Article: 251 of comp.os.linux.announce
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.announce
Subject: Announcing the release of XFree86 1.2
Message-ID: <>
Originator: mdw@db.TC.Cornell.EDU
Keywords: XFree86 v1.2
Organization: AT&T
Date: Sun, 14 Feb 1993 23:55:03 GMT
Approved: (Matt Welsh)
Lines: 316

[ Yep, it's what you've all been waiting for.    --mdw ]

                         Announcing XFree86 1.2
			    February 15, 1993

    1) What is XFree86?
    2) What's new in XFree86 1.2?
    3) XFree86 features
    4) Systems XFree86 has been tested on
    5) Supported video-card chip-sets
    6) Where to get more information
    7) Credits
    8) Contact information
    9) Source and binary archive sites

1 - What is XFree86?
  XFree86 is a port of X11R5 that supports several versions of
Intel-based Unix.  It is derived from X386 1.2, which was the X server
distributed with X11R5.  This release consists of many new features
and performance improvements as well as many bug fixes.  The release
is available as source patches against the MIT X11R5 code, as well as
binary distributions for many architectures.

Note that while the server binaries and the source tree retain the
name X386 name (for simplicity of maintenance of the source tree), there
is no connection between XFree86 and the commercial X386 product sold
by SGCS.  The XFree86 Core Team maintains technical contacts with SGCS
in an effort to keep user-affecting changes to the workings of the products
from diverging too radically.  There is no direct involvement of either
group in the workings of the other.

For the statistics addicts amongst us:
	Lines of code added/deleted/changed in XFree86 1.2 vs X11R5 PL22:
		Added = 45228
		Deleted = 840
		Changed = 1809
	Lines of code added/deleted/changed in XFree86 1.2 vs XFree86 1.1:
		Added = 20755
		Deleted = 2164
		Changed = 1719

2 - What's new in XFree86 1.2?
  The following items have been added since XFree86 1.1 was released in
October 1992:

    1) MIT public fixes to X11R5 up to fix-22 have been incorporated
    2) The monochrome server has been enhanced to do bank-switching of
       available SVGA memory to allow virtual screens up to 1600x1200 
       (see the X386(1) manual page for more information).
    3) Support for the Hercules mono card has been added to the
       monochrome server, and with it the ability to support a "two
       headed" server - one VGA, and one Hercules.  So far this has only
       been tested on SVR4.
    4) SVR3 shared libraries, tested under ISC SVR3 2.2 and 3.0.1.
    5) Support for SVR4.2 (There are some special considerations to
       consider, due to new USL bugs; see the README.SVR4 file for
       more information.)
    6) Support for the Trident TVGA9000 chip-set (this implementation is
       not well tested yet, and is a bit idiosyncratic; see the 
       README.trident file for more information).
    7) Support for PS/2 mice, and Logitech MouseMan/TrackMan (some 
       versions of these devices were not previously compatible).
    8) Support for Holger Veit's enhanced console driver for 386BSD 0.1.
    9) A new tutorial on how to develop correct video card and monitor
       timing data, written by Eric Raymond (derived from previous
       documentation and a lot of experimentation).
   10) Greatly improved support for international keyboards, including
       implementation of the Compose key functionality found on many 
       vendor servers (see the X386keybd(1) manual page for more 
   11) The accuracy with which the server detects SVGA pixel clocks has
       been improved, and the timings are now stored at accuracies of
       0.1 MHz.  Users may want to consider removing an existing Clocks
       line from their Xconfig file and re-probing using the new server.
   12) Many enhancements in error handling and parsing of the Xconfig
       configuration file.  Error messages are much more informative
       and intuitive, and more validation is done.  There are many new
       options that can be enabled in the Xconfig file (see the X386(1) 
       manual page for more information on the format of this file).

Plus a number of other small things.  Refer to the CHANGELOG file in
the source distribution for full details.

3 - XFree86 Features
  Here is a list of the other significant features that XFree86 adds over
stock X386 1.2 (X11R5):

    1) The SpeedUp package from Glenn Lai is an integral part of XFree86,
       selectable at run-time via the Xconfig file.  Some SpeedUps require
       an ET4000 based SVGA, and others require a virtual screen width of
       1024.  The SpeedUps suitable to the configuration are selected by
       default.  With a high-quality ET4000 board (VRAM), this can yield
       up to 40% improvement of the xStones benchmark over X386 1.2.
    2) The fX386 packages from Jim Tsillas are included as the default
       operating mode if SpeedUp is not selected.  This mode is now
       equivalent in performance to X386 1.1b (X11R4), and approximately
       20% faster than X386 1.2.
    3) Support for LOCALCONN, compile-time selectable for server, clients,
       or both.  This support is for both SVR3.2 and SVR4.  For SVR4.0.4
       with the 'Advanced Compatibility Package', local connections from
       SCO XSight/ODT clients are supported.
    4) Drivers for ATI and Trident TVGA8900C and TVGA9000 SVGA chipsets.
       Refer to the files README.ati and README.trident for details about
       the ATI and Trident drivers.
    5) Support for compressed bitmap fonts has been added (Thomas Eberhardt's
       code from the contrib directory on
    6) Type1 Font code from MIT contrib tape has been included, and is
       compile-time selectable.  There are contributed Type1 fonts in the
       contrib directory on
    7) New configuration method which allows the server's drivers and font
       renderers to be reconfigured from both source and binary

4 - Systems XFree86 has been tested on
	Esix: 4.0.3A, 4.0.4
	Microport: 3.1, 4.1
	Dell: 2.1, 2.2
	UHC: 2.0, 3.6
	Consensys: 1.2
	MST: 4.0.3
	ISC: 4.0.3
	AT&T: 2.1, 4.0


	Interactive: 2.2, 3.0
	AT&T: 3.2.2

	386BSD 0.1
	Mach 386

5 - Supported video-card chipsets
  At this time, XFree86 1.2 support the following SVGA chipsets:
    Tseng ET4000
    Tseng ET3000
    Paradise PVGA1
    Western Digital WD90C00, WD90C10, WD90C11 (these are supersets of
      the PVGA1, and use its driver)
    Genoa GVGA
    Trident TVGA8900C, TVGA9000
    ATI 18800, 28800
All of the above are supported in both 256 color and monochrome modes,
with the exception of the ATI chipsets, which are only supported in
256 color mode.

The monochrome server also supports generic VGA cards, using 64k of
video memory in a single bank, and the Hercules card.  On the
ET3000, only 64k of video memory is supported for the monochrome
server, and the GVGA has not been tested with more than 64k.

It appears that some of the SVGA card manufacturers are going to
non-traditional mechanisms for selecting pixel-clock frequencies.  To
avoid having to modify the server to accommodate these schemes XFree86
1.2 adds support for using an external program to select the pixel
clock.  This allows programs to be written as new mechanisms are
discovered.  Refer to the README.clkprog file for information on how
these programs work, if you need to write one.  If you do develop such
a program, we would be interested in including it with future XFree86

NOTE: The Diamond SpeedStar 24 (and possibly recent SpeedStar+) boards
      are NOT supported, even though they use the ET4000.  The reason
      for this is that Diamond has changed the mechanism used to select
      pixel clock frequencies, and will only release programming information
      under non-disclosure.  We are not willing to do this (as it would
      mean that source cannot be provided).  We have had discussions with
      Diamond over this, and they do not intend to change this policy.
      Hence we will do nothing to support Diamond products going forward
      (i.e. don't send us a program to run set their clocks).

A final mention must be made of accelerated chipsets.  At this point,
XFree86 does not support any accelerated chipsets.  These include the
S3 86Cxxx, the ATI Mach8 and Mach32, the IBM 8514/A, the new Western
Digital chipset (on the Diamond SpeedStar 24X), the new Cirrus and Tseng
chipsets, and TIGA (TI 340x0).  Some of these may be supported in the 
future, but we make no promises.

6 - Where to get more information
  Additional documentation is available in the X386(1) and X386keybd(1)
manual pages.  In addition, several README files and tutorial documents
are provided.  These are available in /usr/X386/lib/X11/etc in the
binary distributions, and in mit/server/ddx/x386 and ddx/x386/etc in the
source distribution.

  If you are totally at a loss, you can contact the XFree86 Core Team
at the electronic mail address below.

7 - Credits

XFree86 was originally put together by:
       David Dawes <>
       Glenn Lai <>
       Jim Tsillas <>
       David Wexelblat <>

386BSD support by:
       Amancio Hasty Jr <>
       Rich Murphey <>

Original 386BSD port by:
       Pace Willison

Mach 386 support by:
       Robert Baron <>

Linux support by:
       Orest Zborowski <>

SVR3 shared libraries by:
       Thomas Wolfram <>

ATI driver by:
       Rik Faith <>

Trident driver by:
       Alan Hourihane <>

Configurable MFB and Hercules driver by:
       Davor Matic < dmatic@Athena.MIT.EDU>

X386 1.2, and moral support from:
       Thomas Roell <>
       Mark Snitily <>

Other contributors:
       Gertjan Akkerman <> (Trident 9000)
       Bob Crosson <> (video mode documentation)
       Thomas Eberhardt <> (compressed fonts)
       Eric Raymond <> (new video mode documentation)

       and an entire horde of beta-testers around the world!

8 - Contact information
  Ongoing development planning and support is coordinated by the XFree86 Core
Team.  At this time the Core Team consists of (in alphabetical order):

       Robert Baron <>
       David Dawes <>
       Glenn Lai <>
       Rich Murphey <>
       Jim Tsillas <>
       David Wexelblat <>
       Orest Zborowski <>

e-mail sent to <> will reach all of us.

9 - Source and binary archive sites
  Source patches based on X11R5 PL22, from MIT, are available via 
anonymous FTP from: (under /contrib/XFree86) (under /XFree86) (under /pub/XFree86)

Refer to the README file under the specified directory for information 
on which files you need to get to build your distribution (which will
depend on whether this is a new installation or an upgrade from an
earlier version of XFree86).

Binaries are available via anonymous FTP from:            - SVR4 binaries
                under /XFree86/SVR4                  - SVR4 binaries
                under /pub/XFree86/SVR4                 - SVR4 binaries
                under /pub/SVR4/XFree86               - SVR4 binaries
                under /pub/XFree86/SVR4        - SVR3 (ISC) binaries
                under /pub/ISC            - SVR3 (ISC) binaries
                under /pub/pc/isc/XFree86                  - Linux binaries
                under /pub/linux/packages/X11              - 386BSD binaries
                under /pub/386BSD/0.1-ports/XFree86              - 386BSD binaries
                under /pub/386bsd/submissions/XFree86                  - Mach386 binaries
                under /i386

Ensure that you are getting XFree86 1.2 - some of these sites may archive
older releases as well.  Each binary distribution will contain a README
file that describes what files you need to take from the archive, and
which compile-time option selections were made when building the distribution.

David Wexelblat <>  (908) 957-5871
AT&T Bell Laboratories, 200 Laurel Ave - 3F-428, Middletown, NJ  07748

"In and around the lake, mountains come out of the sky.  They stand there."
	-- Yes, Roundabout

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