the DDX drivers.

- Like is going on with many other open-source projects, Meson build server support is living alongside the GNU Autotools build system.

The open-source Linux graphics drivers already can be built against X.Org Server 1.20 to little surprise while NVIDIA 396.24 as released this week also has initial xorg-server 1.20 support. 2017 was the first year in a decade without a major X.Org Server update. The X.Org Server 1.20 release had been anticipated for early 2018, but now in May the release should finally pan out. Stay tuned for the 1.20 release shortly, you'll be able to read about it on Phoronix when it finally happens.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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