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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.