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Old 16th May 2008
JMJ_coder JMJ_coder is offline
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Default XFree86 vs. X.org

Hello,

So which one do you use - XFree86, included in the base system; or modular X.org from pkgsrc? Why?

It does seem that NetBSD is seriously contemplating moving to X.org in an upcoming release.
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Old 16th May 2008
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XFree86 here -- for a couple simple reasons:
  1. It was included as part of an installation set on the cd.
  2. It's the NetBSD default for now, and I had no specific need to use X.org.
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Old 17th May 2008
Meta_Ridley Meta_Ridley is offline
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X.org. I switched to it when it became available in pkgsrc and never really looked back. The fact that it's now modular gave me even more of a reason to stick with it since now I can install only the components of X I actually use and ignore the rest. But the reason I started using X.org was that I figured I'd be able to stay up-to-date with it easier since it was in pkgsrc and other operating systems were using it, so it would have the latest features compared to XFree86. With native XFree86 I'd have to wait for each NetBSD release to get a new version of XFree86 now that it's no longer in pkgsrc. I don't have to do that with X.org.
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Old 17th May 2008
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ_coder View Post
It does seem that NetBSD is seriously contemplating moving to X.org in an upcoming release.
I would be surprised if changing over to X.org as the default version of X happens this quickly, but the following information is now a year old.

XFree86 has continued to be used as the default installation because it is well known, well used, & it has been well vetted for all platforms. X.org has not. & as of a year ago, there were significant problems with using it on all platforms -- problems to the extent that the package maintainers were speculating that it could possibly be years before it would become the default version of X. This isn't to say that modular X.org isn't stable on some platforms, but the NetBSD elite have to take into account what happens on all supported platforms.

Personally, I never had problems with modular X.org on i386, but being the dominant port has its advantages & privileges.

Finally, I'm not sure what the current talk is on when the next version will occur, so modular X.org could still beat it.
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Old 17th May 2008
JMJ_coder JMJ_coder is offline
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Hello,

There was an interview done with the NetBSD 4.0 developers in January of this year. One question was on X, and the response was:
Which X Window System is included in NetBSD 4.0?

Matthias Scheler:
XFree86 4.5.0.

The XFree86 Project has unfortunately lost a lot of momentum. NetBSD is currently in the process of switching to the X.org X11 distribution. We initially tried integrating the monolithic X.org distribution into our xsrc source tree. But it never reached a state where it worked on all platforms and supported cross builds via build.sh.

After the X.org project changed to a modular distribution, it was obvious that pkgsrc is the best way to integrate X11 in the future. There is ongoing work mostly by Joerg Sonnenberger to make modular X11 in pkgsrc cross-buildable. When that work has been finished and properly integrated with the system installation, the XFree86 distribution in xsrc will probably be retired.
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Old 17th May 2008
JMJ_coder JMJ_coder is offline
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Hello,

Unless you are doing 3D development or playing 3D games or the like, I don't see the _need_ to switch to X.org. For most of us who use the internet, email, maybe an IDE and a whole lot of xterms - there is no advantage to switching and indeed a lot of extra work is required to switch.

For one, it takes a while to build. It took over 21 hours to compile the X.org server through pkgsrc. Then there are a number tweaks to make to be sure that X.org will work properly - not overly difficult, but time consuming. I think I'll stick with XFree86 while it is still the default. When NetBSD switches to X.org in the base distribution, then I'll use X.org.
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Old 19th May 2008
welkin welkin is offline
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I would go with Xorg. It`s newer and better. FreeBSD already use Xorg as default X Server and NetBSD will also ship it with the default installation. And yes, a lot of people are interested in 3D gaming and proper 3d support. That`s like a standart today like soundcards. But there are always some people who don`t need that.
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Old 19th May 2008
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It's not like installing Xorg will automatically get you 3D support. Unless something has changed recently, there is no support in NetBSD for the direct rendering manager, needed for 3D acceleration with any of the open source drivers in Xorg.

Adam
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Old 19th May 2008
welkin welkin is offline
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Quote:
It's not like installing Xorg will automatically get you 3D support.
I know of course. But DRM will be included in the next NetBSD release. AFAIk there is only limited 3D support with NetBSD today, but people working on it.

For some folks 3D acceleration is not important, but for me it is. I have here on my desktop freebsd 7.0 running with closed source nvidia driver, and it performs outstanding smooth, never had a problem with it. Hopefully open source drivers like DRI and nouveau become also stable as nvidia drivers. That would be a hugh step for BSD.
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Old 19th May 2008
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Hello,

I just don't think that the majority of people using NetBSD are doing so primarily as a state-of-the-art gaming platform (though I'm sure with enough tweaking, it could be such). And I can't really think of too much else that requires up to date 3D abilities (well, actually I can ).

And I think that the first great hurdle for 3D usage in NetBSD, before deciding XFree86 or X.org, is to get fully supported device drivers for video cards - first and foremost nVidia.
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Old 19th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by welkin View Post
I know of course. But DRM will be included in the next NetBSD release. AFAIk there is only limited 3D support with NetBSD today, but people working on it.
Can you let me know where I can read more about this?

Adam
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Old 19th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ_coder View Post
Hello,

I just don't think that the majority of people using NetBSD are doing so primarily as a state-of-the-art gaming platform (though I'm sure with enough tweaking, it could be such). And I can't really think of too much else that requires up to date 3D abilities (well, actually I can ).

And I think that the first great hurdle for 3D usage in NetBSD, before deciding XFree86 or X.org, is to get fully supported device drivers for video cards - first and foremost nVidia.
Except that nvidia is not likely to ever port their drivers to NetBSD, which means that the only option would be to port nouveau.. Which requires Xorg.

Similarly, the open source 3D drivers are much more up-to-date with Xorg. So if the NetBSD folks are working on the direct rendering manager, then Xorg is the way to go.

So I guess my point would be that you can't separate the decision of XFree86 vs Xorg from the development and support for 3D drivers.

Adam
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Old 19th May 2008
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Hello,

Quote:
Originally Posted by adamk View Post
So I guess my point would be that you can't separate the decision of XFree86 vs Xorg from the development and support for 3D drivers.
I didn't realize I had. As I quoted from the interview above, the stagnation of XFree86 and the subsequent interest in X.org towards development is a prime reason that the NetBSD developers are considering - and it seems actively working towards - a migration to X.org as the default.

Of course, as I also expressed, many NetBSD users (myself included) have no need or desire for 3D support at the present time, so whatever the default is will be good enough to use.
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Old 19th May 2008
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Hello,

Quote:
Originally Posted by adamk View Post
Except that nvidia is not likely to ever port their drivers to NetBSD, which means that the only option would be to port nouveau.. Which requires Xorg.
One could always hope.
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Old 19th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ_coder View Post
Hello,



I didn't realize I had.
Quote:
And I think that the first great hurdle for 3D usage in NetBSD, before deciding XFree86 or X.org, is to get fully supported device drivers for video cards - first and foremost nVidia.
That certainly suggests a separation, but the two items (deciding between XFree86 and Xorg, and having 3D drivers for video cards) are intrinsically tied together, in my opinion.

Adam
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Old 19th May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ_coder View Post
Hello,



One could always hope.
Courtesy of William Penn:

Quote:
Never give out while there is hope; but hope not beyond reason, for that shows more desire than judgment.
Adam :-)
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Old 20th May 2008
JMJ_coder JMJ_coder is offline
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Hello,

Quote:
Originally Posted by adamk View Post
That certainly suggests a separation, but the two items (deciding between XFree86 and Xorg, and having 3D drivers for video cards) are intrinsically tied together, in my opinion.

Adam
My point was not for a divorcing of the two, but to emphasize that without support for the cards, you're not going to achieve 3D. It doesn't matter if one chooses XFree86 or X.org, if the card doesn't have a driver that works properly, you're going to go nowhere fast.

Now, again to point out the interview question, since X.org is where all the major development in the world of X currently is, any advancements in either a nVidia driver or another solution is likely to be made in that group.
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Old 20th May 2008
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Xenocara is where all "new" work is done, this means the further exploration of EXA, Support for MPX, Improved Hot Plugging.. a overhaul of how Xorg handles PCI devices, (Apparently in a cleaner fashion..)..

The licence tidbit that happened in the XFree86 camp seriously damaged their reputation, many of the old developers have moved over to the new project.

Xorg is now the de facto reference implementation, it's now default in Linux distributions, FreeBSD, and now OpenBSD via the Xenocara tree. (The developers forked Xorg locally and added some local changes, they still sync with the main tree quite often though.. ).

Slightly related but the person essentially spear heading the support of DRM/DRI on OpenBSD had his laptop stolen, perhaps someone here should land a hand? - http://marc.info/?t=121122421000004&r=1&w=2

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Old 21st May 2008
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Here is the DRM kernel interface man for NetBSD.
http://netbsd.gw.com/cgi-bin/man-cgi...NetBSD-current
http://www.netbsd.org/foundation/rep...007Q1.html#drm

Here is the DRM/DRI status report. All "Y" taged cards should work, other are probably not tested until now.
http://www.netbsd.org/~jmcneill/index.html
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Old 30th June 2008
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I compared those two long time ago. X.org won clearly and i moved to it and never looked back.
Reg /T
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