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X Operating Systems GUI BSD

FreeBSD Moves to X.Org 428

Nirbo writes "FreeBSD switches to X.Org, The 'HEADSUP' can be found here, and on the -x11, -current, and -ports mailing lists. Very good news for those FreeBSD users who have either changed to X.Org in anticipation, or have been waiting in hope for this momentous change."
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FreeBSD Moves to X.Org

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  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday July 24, 2004 @06:33PM (#9791065) Homepage Journal
    Everyone seems to be moving to xorg now. Where does this leave xfree? Not that I'm worried about it or anything.
    • by wfberg ( 24378 ) on Saturday July 24, 2004 @06:55PM (#9791155)
      Everyone seems to be moving to xorg now. Where does this leave xfree?

      Xfree86 will be featured on an upcoming episode of a new MTV hit-show presented by Ashton Kutcher, entitled "FORK'D!".
  • by bcrowell ( 177657 ) on Saturday July 24, 2004 @06:33PM (#9791066) Homepage
    As a FreeBSD desktop user, I'm happy about this simply because of the easier configuration of X windows, regardless of the political aspects. (Well, I'm happy about that, too, since the licensing change of XF86 seemed bogus.) Configuring X has been one of the few remaining big barriers for both Linux and FreeBSD on the desktop.

    Too bad that you can't upgrade an existing system without using portupgrade, though. I hate to see portupgrade drifting closer and closer to being a required part of the system. I've had a lot of bad (system-breaking) experiences with it.

    • Too bad that you can't upgrade an existing system without using portupgrade


      What ever do you mean? I still to this day have not used portupgrade and all my systems are up-to-date.
    • by wirelessbuzzers ( 552513 ) on Saturday July 24, 2004 @06:54PM (#9791150)
      Too bad that you can't upgrade an existing system without using portupgrade, though. I hate to see portupgrade drifting closer and closer to being a required part of the system.

      No. It says in the post:

      To upgrade, you must remove your XFree86 ports and install the xorg
      ports. It couldn't be done with portupgrade, unfortunately, because we
      are keeping the XFree86 ports around.

      In other words, you cannot automatically upgrade all the ports using portupgrade.

      As for portupgrade becoming necessary, I don't know what you're talking about. While I use it (to keep my -CURRENT current), this is merely for convenience: I haven't seen any ports that depend on it.
    • Does Xorg do configuration any diffrent than XFree on FreeBSD ?
      I see no diffrence on the configuration on the Xorg linux
      distros I've tried. (Then again most linux distro also
      provide their own high level config tool as well, no
      sweat.. )
  • I wonder who still uses xunfree86?
    • Re:I wonder... (Score:5, Informative)

      by foidulus ( 743482 ) * on Saturday July 24, 2004 @06:41PM (#9791104)
      Heh, well all OS X users use a port of it, but who knows if they will switch too when Apple releases Tiger next year.
    • People who want something they know works.

      Cute lie of a nickname by the way.
    • Lots of us. Unless X.org offers something new and improved, I can't see any reason why I would want to switch.
      • Re:I wonder... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by nutsy ( 33125 )

        Speaking as a (l)user with an nVidia Riva128 video card (yes, I know it's old and it sucks and I should get a new one; you may be seated), I have experienced frustration in the recent past, when XFree86 4.3.x was limping toward 4.4.0: XFree86 4.2.x had annoying bugs which unfortunately I can't now remember; the Riva128 driver in the 4.3.99 prerelease packages was broken, and the only way to get a working one was to use a CVS snapshot; but getting the CVS snapshots working with any sort of stability was, to

    • I do. I use NetBSD---one of the few organizations that had enough [of something] to import XFree 4.4. There's really nothing wrong with the license, despite what the GNU team thinks.
      • > There's really nothing wrong with the license, despite what the GNU team thinks.

        I do not see them saying it is wrong, I see them saying it is incompatible with the GNU GPL.

        To quote their statement on it:

        "This is a simple, permissive non-copyleft free software license, incompatible with the GNU GPL because of its requirements that apply to all documentation in the distribution that contain acknowledgements."

        They believe it is a very bad idea to make licenses incompatible with the GPL, but there it e
  • make.conf (Score:4, Informative)

    by wassy121 ( 446363 ) on Saturday July 24, 2004 @06:34PM (#9791076)
    This is only in -CURRENT. For those of you in 5.2.1, or 4.10, you can add:


    in /etc/make.conf. For those of you running -CURRENT that want the old X, make it:

    • Oh for Christ's sake. The fucking article is 5 paragraphs long and contains this information.

      This is not in any way informative except for idiots who somehow manage to find /. but still haven't learned how to click on a link.

      I wish I was new here, at least then the stupid moderation would be a refreshing surprise.
  • So, what major linux distributions, BSD variants, or other operating systems are still using the XFree86 code base? Is the transition essentially complete?
    • Re:Who's Left? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Homology ( 639438 ) on Saturday July 24, 2004 @06:46PM (#9791119)
      So, what major linux distributions, BSD variants, or other operating systems are still using the XFree86 code base? Is the transition essentially complete?

      OpenBSD [openbsd.org] is still using the latest XFree86 4.4 release candidate with the old license+drivers. And NetBSD [netbsd.org] incorporated XFree86 4.4 with the new license.

      • Re:Who's Left? (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Actually, OpenBSD has brought in changes from freedesktop.org into their copy of the X sources. They've always maintained a local modified version anyhow, and they have already said nothing else will come from xfree86, just freedesktop and local work.
      • The OpenBSD team specifically said they wouldn't be moving to the XFree86 4.4 *release* because of license issues, which OpenBSD is the most fanatical about amongst the *BSDs. Perhaps they will maintain their own fork, like they did with Apache.
    • Mac OS X's X Server is still based on XFree86.. That might change with Tiger though.
  • by evenprime ( 324363 ) on Saturday July 24, 2004 @06:39PM (#9791091) Homepage Journal
    The lesson of X11 is that you can be the most popular piece of software on every distribution, and it still doesn't give you the power to play dictator with your licence. If you put unneccessary restrictions in your licence, someone will fork your code and the community will embrace them, not you. You would think that people would have figured that out after the ssh/openssh split. Now we have another example in windowing systems....
    • by edhall ( 10025 ) <slashdot@weirdnoise.com> on Saturday July 24, 2004 @07:06PM (#9791213) Homepage

      I don't think this shift is entirely a license issue. I was chatting with one of the FreeBSD core team guys around the time the decision was being made, and he felt that the frustration of getting fixes fed back into the XFree86 code base in a timely manner was a big part of the motivation. And this certainly isn't the first time I've heard complaints of XFree86 foot-dragging by the FreeBSD folks.

      I guess you might say it's all of a piece -- the XFree86 user community simply didn't find the developers responsive (whether on license or technology), and when X.org proved a viable alternative, they voted with their feet.

      • The licensing change was the "straw that broke the camel's back" -- until then, all anybody did was talk about forking
      • I was surprised to hear that FreeBSD was switching to Xorg. Wasn't the main reason that most Linux distros switched because of a (minor) GPL licence conflict? I'd be surprised if there was any conflict with the new XFree86 license and BSD. My coarse understanding of the BSD licence is: "I'm licensing this code in the most minimal and least obtrusive way because I don't care about licenses, only writing good code. Do whatever you want with it. Enhance it a bit, add your own logos, claim it as your own w
    • Yes, well; the important thing now is to keep X.org moving and innovating (unlike what XFree86 has done recently).
    • The lesson of X11 is that you can be the most popular piece of software on every distribution
      XFree86 is just an implementation of X11, one of dozens, and not even the only one that runs on linux (athough metro-X and the others stalled a few years back).
    • At one point a lot of people were complaining that the GPL was better because GPLed software was less likely than e.g. BSD to fork. Perhaps this is the reason...
  • Who is left...? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Saturday July 24, 2004 @06:43PM (#9791110)
    Yes, Slashdotters, which among the major distros is left? Anyone know whether X.org is doing anything about the [horrible] Linux fonts found in major default Linux installs? I have always had to install M$ fonts or run the webfonts.sh script to get decent fonts. This is shameful! The Linux gurus create a world class OS but have not yet made fonts for Linux? What do you think?
    • I like Luxi fonts, but for some reason they anti-alias like shit on Gentoo, meaning that I can't use them for daily use.

      Irritates the ass out of me, it does.
      • Funny, as I used to use a Sans Serif font that was almost identical to Luxi Sans (I'll get to the ``almost'' part later), and I loved it. Btw, I'm also a Gentoo user, but I hate antialiasing and keep it disabled all the time.

        Then, one day, I emerged ttf-bitstream-vera because I heart people talking about how good it was. Not only did I find the BV fonts ugly, but the BV Sans Serif font clobbered my existing Sans Serif font. I don't know how to restore it (I tried unmerging ttf-bitstream-vera, didn't work--
    • apt-get install ttf-bitstream-vera, and you have purty fonts. Most distros I know use them, they are fairly common (also in BSD land, I presume)

      Debian hasn't switched to X.org yet, but has committed itself to do so. I believe mandrake still uses XFree86 by default too.

      Wait, that was a troll, wasn't it? :)
    • Good font design is difficult, time consuming and not very exciting for the "Linux guru". There is the Bitstream Vera font family [gnome.org] available. It's been covered on /. twice: announcement [slashdot.org] and release [slashdot.org].

      By the way, fonts are fonts really. You've got TrueType and PostScript mainly and they tend to work cross platform. There's no need to have "Linux" fonts. Now if you meant "open source" fonts, that would be a different matter.

    • With the nice gift of the Vera font family to the community, default fonts on most recent distros looks very nice, even preferrable to windows. For web page viewing, still prefer to install the MS core fonts, though. Maybe distro makers should have the webfonts.sh script run during install to fetch the fonts for you.

      Fonts are much, much harder to do than simple software. I'd sooner not have cheap Times New Roman knockoffs in my distro, thank you very much. There are folks out there who make fonts, and
    • Well, Debian is still using XFree86 but they aren't switching to X.org at all. Instead they're going with freedesktop.org's modular trees (xlibs/xserver/xapps) sometime in the future.

      As for fonts, I personally like Nimbus Sans and Andale Mono -- free Adobe PS look-alike fonts.
      • Unless I have the easily installable choice of X.Org, I'll have to switch distros. It sounds like a compatibility nightmare to me. Like or not, I have to use the nvidia drivers and occaisionally binaries from other systems. It looks very much to me that X.Org is the defacto Linux standard now.

        From a pure architecture point of view, what Debian proposes sounds beautiful. But you still need to be able to run what everybody else is running. From what I understand, those modular trees don't even have 2D a
    • Well, except the Bitstream Vera Sans (and Mono) fonts are pretty good. I'll admit the seriffed font sucks majorly, especially because of the lack of an italic font...
    • I have always had to install M$ fonts or run the webfonts.sh script to get decent fonts. This is shameful!

      Why is it shameful? Microsoft donated their fonts to the world at large just like OSS developers have donated their work. (...even if they now wish they hadn't and have stopped distributing the fonts themselves. However, the cat is out of the bag.) There is no problem if you take advantage of their largess. From the font EULA:

      Installation and Use. You may install and use an unlimited number of copie

    • Part of the problem with fonts is that there aren't a whole lot of freeware fonts out there that have complete character sets. Font design is pretty specialized area of graphic design and not everyone has the skills to do it well.

      Sure, anyone can bung together a font face in an hour or two or perhaps a day with the (very expensive) tools out there, but to create quality fonts requires a whole lot of dedication.

      The fonts that ship with Linux distributions are most likely the ones that are free of licensing
  • Name change... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CaptainPinko ( 753849 ) on Saturday July 24, 2004 @07:02PM (#9791185)
    I know this is stupid but I'm glad for the name change of the X-server that ever is using. Because it always seemed weird to be running XFree86 on a PPC It's nice that the new standard has an architecture neutral name. I'm assuming the 86 came from x86.
    • Yeah. The "Free86" is supposed to be a word play on "386". You know how these OSS guys like to put double meaning in their names ;)
      So you're right. XFree86 sounds a bit weird on a PPC.
    • Re:Name change... (Score:2, Informative)

      by jbardell ( 677791 )
      The start of the project to develop a 'free' version of the X server was called X386, named after the target CPU. The re-name became a play on this, XFree86. Getcherself a copy of the book 'Rebel Code' and enjoy all of the interesting little tidbits within.
  • by iamdrscience ( 541136 ) on Saturday July 24, 2004 @07:03PM (#9791192) Homepage
    I don't know if this is the best place to mention this, but I like to pronounce "X.org" like it was all one word, i.e. sounding like "Zorg". It sounds like some futuristic GUI monster that would crush towns at its whim. This alone is enough to justify Xorg the Conqueror's rising popularity and XFree86's decline. I mean, XFree86 sounds kind of like a fighter jet, which while kind of cool, would be useless against Xorg. He would use an XFree86 fighter jet to pick his teeth! All hail Xorg!
  • That's the shortest domain name I've ever seen.

    I guess to beat that, you'd need to go with a country code domain.
  • im just a common freebsd user, free86 works fine for me.I guess X.org will to.Are there any major implications for us unknowing users??
    I guess thats what most normal users are concerened about.
    • The major implication is that the new project organization and stucture will allow actual development to happen -- the big problem with XFree was that the people in charge sucked, and didn't allow many improvements to get in. Hopefully now we'll see stuff like 3d acceleration in the main codebase.
    • fine for me.I guess X.org will to.Are there

      Woah, what's this? The DNS equivalent of Where's Waldo?

      Spot the domain, inconspicuously placed among badly spaced sentences!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 24, 2004 @07:08PM (#9791222)
    That's right, I've switched to FreeBSD...
  • Setting aside the license diffrence, could anyone objectivily give
    a brief summary on the current status of Xorg vs XFree ? (e.g. what's
    better/newer/fixed in one vs the other), and are there any future
    goals that differs greatily between them (what's planned for Xorg, what's planned for XFree)?
    • Re:Xorg vs XFree86 (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Lisandro ( 799651 )
      As it is, X.Org is not at all different from the latest "non-crippled" XFree release - i'm running it in my Gentoo box and besides beeing just a tad faster, it's the same. It has minor patches applied and a few configuration files names changed. The upgrade is as painless as it can be; even my nVidia linux bnary drivers worked perfectly.

      The thing with XFree it's been the attitude of it's developers (David Dawes in particular, do a google search of Usenet groups for some fun) - and this translated to t
    • Re:Xorg vs XFree86 (Score:4, Informative)

      by erikharrison ( 633719 ) on Saturday July 24, 2004 @08:22PM (#9791547)
      This is semi objective. I have a very minor presence in the X.org mailing lists.

      XFree86 seems to be mostly listing, with it's major focus being drivers. It was always easier to get new extensions in XFree than in the reference implementation, but that was still hard, so driver's and performance were much of it's force and they seem to think that it still will be. XFree seems to think that they will be the application that people upgrade to from X.org for their value added improvements. Short term assessment, this is a load of crap. People are moving from distro's X.org and XFree ONLY for stability concerns, and those are easily assuaged.

      X.org is all about two things. One, take the protocol to the next level, through the judicious use of extensions. X.org has support from Sun and HP, for example, Sun is moving much of their Looking Glass work into the tree.

      Second, get the implementation out of the stone age. Modularize the build, and use a more modern build system. Clean up the DDX (device dependent X) get extensions playing well with each other, havea faster release cycle and get security and bug fixes from vendors incorperated more quickly. All of this seems to be happening. Hop on the X.org mailing lists and take a look.
  • by dwheeler ( 321049 ) on Saturday July 24, 2004 @07:42PM (#9791350) Homepage Journal
    More details on this story are in my appendix The Cautionary Tale of XFree86 [dwheeler.com], part of my essay Make Your Open Source Software GPL-Compatible. Or Else. [dwheeler.com]
    • Is X.org going to use the MIT/X license, or are they going to move to GPL?
      • To my knowledge, they'll continue to use the original MIT/X license. It's known to be GPL-compatible (the main point of contention), and it's the license they've been using all along in general. It's certainly the direction of least resistance.

        It turns out a few files have slipped in with licenses other than the MIT/X licenses. My appendix links to a detailed license analysis (I didn't do the analysis, kudos to the person who did!). But there aren't many such files, and it wouldn't take much to fix them

  • by Dwonis ( 52652 ) * on Saturday July 24, 2004 @08:49PM (#9791668)
    XFree86 is dying. ;-)
  • the death of BSD, by AC [slashdot.org]

    not that I necessarily agree, but may be this will deter AC from posting it. ;-)
  • I wonder why debian sid doesn't yet have xorg available. Sid's been sitting on 4.3 for a long time.

    I think it's interesting that FreeBSD's test has xorg before debian sid does. Kind of unfortunate.

    I suspect that debian sid will have it just shortly after sarge goes stable.
  • ...But how many people really care? Xfree and Xorg just provide the x server. All that means is just something for our nice window managers to connect to. You can use Gnome, kde, xfce, ice, and many other window managers to suit your taste and that's what matters.

    Of course the backend is important, but to most it's not important enough to care about. The distros are converting because xfree killed itself because of the license issue and lack of development.

    Hell, most linux users won't ever know they'r
    • Of course the backend is important, but to most it's not important enough to care about.


      Hell, most linux users won't ever know they're running xorg until they have to edit their xorg.conf to get those NVIDIA drivers working.

      These sentences seem to contradict slightly. You know Linux is just a kernel, right? As in as far to the back end as it's possible to get without touching actual hardware?

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