XFree and X - Debian

This is a discussion on XFree and X - Debian ; Could someone just take the time to explain to me the relationship between X, X.org and XFree86? I have googled but find a lot of conflicting information. I understand the concept of the X Server, but fail to completely understsnd ...

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  1. XFree and X


    Could someone just take the time to explain to me the relationship
    between X, X.org and XFree86?

    I have googled but find a lot of conflicting information.

    I understand the concept of the X Server, but fail to completely
    understsnd how XFree86 and XOrg are related : whether complementary or
    not. In particfular I have found a lot of conflicting advice on
    enabling 3d HW - some saying to play with an XFree86 config file,
    others suggesting xorg.conf.


    If th X.Org folks produce a free X Server and the XFree86 folks do
    (assuming they are rivals), which is the one of choice? How does this
    influence my choice/use of either Gnome or KDE. Does the use of Gnome
    or KDE influence the likelihood of me getting 3d acceleration working?

    I think I'm at one of those "cant see the wood for the trees" phases
    and no more manual browsing is going to clarify any of this.

    Wise words or a link to a clear website gratefully received.

  2. Re: XFree and X

    On Wed, 14 Dec 2005 13:40:04 +0000, Walter Mitty wrote:

    >
    > Could someone just take the time to explain to me the relationship
    > between X, X.org and XFree86?
    >


    X is a network graphics 'standard'. Google for MIT Athena and you should
    find lots of information on how it got started.

    Both XFree86 and Xorg seek to implement the X standard.

    XFree86 is an old project with lots of legacy code. Much of the code has
    licenses which are incompatible in some way or another with GPL.

    Xorg is a new(er) project which seeks to reproduce all of the
    functionality of XFree86 while rewriting all of the non-GPL code to create
    an unencumbered GPL only codebase.

    I wouldn't say they are competitors; more like Xorg is the new generation
    and XFree86 is slowly dying. I may be wrong on the last.... But I see
    more and more people migrating to Xorg.

  3. Re: XFree and X

    Captain Dondo wrote:
    > On Wed, 14 Dec 2005 13:40:04 +0000, Walter Mitty wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Could someone just take the time to explain to me the relationship
    >>between X, X.org and XFree86?
    >>

    >
    >
    > X is a network graphics 'standard'. Google for MIT Athena and you should
    > find lots of information on how it got started.
    >
    > Both XFree86 and Xorg seek to implement the X standard.
    >
    > XFree86 is an old project with lots of legacy code. Much of the code has
    > licenses which are incompatible in some way or another with GPL.
    >
    > Xorg is a new(er) project which seeks to reproduce all of the
    > functionality of XFree86 while rewriting all of the non-GPL code to create
    > an unencumbered GPL only codebase.
    >
    > I wouldn't say they are competitors; more like Xorg is the new generation
    > and XFree86 is slowly dying. I may be wrong on the last.... But I see
    > more and more people migrating to Xorg.


    I thought it was more along the lines of:

    X is a windowing system for Unix and Unix-like systems originally
    developed by MIT in the 1984. It went through a bunch of versions
    (actually different/improved client/server protocols, not just updated
    versions of X), developed by various groups, until DEC built X version
    11 (X11) in 1987, which is the protocol still in use today. There were
    various releases of X using the X11 protocol, hence X11R2, X11R3, X11R6
    etc. As X11 became popular, MIT didn't want to have to handle it on
    their own, so a group (made up of X vendors) was formed called the X
    Consortium to handle it. The X Consortium eventually handed control over
    to The Open Group, which eventually formed x.org. So x.org was in charge
    of the overall handling of X11.

    XFree86 started as a X386 version of X11 in the early 90s. XFree86
    joined x.org as a member, so they're not really competing entities. But
    almost all the dev work on X11 was being done by XFree86 by this time,
    ie x.org wasn't doing much of anything. In 2004, XFree86 released
    version 4.4 of their X server, but hardly anyone liked the new license,
    as it was viewed by many to be incompatible with the GPL. So in 2004 a
    new group was formed, The X.Org Foundation, and they forked the XFree86
    codebase (they used the last GPL-compatible version, not 4.4 - I think
    they might have used a 4.4 release candidate?). This new
    group/foundation got control of the x.org domain name from the previous
    x.org group, and they released the first version of x.org.

    So, in short, X is the X Windowing System. X11 is the 11th version of
    it. X.Org was the group in charge of looking after its development.
    XFree86 developed a version of X and joined X.Org as a member. XFree86
    became the most popular version of X. X.Org formed the X.Org Foundation
    when XFree86 released a version that wasn't (seen to be) GPL-compatible,
    forking the XFree86 code, and producing the x.org windowing system. So
    you can just think of x.org as a fork of XFree86 (but not a reproduction
    of it), both of which are X server implementations.

    Ok, that was lengthy enough that I'm sure it's full of mistakes

    Shannon

  4. Re: XFree and X

    Shannon Lloyd wrote:
    > Captain Dondo wrote:
    >
    >> On Wed, 14 Dec 2005 13:40:04 +0000, Walter Mitty wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>> Could someone just take the time to explain to me the relationship
    >>> between X, X.org and XFree86?
    >>>

    >>
    >>
    >> X is a network graphics 'standard'. Google for MIT Athena and you should
    >> find lots of information on how it got started.
    >>
    >> Both XFree86 and Xorg seek to implement the X standard.
    >>
    >> XFree86 is an old project with lots of legacy code. Much of the code has
    >> licenses which are incompatible in some way or another with GPL.
    >>
    >> Xorg is a new(er) project which seeks to reproduce all of the
    >> functionality of XFree86 while rewriting all of the non-GPL code to
    >> create
    >> an unencumbered GPL only codebase.
    >>
    >> I wouldn't say they are competitors; more like Xorg is the new generation
    >> and XFree86 is slowly dying. I may be wrong on the last.... But I see
    >> more and more people migrating to Xorg.

    >
    >
    > I thought it was more along the lines of:
    >




    >
    > Shannon


    Oh, and Sarge still uses XFree86 because they didn't want to introduce
    the newer x.org while they were busy trying to get everything nice and
    stable for a release. This is why testing/unstable has x.org, but stable
    still has XFree86. To the best of my knowledge, Sarge is probably the
    last release of anything which will ever use XFree86. Everyone is moving
    (or has already moved) to x.org by now.

    Shannon

  5. Re: XFree and X


    >
    >
    > Thanks. Where in my system config is the decision made? How can I tell?


    Quick and dirty - look in /etc/X11 - if you see xorg.conf it's xorg; if
    not, then it's not.


  6. Re: XFree and X

    In an earlier post, ray postulated:
    >
    >>
    >>
    >> Thanks. Where in my system config is the decision made? How can I tell?

    >
    > Quick and dirty - look in /etc/X11 - if you see xorg.conf it's xorg; if
    > not, then it's not.
    >


    Thanks.

    Ubuntu 5.10 is based on Debian Sarge is it not? And Shannon said that
    uses XFree86. Why the difference?

  7. Re: XFree and X

    Walter Mitty wrote:

    >
    > Could someone just take the time to explain to me the relationship
    > between X, X.org and XFree86?
    >
    > I have googled but find a lot of conflicting information.
    >
    > I understand the concept of the X Server, but fail to completely
    > understsnd how XFree86 and XOrg are related : whether complementary or
    > not. In particfular I have found a lot of conflicting advice on
    > enabling 3d HW - some saying to play with an XFree86 config file,
    > others suggesting xorg.conf.
    >


    Funny thing: I posted several times before trying to elaborate a problem
    which behaves like as if to solidify Walter's thoughts. Under XFree I have
    3D accel, but slower than non-3Daccel on Xorg. On XFree I can play, for
    example, TuxRacer with .8 fps, on xorg I can not - but GLXGears works both
    times, 1.2fps on XFree and 200fps on Xorg... But noone is able to help me
    tracking where the heck Intels i915 Chipset is making Debian tilt out, or?
    --
    Sincerely

    Ruediger


  8. Re: XFree and X

    Walter Mitty wrote:
    > In an earlier post, ray postulated:
    >
    >>>
    >>>Thanks. Where in my system config is the decision made? How can I tell?

    >>
    >>Quick and dirty - look in /etc/X11 - if you see xorg.conf it's xorg; if
    >>not, then it's not.
    >>

    >
    >
    > Thanks.
    >
    > Ubuntu 5.10 is based on Debian Sarge is it not? And Shannon said that
    > uses XFree86. Why the difference?


    I would imagine that the Ubuntu folks decided that they wanted something
    more recent than Sarge's XFree86 (which by now is quite old), so they
    would have had to go with x.org to remain GPL-compatible. Although
    Ubuntu is based on Debian, they obviously modify it quite a bit for
    their own needs. I don't actually know if 5.10 is based on Sarge. I'd be
    surprised if it were, to be honest. I would have thought that a more
    likely approach would be to take a snapshot of Debian testing (which,
    btw, uses xorg), spend a few months working out whatever bugs are in it
    and making all the Ubuntu-specific modifications, and then release that.
    That would fit better with Ubuntu's more frequent release schedule.

    Shannon

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