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XFree86 4.3.0 in Debian Unstable 79

Posted by michael
from the hurray dept.
Anonymous Coward writes "XFree86 4.3.0 has finally made it into Debian unstable. See the announcement." Note that Direct Rendering is broken (there's already a bug filed, and I'm experiencing the same problem - looks like something small and stupid, affecting everyone), so don't dist-upgrade just yet.
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XFree86 4.3.0 in Debian Unstable

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  • by klupo (515382) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @09:49AM (#8325519)
    Well that's great I just finished gettting my 2.2 kernel working and now this
  • by kinnell (607819) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @09:52AM (#8325550)
    This highlights one of the great advantages of debian - by the time they're ready to upgrade to version 4.4, all this licensing fiasco will be gone and forgotten.
  • On my debian laptop... Debs and instructions can be found here [sourceforge.net].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 19, 2004 @10:00AM (#8325592)
    IF you installed Debian via Knoppix (like I did) you will of got it already. But 4.3 is really the end of the Line thanks to the liecence crap!

    Now if only they couild get KDE 3.2 in there...
  • Woohoo! (Score:5, Funny)

    by MrHanky (141717) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @10:01AM (#8325612) Homepage Journal
    And because of XFree86's license change, Debian will now be as up to date as all the other distros. In your face, Gentoo zealots!
    • Now, if only there was a chance for KDE 3.2 in unstable in 2004, this would be a Year of Debian.
      • I don't think it will take too long, but if you can't wait, try
        deb http://rs.fuzz.nl/muesli/686/kde_head/ unstable/
        in the right place.
  • by Kraken137 (15062)
    Still works for me with the nvidia driver...
  • Isn't this late? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by theridersofrohan (241712) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @10:10AM (#8325667) Homepage
    This is not mean to be a troll, honest. But wasn't the whole purpose of Debian Unstable to be really up to date? I mean, when people complain that debian is way too far behind, debian fans are quick to point out that debian has three distros and that unstable is really quite stable and as up to date as other distros. Now, XFree86 4.3.0 was released on the 26th of February last year [xfree86.org]- Why did it take a whole year for it to be included in unstable?
    • Yeh I agree, the apps tend to be quite up to date, but some things take an absolute age, I think it maybe depends on the maintainer (the X maintainer seems always at a dead stop, it took a whole year nearly for 3 -> 4 as well).

      You just have to use unofficial repositries at the same time.
      • XFree86 releases their work almost exclusively (exclusively?) for the x86 architecture. Debian, however, releases for 11 architectures, and has high standards of quality as well. It takes a lot of time to port something as huge as XFree86 to 10 other architectures, but aside from the support, doing so makes the packages much more stable in the end.
    • Re:Isn't this late? (Score:2, Informative)

      by abrotman (323016)
      The Debian XSF is a little anal retentive when it comes to the quality of the packages. That said, they do fantastic work and I wouldn't have it any other way. Much better than some of the other debian package managers who constantly have major bugs filed against thier packages. Honestly, I'm surprised they let it in without working DRI. I've been using the experimental X4.3 and have working DRI.
    • Re:Isn't this late? (Score:5, Informative)

      by twilight30 (84644) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @10:27AM (#8325848) Homepage
      Since you asked nicely, here's why:

      Debian tests for a wider range of architectures than the rest of the Linux distros, and in fact wider than XFree86 itself does. (Branden Robinson points this out on his site - Google for 'Debian X Strike Force').

      The odd architectures are more difficult to test for, but it results in a couple of benefits:

      * Changes can go upstream (obviously, I'm not referring to 4.4) -- and in fact XF86 kind of expects Debian to test for them
      * Debian as a whole gets a much more stable set of X packages than the others do -- unstable packages for X are at least as stable as most other distros' production versions.

      • Debian tests for a wider range of architectures than the rest of the Linux distros, and in fact wider than XFree86 itself does. (Branden Robinson points this out on his site - Google for 'Debian X Strike Force').

        The odd architectures are more difficult to test for, but it results in a couple of benefits:

        * Changes can go upstream (obviously, I'm not referring to 4.4) -- and in fact XF86 kind of expects Debian to test for them
        * Debian as a whole gets a much more stable set of X packages than the others do -
        • by hummassa (157160) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:55PM (#8330590) Homepage Journal
          No, this is the point of *experimental*. XF4.3 is in experimental for quite some time now.
          • So wait. There are FOUR distros? Stable, Testing, Unstable and now Experimental?
            • Re:Isn't this late? (Score:5, Informative)

              by xenocide2 (231786) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @10:04PM (#8335292) Homepage
              Basically. Some might tell you that experimental is closer to an add on pack that you have to jump through hoops to install. These hoops are there for a reason: a lot of people run unstable and wouldn't be happy to see some important library changed out from underneath them with only one accommodating package. Thats the kind of experimental they mean. Its suggested that first time uploads be placed in experimental if you're not sure it will actually work on a given system. Debian has several systems available to developers to test things on for basic operation.

              But really, the release cycle is a dependent on a couple of things: the number of submitted bugs in a package and the number of platforms debian runs on. Seems like with every release Debian picks up more architectures. If you're running PPC or SPARC it sounds like a nice deal, but many people looking for a i386 desktop solution see the consequential slow release cycle and shudder. But I'd rather not restart X into a crash screen, so I don't try to run the experimental XFree. I've run into problems with upgrades to GNOME on unstable--moving from 1.4 to 2.x originally didn't have any migration rules so your old .gnome conf files would knock gnome out. But overall its been pretty solid, most of the developers run unstable on their desktop, enough that in the past, freezing unstable until certain conditions were met was considered a motivator. Maybe if there was a push for developers toward testing as the preferred branch and unstable for new but known to be broken in certain cases, stable might closer reflect today's software and unstable might actually be up to date.

              I've been using debian for about a year now, and its pretty fun. I just upgraded X and it took a whopping 10 minutes. The difference isn't very noticable to me. The changelog has lots of bugfixes concerning DRI that probably have kept it in experimental for so long. Seems like basically the most critical apps have a longer testing pipeline to run through into stable. Usually it takes 10 days in unstable to become a candidate for "testing." "Stable" hasn't moved in a long while because there's been some longstanding bugs between certain popular packages. Maybe QA is something underappreciated on a volunteer based distribution, but I like being able to look at a specific package's bug list.
              • I used to run Debian, but a few crashes and stuff in the unstable branch and the sloooooowness of the stable branch had me off looking for a new distro. So far Gentoo seems to fit the bill. I run mostly stable things and they are kept up to date, and for a few things that are behind I can get the ~x86 code and run that.
    • But wasn't the whole purpose of Debian Unstable to be really up to date?

      I think the solution is to have one, or maybe two more debian distros: Debian Volatile - kept roughly up to date with the other main distros, and Debian Explosive - a cutting edge distro which might crash sometimes.

    • Re:Isn't this late? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by swillden (191260) * <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @11:45AM (#8326782) Homepage Journal

      This is not mean to be a troll, honest. But wasn't the whole purpose of Debian Unstable to be really up to date?

      Debian unstable *is* really up to date, in general. However, there are a few high-profile packages, like XFree86, that tend to lag because of Debian's incredibly diverse platform set and high standards of quality. The wide variety of platforms doesn't affect most stuff nearly as much as hardware-oriented software like X.

      I mean, when people complain that debian is way too far behind, debian fans are quick to point out that debian has three distros and that unstable is really quite stable and as up to date as other distros.

      I run unstable on my laptop and my desktop (stable on my servers), and in my experience, unstable is not "as up to date as other distros", most of the time it's well *ahead* of the other distros. Because my systems get upgraded almost daily, I find that my biggest compatibility headaches with my colleagues on Red Hat, etc., is that I'm always running newer versions of everything than they are.

    • + $0.02

      Some packages (like XFree) seem to take an eon or three; other responses give some why's. Otoh I've seen other packages appear in unstable timestamped within hours of being released, and days before being packaged for other dists. For the more adventurous there's generally something in experimental [debian.org].

    • Re:Isn't this late? (Score:4, Informative)

      by pjack76 (682382) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:19PM (#8328093)
      Well, also there's apparently a "hidden" flavor of Debian called experimental, where you can go to get things that haven't made it into unstable yet.

      I *needed* XFree86 4.3, because it's the first version to support my video card--after digging through Debian's bug reports, I found out how to apt-get from the experimental pool, where XFree86 4.3 happily lives. Installed without a problem for me (I mean, I manually edit my XF86Config anyway.)

  • I love Debian (Score:1, Interesting)

    by ObviousGuy (578567)
    Not the distro, per se, but the concept. I am as ardent a supporter of the Free Software cause as anyone, and Debian most closely represents my views as a proponent of Free Software. By not including any software which does not conform to the terms of the GPL, Debian has taken a firm stand against the encroachment of closed source software into their distribution.

    While I run Windows at work and home, I also find Linux to be incredibly interesting as an experiment in Free Software, and Debian is at the fo
    • Re:I love Debian (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fedux (262863)
      Not the distro, per se, but the concept. I am as ardent a supporter of the Free Software cause as anyone, and Debian most closely represents my views as a proponent of Free Software. By not including any software which does not conform to the terms of the GPL, Debian has taken a firm stand against the encroachment of closed source software into their distribution.

      I think that's not entirely truth. Debian includes Apache and its licence is not GPL compatible.
      • Re:I love Debian (Score:2, Insightful)

        by alexpage (210348)
        Apache's license may not be GPL-compatiable, but that doesn't mean it's not free software. according to the FSF [fsf.org]:

        This is a permissive non-copyleft free software license with a few requirements that render it incompatble with the GNU GPL. We urge you not to use the Apache licenses for software you write. However, there is no reason to avoid running programs that have been released under this license, such as Apache.

      • Debian is not an extension of the FSF, and the GPL is not Debian's guiding rule for the "freeness" of software. Debian has its own "Debian Free Software Guidelines" ( DFSG [debian.org]) that determines what can go into Debian. Apache isn't GPL compatible but it is free as far as the DFSG goes.

        You even have the ironic situations where RMS won't officially bless Debian because it has a "non-free" section (a misnomer since it is almost completely made up of "semi-free", not proprietary, closed-source programs) and on the
    • Re:I love Debian (Score:4, Interesting)

      by twilight30 (84644) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:00PM (#8327826) Homepage
      I like the concept too, but I think a lot of people get overly emotional about the idealistic aspects of the distribution when a bit more pragmatism would go a lot farther.

      Why does Debian rock?

      Debian rocks because they are nitpicky about all that shit. It means that I don't have to be. Their work rewards your laziness, and that's a good thing!
    • Re:I love Debian (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sevn (12012)
      Debian makes a great server. It's perfect for the situation where you can't use FreeBSD and you aren't getting hounded for Red Hat. I've never used it as a desktop because it's not well suited for it. Much like FreeBSD doesn't make a great desktop OS. Gentoo, on the other hand, makes an excellent desktop OS. I'd don't run Gentoo on servers anymore though. I've never understood the "holy war world domination" aspect of any of this. To corporate America it comes across as so much childish prattle. We actually
    • Best... ObviousGuy post...
      ever...
  • I love Debian, but this is why I don't use it on my desktop.

    Is there a perfect Linux distro out there? Debian has stale packages, Gentoo has no reverse dependency checking (yet). How is Fedora coming along? Left RedHat for apt-get a while ago, then someone ported it to rpm. FreeBSD, while not Linux, doesn't support as much desktop hardware.

    I'm on a continuing quest to find the perfect distro. Anyone else find it yet?
    • Honestly, I use debian as much as possible. I don't worry to much that unstable lags behind gentoo because gentoo caused me many headaches. I have no problem with stable being old because if you compare it to any enterprise version of linux you will see similarly aged applications.

      Testing on the other hand is a mess. I am using it on one out of all the systems I have debian on (~6) and have seen 0 benefit in using it over unstable. I am trying to be a good community citizen and at least use testing
    • by gid (5195)
      I used to be annoyed that X always lagged behind so much in debian/sid. But then I realized, after upgrading to 4.3, do I as a user notice anything different? absolutely not. It might be slightly faster, not that I notice with a 1.33ghz AMD machine... Why does it really matter what version of X you're running, as long as it can handle dri, you can play you games, render true type fonts, etc. Not that I play games under linux anyway, that's what my "play" XP Pro box is for.
      • Some people, like me, need X 4.3 to get the full range of resolutions that the graphics chipset supports. I have a laptop with an onboard Intel i830m, which doesn't have it's own memory. It 'borrows' a chunk from the main memory. I haven't heard of a single OEM who included the option to set how much memory in the BIOS, they all hard code it to 1 MB, and the OS driver is relied upon to chagne it. So in order to get 1024x768 with 16 bit color, I need X 4.3.
    • I use Debian on my laptop and Gentoo on my server. For my laptop I am using Sid which is up to date enough for me. I wanted XFree 4.3 so I just found some experimental debs for x86 (they are perfectly stable) and used them.
    • by pavon (30274) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:14PM (#8328040)
      Nope. The "perfect" desktop distro would be a more up-to-date version of debian, with something as nice as YaST. Perhaps User Linux will provide the funding necisarry for this. Here is what I have found for the current distros:

      For the desktop SuSE is king - it has great hardware support and YaST is much better than what Mandrake and Redhat have to offer (if only they would release it under a better licence). One edge that RedHat Linux had over SuSE, wast that there were more third party packages made for it, however now that RHL does not exist this is not a factor. Like any other RPM based distro though, after a year or two you will get to the point where it is easier to just do a clean install of the newest version rather than continue to update.

      For the server, debian is great - it is rock solid, and the easiest distro to keep up-to-date without any down-time. However, if your employer really wants support then RedHat enterprise would be the best way to go.

      Slackware was my first distro, and is wonderfull in its simplicity of design. I still recomend it to anyone who wants to learn linux, not just have a windows replacement. Like RPM distros, you will likely want to wipe and start over every couple years. Once I learned linux fairly well, the day-to-day convienence of other distros moved me off slackware.

      Fedora stands alone as being the most up-to-date distro due to it's short release cycle, so it is the obvious choice for those who want to be on the cutting edge. It actually seems to be quite stable despite it's cutting edgeness. But when you release every couple months you can't expect to be able to support a release for any length of time. IMHO, the only advantage that Gentoo has is that it is more up-to-date than debian. The package manager seems nicer than rpm, but not as convienent as apt. I have never had the desire to use it myself. Knoppix is great for trying out linux, troubleshooting, and installing a desktop debian system. I keep a couple burned copies on hand at all times. And of course there are dozens of distros that are usefull for cool niche projects.
    • Debian works for me. I've not found any software that doesn't have up-to-date packages; if they're not in the main tree it's normally for a good reason, and apt-get.org [apt-get.org] can usually find them. Failing that there's Google and the helpful IRC channel and mailing lists.

      apt-rpm, while much nicer to deal with than native rpm, still suffers from the fact that nothing beats Debian's own apt repositories for sheer quality and stability, thanks to the zealous adherence to quality of the majority of Debian package m
    • Name a piece of hardware you have that FreeBSD doesn't support.

      thanks
  • by Captain Rotundo (165816) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @11:45AM (#8326789) Homepage
    Remember Debian has 11 architectures to support... far more than any other major distro, and far more that the XFree86 team supports.

    So you can bitch that once again Debian is behind the times, but remmember YOUR copy of XFree86 is more stable because of all the porting and testing the fine folks at the Debian X Strike Force do.

    I just have to say I was glad to wait this long, and good work guys.
  • by Howard Beale (92386) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @11:46AM (#8326799)
    I'm sure you've taking a bunch of crap with 4.3 taking so long to get into unstable (hell, I wanted to flame you once or twice). Anyway, I just want to say you and X Strike Force team do a fantastic job, and THANK YOU!!!

  • Xf86 4.3 has been the only slow-to-accept Debian package which has really bothered me. I mostly just wanted to play with XRandR and get my Ti4800 to read in video. The closed NVidia driver works fine for games and DRI/OpenGL apps.

    So, I installed 4.3 from the experimental release. (Check apt-get.org for details-- it's not an obvious branch to find.) X installed fine, but due to my sloppy dist-upgrade rather than a specific package target, I also got the latest apt, which includes authentication of packa
  • WARNING - melted me (Score:3, Informative)

    by Jebediah21 (145272) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @12:35PM (#8327519) Homepage Journal
    The Debian X packages have a problem with some SiS chipsets!!!

    I installed from Knoppix long ago and having been updating since then. I installed the new X packages and rebooted only to get the dreaded screen "melting" screen that happens with some SiS chips. Problem was this didn't just happen when exiting X, it also happened when starting X. Whoops. Of course the testing and stable trees had the same problems.

    This screwed me of using X unless I wanted to compile the whole thing myself (on a notebook? No thanks). Thankfully I had just imaged my hard disk a few days ago using Knoppix and was able to restore. Look here for instructions [knoppix.net] (hint: start with cheatcodes dma 2 and leave the thing alone while restoring).

    I'll be filing a bug report on this one for sure.
  • Workaround for DRI: (Score:5, Informative)

    by molo (94384) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:20PM (#8328115) Journal
    Here's how you can fix DRI. First, confirm that you are having the same problem:

    $ LIBGL_DEBUG=verbose glxinfo
    [...]
    libGL error: dlopen failed: /usr/X11R6/lib/modules/dri/tdfx_dri.so: undefined symbol: sse_test_dummy
    [...]


    The actual name of the module will vary depending on your hardware.

    You can retrieve the xlibmesa-dri package from experimental, version 4.3.0-0pre1v5 and use this instead of the version from unstable. This works for some reason. Download it here:

    http://packages.debian.org/experimental/x11/xlibme sa-dri [debian.org]

    Enjoy.

    -molo
    • by named (3909)
      Thanks for the info. I'm at work right now so can't try it out, but thought I'd mention an easy way to downgrade (seen elsewhere in this article, and somewhere in the docs) for others who might read this.

      apt-get install xlibmesa-dri/experimental

      I'm pretty sure you've got to have a line in /etc/apt/sources.list for experimental as well
      (deb ftp://ftp.us.debian.org/debian ../project/experimental main contrib non-free)
    • thanks a lot, you saved me a lot of time. it just took me the last two hours to get this far with the ldd cheking. i had an experimental xf4.3 installed before too, and it worked fine. now that i upgrade it breaks (not to mention i had to remove all x-dependend apps and reinstall just for this; okay, maybe my own stupidity). whatever. now im happy. but this one had been gone smoother. chers.
  • XF4.3 (Score:3, Informative)

    by XO (250276) <blade.ericNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:01PM (#8329612) Homepage Journal
    I pulled 4.3.0 out of the "experimental" branch, I believe it was, months ago, already.

    It worked fine, then. So, now that they've moved it to "unstable", it's broken? Great, thanks guys.

    I live in fear of doing "apt-get upgrade" sometimes.

    LOL.. yes, I know runnign a mix of "unstable" and "experimental" branches is just asking for trouble.. but except for a version mismatch that caused apt-get to uninstall more than half of my system a few weeks ago, I've never had any problems.. lol
      1. I live in fear of doing "apt-get upgrade" sometimes.

      Then don't. :)

      Debian gets a lot of attention because of apt, and lots of Debian fanatic^H^H^H^Hs like to trot out apt-get commands to "prove" how easy Debian can be, and to some debatable degree this is true, but when it comes to tracking unstable/experimental, my first recommendation is to not use the command line programs to manage your system! Yes, some Debian folk will label me a heretic for saying that, but my point is, as good as apt is, no syst

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Some packages are up to date in a matter of a day or two, but some you just have to wait ages for. I'd like to see Firefox, KDE 3.2. And lots of little apps/games that aren't updated all the time. For example qtjoypad looks like just what I was looking for but no debs in sight. Compile it myself you say? Well, I was going to but I couldn't properly install qt dev libs because of something with XF86. Apt-get would just tell me needs XXX but it's not going to be installed.

    Some games I've wanted to check
  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Saturday February 21, 2004 @04:58PM (#8351241)
    XFree86 4.3.0 in Debian Unstable

    ./ editors should better proof-read those headlines. When I first read that headline, I expected a flame war.

  • Yes, I'd like to see KDE3.2 too... Why is it taking so long? It's here now for centuries...:P

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