Technology and Trends
 USENET Archives
From: (David Dawes)
Subject: Announcing the Release of XFree86 3.3
Date: 1997/06/06
Message-ID: <5n91un$>
X-Deja-AN: 246666085
Organization: The XFree86 Project, Inc
Newsgroups: comp.unix.bsd.netbsd.announce

                        Announcing the Release of
                             XFree86[tm] 3.3

                               5 June 1997

XFree86 version 3.3 is now available.  The XFree86 3.3 distribution is
available in both source and binary form.  Binary distributions are
currently available for FreeBSD (2.1.7, 2.2.X and 3.0-CURRENT), NetBSD,
OpenBSD, Interactive Unix, Linux (ix86, AXP and m68k), SVR4.0, UnixWare,
OS/2, Solaris 2.5 and LynxOS AT.

The XFree86 documentation is available on-line on our Web server.  The
documentation for 3.3 can be accessed at

The XFree86 FAQ is at

Note that the mirror sites listed below are those that have indicated
that they will be mirroring this release.  Only a small number of sites
have done so at this time.

XFree86 is a port of X11R6.3 that supports several Unix and Unix-like
operating systems on Intel and other platforms.  This release consists
of new features and performance improvements as well as many bug

1.  Thanks

The XFree86 Project wants to express a special thanks to S.u.S.E. GmbH,
Fuerth, Germany, for hiring our Core Team member and Vice President Dirk
Hohndel as an employee and allowing him to work more or less full time
on XFree86 for the past 5 months. Without this significant investment
from S.u.S.E. into XFree86 the 3.3 release would not have been possible
in this form and at this time, and the work on our 4.0 branch wouldn't
be where it is today.

2.  XFree86 and X11R6.3

XFree86 releases starting with the 3.2A beta are based on the X
Consortium's X11R6.3 (the final release from the X Consortium).

R6.3 is an update to R6.1, and is intended to be compatible with R6.1
and R6 at the source and protocol levels.  Binaries should be
upward-compatible.  X11R6.3 includes some new Xserver extensions:
SECURITY, XC-APPGROUP, XpExtension (print extension), and an updated,
and standardised version of LBX.  X11R6.3 also has new standards,
including RX (X Remote Execution MIME type), and a proxy management
protocol.  X11R6.3 includes support for gzipped fonts.

R6.1 is an update to R6, and is intended to be compatible with R6 at
the source and protocol levels.  Binaries should be upward-compatible.
X11R6.1 includes some new Xserver extensions: DOUBLE-BUFFER, XKEYBOARD

What about R6.2?  X11R6.2 is the name given to a subset of X11R6.3,
which has only the print extension and the Xlib implementation of vertical
writing and user-defined character support in addition to those features
included in R6.1.

3.  Revised XFree86 release/access policy

As of March 1997, The XFree86 Project has revised its source/binary
access and release policy.  The main points of the new policy are:
   o There will be no more time-limited public binary-only beta releases.
     Instead we plan to increase the frequency of full public releases
     to about four releases per year.

   o The source access/use is divided into three categories:

	o End users.  End users have access to only the source of full
	  public releases.  The main reason for this restriction is that
	  our development code often contains code from other sources
	  which cannot be released to the public immediately.

	o Active developers (members of the XFree86 ``developer team'').
	  Active developers must formally become non-voting members of
	  the XFree86 Project, and have full access to our internal
	  development source.  They are permitted to make time-limited
	  binaries (in coordination with the Core Team) of the servers
	  they are actively working on available to external testers
	  for specific testing.
	o Commercial members.  Commercial members are non-voting members
	  of The XFree86 Project who donate US$5000/year to the Project.
	  Additionally, companies who contribute significantly to the
	  development effort of XFree86 can be awarded commercial
	  membership by the Core Team on a yearly bases.  Commercial
	  members can use the internal XFree86 development source for
	  derived binary-only products providing that they take full
	  responsibility for supporting the product, and don't call it
	  ``XFree86'' (although the derivation of the product must be
	  acknowledged in any accompanying documentation).  Binary
	  packages for the OSs we support which are simply compiled from
	  our internal source without significant added value are
	  explicitly NOT allowed.

4.  Future Release Plans

This release (3.3) is the final release in the 3.x series.  If any major
problems show up with this release, patches will be made available.
All our current work is now going towards the next release, 4.0, with the
highlight of this being the loadable module code.

5.  New Features in 3.3 

5.1  General

   o XFree86 3.3 includes the X Consortium's X11R6.3.

5.2  General X server changes

   o The X servers include a new DPMS extension, which was donated by
     Digital Equipment Corporation.  Not all DPMS modes have been
     implemented by all servers yet, but this should improve in future
     releases.  See the XF86Config(4/5) and xset(1) man pages for further

   o The LBX extension is included in all the X servers, as part of the
     update to R6.3.

   o A print-only server (Xprt) is included as part of the update to R6.3.

   o Some bugs in the Type1 font code have been fixed.

   o Some bugs in newer functions in the XFree86 VidMode extension have
     been fixed.

   o Support has been added for the Microsoft IntelliMouse.

   o A new XFree86 Acceleration Architecture (XAA) has been added that
     significantly improves the performance of servers using it. See
     the server specific sections below.

5.3  XF86Setup

   o Some bugs have been fixed, but no major changes have been made to
     this version.
   o More modelines were added. There are now high-refresh versions of
     most common modes available (85 and 100 Hz). 512x384, 1152x864,
     1600x1200 and 1800x1440 modes were added.

5.4  PC98 Support

   o The XF98_TGUI server includes XAA support, but there are some
     problems with this at the moment.  It can be disabled with the
     "noaccel" option.

5.5  Alpha (AXP) platform support

   o Support for the S3 ViRGE and ViRGE/VX is now available.
   o Support for "newmmio" is now available for the S3 868/968/Trio64V+
     and is enabled by default (use chipset "mmio_928" to get the old

   o Support for the Matrox Millennium and Mystique (in the SVGA server)
     is included.
   o Support for the Trident driver (in the SVGA server) is included.
   o Some problems that showed up with Netscape on some servers have
     been fixed.
   o Various alignment problems have been fixed.
   o NOTE: A recent Linux kernel version is required for most of these
     servers (essential for the Matrox driver).
   o Scanpci now works on Alpha platforms.
5.6  XInput Extension
   o Multiple input devices can share the core pointer.

5.6.1  Wacom driver
   o Multiple devices can be defined for the same tablet to represent
     different active zones.

5.7  XKEYBOARD Extension

   o An improved layout for Russian keyboards is provided.
   o A layout for Hungarian keyboards is provided.
5.8  SVGA server
   o A new general graphics acceleration interface (XFree86 Acceleration
     Architecture - XAA) has been implemented.  It is used to provide
     relatively complete acceleration, at different colour depths, for
     several chips in the SVGA server.  Chips currently making use of
     this include the Matrox Millennium, Mystique, Tseng ET4000/W32p
     and ET6000, and several chips from ARK Logic, Chips and Technologies,
     Cirrus, Trident, SiS and the S3 ViRGE family.

   o The SVGA server now includes a driver for the S3 ViRGE family. It
     supports the ViRGE, ViRGE/DX, ViRGE/GX and ViRGE/VX. This driver
     is a completely new implementation, so please send in success/failure
     reports.  The older S3V server still exists, and that people having
     problems with the S3V/SVGA driver should try the S3V server.

5.9  S3 server

   o Some further S3 968 hardware bugs for lines/text have been worked
   o Cursor/pointer pixmaps larger than 64x64 are now supported without
     the need to use the "sw_cursor" option.
   o Detection/support for the Trio64UV+, Trio64V2 (including the /DX
     and /GX versions), Aurora64V+ (86CM65 used in notebooks), and
     Plato/PX is now included.  This support is very new and hasn't had
     much testing, so please send us success/failure reports.
   o Support is now included for the ELSA Winner 2000PRO/X-8.  Please
     refer to the notes for this card in README.S3.
   o Support is now included for the MIRO 80SV.
   o A bug which prevented DGA apps from setting the ViewPort to the
     lower part of the framebuffer has been fixed (this showed up most
     commonly with 4MB cards).
5.10  S3V (ViRGE) server
   o Support has been added for the ViRGE/DX and ViRGE/GX.

   o Problems with the Diamond Stealth 3D 3000 are now fixed.
   o The line drawing code has been improved.

   o Packed 24bpp support is included, and should be improved over
     earlier versions.
   o The S3V server translates between sparse 32bpp pixmaps and packed
     24bpp for the framebuffer.  In some cases this can be slow.

   o 32bpp framebuffer format is not supported.

   o There is also a ViRGE driver in the SVGA server.
5.11  Mach64 server
   o Support for 3D Rage II based Mach64 cards is included. 
   o Various problems with support for some revisions of CT, VT and GT
     chipsets have been fixed.
   o It is strongly recommended that all users with CT, VT, GT and 3D
     Rage II based Mach64 cards upgrade to the 3.3 release due to the
     problems that were fixed.
5.12  Mach32 server

   o A bug that causes problems when running XF86Setup with cards with
     less than 2MB of video memory has been fixed.
   o Minor shifts in maximum clock rate under 16 bpp, and inclusion of
     explicit 15 "bpp" setting.

5.13  W32 server
   o In this version, the separate W32 server (XF86_W32) has not undergone
     any significant changes. In fact, it is not being developed further.
     Instead, the SVGA server (XF86_SVGA) is now the main focus of new
     developments. See the W32 (SVGA) description.
5.14  P9000 server
   o Support for PCI probing has been added.

   o DPMS support has been added.
5.15  I128 server

   o Some preliminary acceleration (for bitblts) is included.  This code
     is very new, and hasn't been extensively tested yet.

5.16  TGA server
   o Preliminary acceleration support is included, using XAA.

   o Various bugs have been fixed.
5.17  Trident driver (SVGA server)
   o Acceleration support has been added for the 9320, 9440 and 96xx chips.

   o Support for the Cyber series of laptop chips has been improved.
   o 24/32bpp support has been added for some chips.
   o Some clock limits have been fixed.
5.18  Ark driver (SVGA server)

   o More complete acceleration has been implemented using XAA, including
     line draw, fill, and text acceleration, at different colour depths.

5.19  W32 driver (SVGA server)
   o The SVGA server now supports acceleration for the most recent
     ET4000W32 chips. In 3.3, the ET4000W32p chips are now fully
     accelerated, and also support the higher performing linear memory
     layout (read the tseng README file for more information: there are
     a few problems).

   o VESA DPMS (monitor power saving) support was added.
   o There is now support for more than 256 colors on most ET4000W32i
     and ET4000W32p chips. This means 15, 16, 24 and/or 32 bits per
     pixel modes (32768, 65536 or 16 million colors) are supported on
     most common RAMDACs.  On the W32p, these modes are accelerated. On
     the W32i, there is no acceleration in any mode. For accelerated
     support on W32i chips, refer to the separate W32 server (XF86_W32).
   o A few bugs in XFree86 3.2 and 3.2A have been fixed. Most importantly
     the failure to probe some PCI cards has been resolved.
   o Fix interference with ISA-DMA sensitive devices (soundcards,
     floppy-tape drives)

   o Support for the Chrontel RAMDAC has been added.
5.20  ET6000 driver (SVGA server)
   o The ET6000 driver in the separate W32 server (XF86_W32) has not
     changed significantly.
   o On the other hand, the ET6000 driver in the SVGA server, which
     already existed in XFree86 3.2 for all color depths, is now fully
     accelerated for all those color depths. It builds upon the new XAA
     architecture, which is the cornerstone of a new acceleration
     framework within the XFree86 servers. It is responsible for the
     outstanding acceleration performance of this release.
   o Many small problems which existed in the initial 3.2 release have
     been solved. Screen noise, flicker or instability at higher pixel
     clocks are mostly fixed. Some detection problems are gone. Weird
     behaviour (jumping and screen wrap) when panning through large
     virtual desktops has been fixed. The server now detects the correct
     amount of memory on ET6000 cards with 2.25 MB of MDRAM. More
     realistic pixel clock rate limits have been put in place, to avoid
     modes that would cause screen problems.
   o DPMS support was added.
   o The ET6000 hardware cursor is now supported. Read the Tseng
     documentation file for more information (there are a few limitations).
   o fix interference with ISA-DMA sensitive devices (soundcards,
     floppy-tape drives)

5.21  Alliance ProMotion driver (SVGA server)
   o The driver now recognises the AT24 chipset, but it is treated the
     same way as the AP6422.
5.22  Matrox driver (SVGA server)

   o More complete acceleration for the Millennium (MGA2064W).
   o Support is included for the Mystique (including some acceleration).
     This code is very new.
   o 24 bpp mode tiled pattern problems still present.
   o Support for DGA, Sync-on-Green, and DPMS.
   o The "nolinear" option is no longer available.
   o Support for 8 bits per colour component (at 8bpp) has been added.
5.23  Cirrus driver (SVGA server)

   o More complete acceleration for all chips with a BitBLT engine
     (CL-GD5426, 5428, 5429, 5430, 5434, 5436, 5440, 5446, 7541, 7543,
     and 7548).
   o More complete acceleration for Laguna series chips (CL-GD546X).

   o The support for the 754x series of laptop controllers has been
   o The 24bpp mode on the CL-GD5430/40 has been fixed.

   o Support for the CL-GD5480 has been added.
5.24  SiS driver (SVGA server)
   o Significant updates have been made to the SiS driver (see README.SiS
     for further details).
   o Acceleration support is included, making use of XAA.
   o Linear addressing is supported.
   o Support has been added for 15/16/24bpp.
   o Support has been added for programmable clocks.
   o HW cursor support is included.
5.25  Chips and Technologies driver (SVGA server)
   o Support has been included for the 65525, 65535, 64200 and 64300.

   o Problems relating to blank screen at start-up and text mode
     restoration with the 65550 and 65554 should now be fixed.

   o Acceleration support for all chips has improved due to the new XAA
   o Many additional minor fixes and documentation updates (see
     README.chips for further details).
5.26  S3 ViRGE driver (SVGA server) 
   o Completely new driver for the ViRGE family. The driver works with
     linear addressing and PCI chipsets.
   o Acceleration support uses the XAA architecture.
   o The driver supports 8/15/16/24/32 bpp on all cards.

   o Acceleration includes bitblits, filled rectangles, color expansion
     and pattern fills (8/15/16/24 bpp). Acceleration at 32 bpp is
     limited to bit blits and filled rectangles.
   o Includes HW cursor support.

   o See README.S3V for further details.

   o If you have problems with this driver, try the separate S3V server.
5.27  WD90C24 driver (SVGA server)
   o DPMS support is included (only for "off" mode so far).
5.28  Compaq AVGA driver (SVGA server)

   o The Compaq AVGA driver has been resurrected.  The bugs causing it
     to not work in some previous releases have been fixed.

5.29  Hercules mono driver
   o The problems with the Hercules mono driver in previous releases
     has now been fixed, and the driver is included in this release.
5.30  Client/Library changes
   o The libraries have been updated to R6.3.  The shared lib version
     numbers for libXext and libICE have been bumped to 6.3.  The others
     remain the same.

   o An Xlib problem with non-latin-1 encodings that shows up when using
     XKB is fixed.
   o All the currently known Xlib and Xt security vulnerabilities have been
   o Xterm's emulation of DECUDK (DEC user-defined keys) now (correctly)
     interprets shifted keys only.
   o VT52 emulation has been added to xterm.

   o Xterm's VT100 emulation generates correct codes for PF1-PF4, as
     well as the keypad "+" and ",".  These codes differ from the VT220
   o Some xterm bugs have been fixed, including coloured background
     exposure while selection is active, and missing state changes in
     the VT100 emulation.
   o Xterm's memory requirements for colour have been reduced.  The
     colour resource file is merged with the regular resource file to
     reduce installation problems.

   o Emulation of VT220 soft-reset, and non-DEC REP (repeat) control
     sequence has been added to xterm.
   o Xterm now recognizes control sequences for 16 colors (from aixterm).
   o Xset includes support for the DPMS extension. 

   o Xset's "r rate" flag was broken on some OSs, and is now fixed.
5.31  xf86config utility
   o More modelines were added. There are now high-refresh versions of
     most common modes available (85 and 100 Hz). 512x384, 1152x864,
     1600x1200 and 1800x1440 modes were added.
5.32  SuperProbe
   o Add detection of Alliance Pro Motion chips. 

   o Add detection of I128-2.
   o Add detection of S3 Trio64UV+ and Aurora64V+, Trio64V2/DX and /GX,
     S3 ViRGE/DX and /GX and Plato/PX.
   o Add detection of Matrox chips.
   o Add detection of newer Trident chips, including the Cyber series.
   o Fix detection of ET4000W32 chips, and their memory probing.

   o Add detection of newer ATI chips.
   o Add detection of STG170x and CH8398 RAMDACs
   o Add detection of Sigma Designs REALMagic
   o Add detection of 3DLabs GLINT
5.33  Fonts

   o Gzipped fonts are now supported.

6.  Source and binary archive sites

Source patches are available to upgrade X11R6.3 PL1 from the X Consortium
to XFree86 3.3.  Binaries for many OSs are also available.  The distribution
is available from:

and the following mirror sites:
   o North America:

        o (source and binaries)
        o (source and binaries)

        o and
          (source and binaries)

        o (source and binaries)

        o (source and binaries)

   o Europe:

        o (source and binaries)

        o and
 (source and binaries)

        o (source and binaries)

        o (source and binaries)

        o (source and Linux

        o (source and binaries)

        o (source and binaries)

        o (source and binaries)

        o (source and binaries)

        o (source and binaries)

   o Asia/Australia:

        o (source and binaries)

        o (source and binaries)

Ensure that you are getting XFree86 3.3 - some of these sites may archive older
releases as well.  Check the RELNOTES to find which files you need to take from
the archive.

David Dawes                                   Email:
The XFree86 Project, Inc                      Phone: +61 2 9351 2639
c/- School of Physics,                        Fax:   +61 2 9351 7726
University of Sydney 2006 AUSTRALIA
You came along for a weekend, but you only stayed for one night.
You took off your hair, you pulled out your teeth.  I almost died of fright.
    -- Deep Purple "Living Wreck"