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Is this only for Ubuntu, or will other distros benefit from rootless X server as well?
It's got nothing to do with Ubuntu, since it's Xorg devs that did the work. All Ubuntu do is implement it into their distro like all others.
Canonical just have a goal of implementing this into their distro by Ubuntu 10.10.
I see, thanks.
Maybe they should work on getting rid of X altogether instead... They might be able to come up with something that's able to handle vsync...
On a server, you don't need to run X at all. Indeed, Ubuntu Server Edition does not include X. Of course, that means you must do everything in text mode, which is not much fun if you're also going to use the machine for other things.
For many people, it would definitely be nice to have the ability to run X on a server without compromising security. Actually, I've wanted to do that myself. So I would say that this is very good news. Thus, a big "thank you" to the developers from me. Edited 2010-06-26 03:10 UTC
Why not run the X11 apps remotely, displaying them to your workstation?
It is extremely bad practice to run X11 itself on a server, and many servers don't have onboard video or have an extremely lowend card intended only for the initial installation.
It is able to handle it if you configure it corectly.
Xorg is one of the best piece of technology available in Linux. But it is like KDE, many of the best features are unknownes by the users. Only causing bugs and problems in the small set of features they know about, like displaying local content on your screen.
It is great when you have to use a window over the network (without any additional software), thin client mode, input periferal over the network, proxy, Xfbdev/KDrive/Xephir, X in X, multiple X server, per screen fine grained control and client over ssh.
It is also great when you think of all the developpers specifications, APIs and extensions that are not used as much as they could be.
Just saying: "Arg, I hate X because I use XRandR and it is not perfect on my unsuported, Linux unfriendly Laptop and I don't want to ever edit xorg.conf, so X suck" is just trolling.
This new feature sounds really good!
Has this been resolved yet?
One of my main beefs with X--and I'm just assuming it's X's fault since I see it on Mac OS apps ported from Linux, as well as in the Linux desktop--are visual artifacts when redrawing parts of the screen. This to me is the one thing that screams "unprofessional" when compared to Mac and most modern Windows apps. Is anything being done/has anything been done recently to fix this?
I only recall seeing redraw graphical glitches when using KDE4. And they involve the tooltips when you hover the mouse over the various objects on the panel. Then again, it's been a while since I used something other than KDE4 extensively, so maybe it just doesn't come to mind.
KWin includes a 2d compositor (switch to Xrender mode) and you can always use xcompmgr. This mode is often faster on, e.g., radeon cards using the OSS drivers.
Only partial truth. I have generally found the situation to be wildly variable and greatly affected by various point revisions. Generally it has been mildy acceptable and never as smooth or consistent as osx and win7.
There are qt and kde apps that are quite a bit smoother on windows than on linux using the Xrender backend.
And one of the things that really gets to me is the fact that both major compositors seem to become sluggish and act weirdly after some uptime.
I don't claim to love X (in fact I am programming my own window system similar to Wayland), basically all the things you said about it are wrong.
X is a server, not a framebuffer with compositing and acceleration. It is a design made to scale up and allow advanced corner case of headless, or mindless (thin) computers.
It was designed to be that and it is. If you think it's too much for you, then it probably is. Some design decisions may make sont aspect of it look strange compared to Windows, but it is not done without reasons. Your needs are just too restricted to see why it have been done that way.
Try to play with it when some heavy calculation is running in the background, and see if it remains responsive ^^
Are you saying that X becomes unresponsive if you have heavy calculation in the background? If so then you're just talking out of your rear-end. I often compile stuff and as you should know compiling IS rather CPU intensive. And I haven't noticed any kind of lag or issues with responses from X.
Wrong. If windows' graphic layer crashes, and I've seen it crash many times, the desktop disappears for a moment, then reappears with all your apps on top of it. You can safely save your work before rebooting your computer and investigating what's wrong if crashes happen again.
True, indeed. And surprisingly many people insist that X and Windows act the same in this regards but they don't: I've had X crash several times and it took down everything I had open, including a coding session I hadn't saved for half an hour. But I've also had Windows graphics layer crash, in XP and in 7, and all that happened was that the screen went black for a moment and then got back, with all my apps still intact.
What does this mean? Well... that even the god damn old XP handles this thing better than X!
Really, there is no problem in Linux or X with interactivity.
In fact, no theming is even necessary. Qt treats GTK/Gnome similar to how it treats OS X and Windows these days: it assumes the widget styles of the system. To use a Qt/KDE theme on a Gnome desktop, you actually have to jump through hoops, which I think is a very good thing.
Whether GTK is or isn't inferior, there is no denying that it is faster to take advantage of native Linux features.
That's a problem with GTK+, not with X11. Go complain to the GTK+ devs to get their heads out of the sand, stop with the NIH, and start co-operating with others.
It's amazing how often QT/KDE devs bend over backwards to make GTK+/GNOME interoperate and look nice on a non-GNOME system ... and how rarely it's reciprocated.
"And guess what, if Windows crashes, all your apps crash too!"
Really, FUD-boy? Not since Vista and Windows 7. What a tool.
The kernel device /dev/mice has worked since at least 2001 and maybe earlier. This device takes the input from all mice and presents it as a Microsoft Explorer PS/2 protocol.
If you or your distro set X to use /dev/mice then hotplugging any number of mice worked flawlessly.
The only exceptions were special devices like the Space Orb, multi-ball trackballs, mice with more than 7 buttons, etc.
Actually because you mentioned remoting as strong side of X, it is not really Xs strong side because the protocol is way too low level. Just have a comparison of X and RDP. RDP wipes Xs buttocks and have been for years. Xs remoting worked fine for simple terminals and the Athena widget set but thats it, once you move beyound that you have to rely on protocol compression hacks or entirely different remoting protocols like VNC to get a decent performance over an average network.
Err, I use X from a Linux server to my Macbook all the time on a 100 Mbit network. gvim, gedit, meld, wireshark and others all work great.
I never use compression hacks or VNC. Well, I have used VNC but not because it performs better than X.
Replacing X with something new would be very welcomed by me. I'm a GUI toolkit and desktop application developer. X has the worst performance of the big three (OSX, Windows, X) - even a relatively new project like Haiku seems to have better graphics performance than X.
I hope one of the big players like IBM could start such a project. Many individual developers have tried, but those projects very quickly get discarded.
As for the "wonderful" remote/networking support built into X - I don't see that as relevant any more. That was designed for mono terminal displays of 20+ year ago. VNC, RDP and a host of others all manage the same thing (in color) with much better performance!
Apple had the right idea with OSX, by writing their own GUI - it's time the rest of the *nix world wakes up to that fact - X11 sucks in performance.
I run Linux at work and home, as my only development platform. Windows only lives in VM session on my systems. So please don't take this up as a rant/flamewar request - it's purely my observation of X in my day-to-day work. Edited 2010-06-26 09:12 UTC
Thank you for the information, I use Linux too lite (working with .net/Windows) but I am interested in Linux, and been able to introduce Linux/GPL into the company I work for. So now we use a Debian Linux server and open software such as Subversion/Bugzilla. X-windows works, but I haven't been too impressed with it, and as system architect I know that its after you made a system and used it, you will find all shortcomings, and much has happened the last 20 years that the architects of X-window protocol couldn't predict.
X11 performance for me is fine with good drivers. Most people are really just pissed about slow drivers. X itself is just fine, performance-wise. If drivers properly accelerated all the things they should, I bet the complaints about X being slow would go away overnight.
Actually even the remoting of X is protocolwise lousy, while it scaled perfectly for a few lines widgets like the Athena widget, it falls flat on its face with complex modern UIs trafficwise. You need protocol hacks to get the dataload down.
People have been saying that X sucks for 10 years and I agree it might be the time to either let it rest or make a huge overhaul into X12 instead of doctoring around on X11.
The toolkits apparently make very bad use of the protocol, but the biggest culprit is Xlib. XCB supposedly improves network performance considerably, but no toolkits use it as of yet.
Xlib only uses XCB essentially as a transport layer. It still has the same bad implementation on top of that.
I think you need to check your driver configuration or talk to some X.org devs because unless you have a really crappy gfx card (and it sounds like you don't), you shouldn't be seeing those issues. I have a T500 with a Radeon 3650 in it and it is quite snappy and I don't see artifacts or tearing. Compositing is also quite usable, which will significantly reduce flickering (just like in Windows Vista/7).
OpenWF can be used. Syllable has also a GPL solution for end users. The only problem I see is the lack of standardized GPU acces method (like USB mass storage) Edited 2010-06-28 08:43 UTC
true he can't. But it is a example of one ways that X is inferior to any other window servers.
It is something the x devs have said would require re-architecting X in order to accomplish yet is something I definitely expect ( It drives me up the wall looking at videos with peoples faces torn down the middle).
And who are "they"? Where do these "they" people come from? Will you pay their salary?
Old news mates. I was a rootless ex server over 10 years ago! Edited 2010-06-26 08:47 UTC
Funny thing ... OpenBSD did Xorg privillege separation ages ago. Too bad that lazy Xorg devs care only if you are a big software vendor, like Canonical.
Or am I getting it wrong? even if they [Xorg] get this idea recently ... well, it's better late than never.
One of the OpenBSD developers has become the leader of the Xorg Development ... I forget his name, and cannot seem to find it with a quick google.
I saw this story on Phoronix (http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=ODM2Ng) just before it got published here. Shouldn't this be a link?
I can't believe they're still running X as root with NVIDIA's binary driver.
AFAIK, it was possible with NVIDIA's driver years before the open source drivers! IIRC, all that is necessary is that the driver's device files need proper permissions.
This seems like a very clear case of ignoring binary drivers out of ideology...
Nvidia probably did it right because they also wrote drivers for SGI and Solaris, both of which ran X as a user-level process. If I recall that correctly.
You should not use word "rootless" to describe server that is run by non-root.
"Rootless" has a totally different meaning in X. A "rootless X server" is a X server that does not have root window (desktop). For example X servers in MS Windows or OS X are rootless - because they do not draw background - they "embed" X windows in native windows.