When XOrg 6.9/7.0 comes out...

Alexander E. Patrakov patrakov at ums.usu.ru
Sun Dec 18 01:23:45 PST 2005

(i.e. on the next week) ...don't upgrade blindly. Please take the 
following observations (from X.Org 6.9-RC3) into consideration.

I. Compilation issues:

1. The gcc4 patch is no longer needed.
2. The "locale_names" patch no longer applies, and the 
de_DE.ISO-8859-15 at euro testcase passes without the patch.
3. The luit_race patch is no longer needed.
4. The <linux.config.h> sed is still needed.
5. Compllation fails on the 
xc/programs/Xserver/hw/xfree86/os-support/linux/lnx_agp.c file with the 
error location pointing to /usr/include/linux/agpgart.h. I believe this 
to be a bug in linux-libc-headers. Workaround: add the following line to 
the very top of the 
xc/programs/Xserver/hw/xfree86/os-support/linux/lnx_agp.c file:

#include <linux/types.h>

6. xterm is no longer built, but is still mentioned in the twm menu.

II. Runtime issues

With the default settings and the 2.6.15-rc5 kernel, I experience 
lockups when running glxgears. These lockups are somehow related to 
cursor shape changes. My video card is:

0000:01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc RV280 
[Radeon 9200] (rev 01)
or, for those who prefer "lspci -n" output for exactness,
0000:01:00.0 0300: 1002:5961 (rev 01)

I was able to fix the issue by switching from the old "XAA" architecture 
to "EXA":

Section "Device"
        Identifier      "My Video Card"
        Driver          "ati"
        Option          "AccelMethod" "EXA"
        Option          "AGPMode" "4"
        Option          "AGPFastWrite" "true"

Note that this requires a recent in-kernel DRI driver, i.e. the current 
LiveCD kernel is too old for this trick. And, of course, this 
fix is ATI-specific and can't be put in the default LiveCD xorg.conf.

III. Configuration issues

1. The "en_US" keyboard layout has been renamed to just "us". The 
console configurator has to be changed to take this into account.
2. The new "evdev" driver is able to handle keyboard and mouse input, 
the existing "kbd" and "mouse" drivers are declared as obsolete. 
However, I cannot recommend switching to the new keyboard setup yet, 
because of unresolved XKB issues: no way to set the Russian layout 
correctly when the "evdev" driver is used for keyboard. Mouse is OK.

I admit that I have not tried the new modular X.Org 7.0-rc3 yet, but, 
since the code is the same, the same issues exist.

Going modular would bring us the advantage of being able to avoid 
building unwanted components. E.g., everything except xlockmore is now 
using Xft fonts, so none of the core bitmap fonts (except "fixed" and 
"cursor") are needed if we replace xlockmore with xscreensaver. Those 
bitmap fonts take 42 megabytes, and there are many bugs in X.Org fontset 
handling (relevant for i18n and UTF-8 locales). Also, it has been 
reported (can't verify) that core font metrics are miscalculated when 
screen resolution goes above 1280x1024. So it would be a good idea to 
drop support for such fonts.

Alexander E. Patrakov

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