News, tips, partners, and perspectives for the Oracle Solaris operating system

X Changes in Nevada Builds 50 - 52

Alan Coopersmith
Senior Principal Software Engineer

I posted our OpenSolaris code drop Tuesday for Nevada Build 52. The last build published was build 49, so this release includes all the changes from builds 50, 51, and 52. Yet out of the 27 changes in those three builds, almost all the questions I get are about just one of them, which can be summarized in 3 little letters:


This build contains the first release of DRI support in Xorg on Solaris. It only supports 3-D hardware acceleration on the Intel i845 through i915 graphics chipsets for this first release, and requires the kernel DRI support included in the Solaris Nevada Build 51 and later kernels, but is a huge first step. Both the kernel and Xorg/Mesa sides are now published in source form on OpenSolaris.org as well, so those who want to see how it was done can take a look, and the truly brave could start thinking about porting other drivers.

If you want pre-built binaries, you'll have to wait another week or two for the Build 52 ISO's to be published as Solaris Express: Community Release. More information on DRI in Solaris can be found in the DRI heads up message from the DRI team. You can browse the kernel side of the sources in the OpenSolaris source browser in these directories (sorry X source isn't on the source browser yet):

One word of warning though - the kernel driver may cause panics on some i855 machines - see bug 6487609 for details.

But wait! As if that wasn't enough, there's still 26 other changes included in this valuable package! And they're not available in stores! For the full list, see the changelog for builds 50-52. Highlights:

6465198 xdpyinfo shows incorrect extensions list on snv11_46
Dynamically loaded extensions like OpenGL have been failing to load in Xsun in the last few Nevada builds - this fixes that.
6423858 [Xorg bug 5898] file creation race condition in Xsession
A small security issue in the default Xsession if you use xdm instead of gdm2 or dtlogin. Patches for Solaris 8, 9, and 10 are coming for this fix.
6475968 Desegregation of X11 External Libraries [PSARC/2006/557]
When we added libXrender, libXdamage, libXfixes, and libXRes to Solaris, the Sun policy called for keeping libraries which we didn't guarantee ABI stability of in a separate path so users didn't “accidentally” depend on them and create applications not covered by the Solaris Binary Compatibility Guarantee. Sun policy has since changed to prefer usability and to not require users to jump through hoops to build software using them, so we've adapted to the new policy by moving these libraries from /usr/openwin/sfw/lib to /usr/X11/lib and putting links to them in /usr/lib.
6477006 keycode 22 reports keysym 0/NoSymbol on Sun Type 6 Unix keyboard
The Unix layouts of Sun's keyboards have a blank key between Help and F1, in the slot Esc uses on the PC layout. (See these diagrams for comparison.) This allows using the same hardware with just different labels on the keys. Unfortunately, this key has always just been assigned a to keycode 0/keysym "NoSymbol", which is pretty useless. Some intrepid users have manually assigned it to a keycode so that it can be assigned to a hotkey in JDS or CDE. To make it easier for others, the blank key now defaults to a keysym name of (wait for it...) “Blank.” Yes, that's right, X11 defines a keysym XK_Blank — and since it doesn't define XK_Any for those who long ago decided it was the mythical key referenced in Press Any Key to Continue, that seemed the best choice. Sadly, only the old serial keyboards send a keycode for this key – the USB ones send nothing up to the X server, so this doesn't help there.
6476476 Xorg modularization: libXfixes
6477401 Xorg modularization: SUNWxorg-client*
We've converted to the Xorg 7.x modular versions of the libraries we and applications we used to get from the X11R6.9 source tree, including libXrandr, libXv, libXvMC, libXxf86misc, libXxf86vm, libxkbfile, xgamma,, xrandr, xvidtune, xvinfo. We've also updated libXfixes, which was previously brought in from the X11R6.8 source to the modular release of libXfixes.

Be the first to comment

Comments ( 0 )
Please enter your name.Please provide a valid email address.Please enter a comment.CAPTCHA challenge response provided was incorrect. Please try again.