From: d...@AIB.COM (David E. Wexelblat)
Subject: Announcing the release of XFree86 2.1
Date: 15 Mar 1994 16:00:31 -0000
Organization: Virtual Technologies Inc.
Lines: 619
Distribution: inet
Message-ID: <>

			Announcing the Release of
			     XFree86[TM] 2.1

			      March 15, 1994

    1) What is XFree86?
    2) What's new in XFree86 2.1?
    3) XFree86 features
    4) Systems XFree86 has been tested on
    5) Supported video-card chip-sets
    6) Where to get more information
    7) Bugs known fixed in XFree86 vs stock X11R5
    8) Known bugs in XFree86
    9) Credits
   10) The XFree86 Project, Inc.
   11) Contact information
   12) Source and binary archive sites

1 - What is XFree86?
XFree86 is a port of X11R5 that supports several versions of Intel-based
Unix and Unix-like operating systems.  The XFree86 servers are 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 source and installation trees retain the 'X386'
name (for simplicity of maintenance of the source tree), there is no
connection between XFree86 and the commercial X386 product formerly
sold by SGCS.  The XFree86 Core Team has maintained technical contacts 
with SGCS in an effort to keep user-affecting changes to the workings 
of the products from diverging too radically (although this has happened
anyhow over the course of time).  There is no direct involvement of either 
group in the workings of the other.

			****News Flash****

At this time, the XFree86 Core Team is pursuing the legal work to complete
the formation of The XFree86 Project, Inc, a not-for-profit corporation.
The paperwork is with the lawyers, and this incorporation should be
complete in the near future.  See the section on The XFree86 Project, Inc,
later in this document for more information.

2 - What's new in XFree86 2.1?
XFree86 2.1 is not a huge release compared to prior XFree86 releases.  There
are a number of reasons for this, including the fact that two of the Core
Team members have moved and started new employment, significantly cutting into
their time for XFree86 work.  In addition, we are hard at work on merging
XFree86 with the upcoming X11R6.  Many new features have been put on hold
while this integration is done, so that a stable and viable X11R6 release
can be developed.  XFree86 3.0 will be released on the X11R6 contributed
software distribution, and it is our intention that many of these features
will be present in that release.

The following items have been added since XFree86 2.0 was released in
October 1993:

    1) The X Consortium's fix-26 is included.
    2) Support for pixel multiplexing has been added for Mach32 boards
       with ATI68875, TLC34075 or Bt885 RAMDACs.  This allows dot clocks
       up to 135MHz to be used with these boards.
    3) Support for the TI ViewPoint 3020 RAMDAC used on the #9 GXe
       Level 14 and 16 cards has been added, supporting dot clocks up to
       135MHz and 200MHz respectively.
    4) Support for pixel multiplexing (and thus dot clocks up to 135MHz)
       has been added for the SPEA Mercury cards (S3 928 + Bt485).  This
       has *not* been tested on other 928 + Bt485 cards.
    5) Performance improvements for some of the accelerated servers.
    6) Support has been added for all the display widths available with
       the S3 chips.  In addition to the 1024 and 1280 widths supported
       by XFree86 2.0, there is now support for 640, 800 and 2048 with
       all 801, 805 and 928 chips.  1152 is supported with 801/5 chips
       at revision C or later.  1152 and 1600 are supported with 928
       chips at revision E or later.  Note that this change should make
       XFree86 viable on 512k boards.
    7) Support for 8-bit resolution RGB values (as opposed to the
       standard VGA 6-bit resolution) for S3 cards with AT&T20C490/1,
       Sierra SC15025 or Ti3020 RAMDACs, and for Mach32 cards with
       ATI68875, TLC34075 or Bt885 RAMDACs.
    8) Support for DRAM based S3 cards using slow memory has been
    9) Accelerated support for the Cirrus chipsets has been enhanced and
       extended to include the lower-end chipsets (5420, 5422, 5424).
   10) The pvga1 driver can now access all the clocks on boards using the
       WD90C30 and WD90C31 chips.
   11) The 16 colour generic VGA server has been extended to include
       banked memory support on selected chipsets.  This allows it to
       make full use of the available video memory on these boards.  This
       server now includes support for GrayScale and StaticGray visuals
       which makes for better use on many laptops.
   12) Support for the Sigma LaserView and Visa monochrome boards has
       been added to the bdm2 driver in the Mono server.
   13) Support for Solaris x86 2.1 has been added.
   14) Support is included for shared libraries on FreeBSD-1.1 and
       NetBSD-current (0.9 based) systems.
   15) The SuperProbe program introduced with XFree86 1.3 has been updated
       to detect more chipsets, to detect installed video memory,  and to 
       be more reliable overall.
   16) Several dozen bug fixes for problems detected and reported for
       XFree86 2.0.

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) New servers to support S3, ATI and 8514 accelerated hardware, and 
       support for Cirrus and Western Digital accelerated hardware in
       the SVGA server.
    2) The SpeedUp package from Glenn Lai is an integral part of the 
       SVGA server, 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, this can yield up to 40% improvement of the Xstones 
       benchmark over X386 1.2.
    3) The fX386 packages from Jim Tsillas are included as the default
       operating mode of the SVGA server 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.
    4) A monochrome server that supports bank-switching of available SVGA
       memory to allow virtual screens up to 1600x1200.
    5) Support for the Hercules mono card in the monochrome server, and 
       with it the ability to support a "two headed" server - one mono 
       VGA, and one Hercules.
    6) Support for Hyundai HGC1280, Sigma LaserView and Visa monochrome
       graphics card in the monochrome server.
    7) A 16-color VGA server is included, which supports generic VGA
    8) SVR3 shared libraries, tested under ISC SVR3 2.0.2, 2.2, 3.0.1 and
       4.0; SCO 3.2.2, 3.2.4.
    9) Support for Linux, 386BSD, NetBSD, FreeBSD, BSD/386, Mach, OSF/1,
       SVR4.2, SCO, Solaris 2.1, Amoeba, and Minix-386. Including shared
       libraries for Linux, FreeBSD and NetBSD.
   10) Support for LOCALCONN.  This support is for both SVR3.2 and SVR4.
       For SVR4.0.4 with the 'Advanced Compatibility Package' and on
       SVR4.2, local connections from SCO XSight/ODT clients are supported.
   11) Drivers for ATI, Trident, NCR, Compaq, Cirrus, and OAK SVGA chipsets.
       Refer to chipset-specific README files for details about these
   12) Support for compressed bitmap fonts has been added (Thomas
       Eberhardt's code from the contrib directory on
   13) 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
   14) New configuration method which allows the server's drivers and font
       renderers to be reconfigured from both source and binary
   15) Greatly improved documentation and configuration databases are
   16) 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).
   17) Greatly improved support for international keyboards, including
       implementation of the Compose key functionality found on many
       vendor servers.
   18) 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.

4 - Systems XFree86 has been tested on
	Esix: 4.0.3A, 4.0.4,
	Microport: 2.2, 3.1, 4.1, 4.2
	Dell: 2.1, 2.2
	UHC: 2.0, 3.6
	Consensys: 1.2
	MST: 4.0.3 (Load 2.07 and Load 3.02)
	ISC: 4.0.3
	AT&T: 2.1, 4.0
	SunSoft: Solaris x86 2.1

	Univel UnixWare

	Interactive: 2.0.2, 2.2, 3.0, 4.0
	SCO: 3.2.2, 3.2.4
	AT&T: 3.2.2

	386BSD 0.1, NetBSD 0.9, FreeBSD 1.1(beta)
	BSD/386 1.0
	Mach 386
	Linux 0.99pl15h

5 - Supported video-card chipsets
At this time, XFree86 2.1 supports the following accelerated chipsets:

    8514/A (and true clones)
    ATI Mach8, Mach32
    Cirrus CLGD5420, CLGD5422, CLGD5424, CLGD5426, CLGD5428
    S3 86C911, 86C924, 86C801, 86C805, 86C805i, 86C928
    Western Digital WD90C31

The Cirrus and Western Digital accelerators are supported in the SVGA
server; the other chipsets each have their own server.  A list of cards
on which the accelerated servers have been tested is included in the file
AccelCards.  They may well work on other cards, but we cannot guarantee it.
In addition, the following SVGA chipsets are supported:
    Tseng ET3000, ET4000AX, ET4000/W32
    Western Digital/Paradise PVGA1
    Western Digital WD90C00, WD90C10, WD90C11, WD90C24, WD90C30, WD90C31
    Genoa GVGA
    Trident TVGA8800CS, TVGA8900B, TVGA8900C, TVGA8900CL, TVGA9000,
	    TVGA9000i, TVGA9100B, TVGA9200CX, TVGA9320, TVGA9400CX, TVGA9420
    ATI 28800-4, 28800-5, 28800-a
    NCR 77C22, 77C22E, 77C22E+
    Cirrus Logic CLGD5420, CLGD5422, CLGD5424, CLGD5426, CLGD5428
		 CLGD6205, CLGD6215, CLGD6225, CLGD6235
    Compaq AVGA
    OAK OTI067, OTI077
All of the above are supported in both 256 color and monochrome modes,
with the exception of the ATI and Cirrus chipsets, which are only
supported in 256 color mode.  

Refer to the chipset-specific README files (currently for Tseng, Western
Digital, ATI, and Trident) for more information about using those chipsets.

The monochrome server also supports generic VGA cards, using 64k of video
memory in a single bank, the Hercules monochrome card, the Hyundai
HGC1280, Sigma LaserView and Visa monochrome cards.  On the Compaq AVGA,
only 64k of video memory is supported for the monochrome server, and the
GVGA has not been tested with more than 64k.

The VGA16 server has not been as extensively tested and debugged as the
others, but it should work rather well (but slowly) on most hardware.
This server supports memory banking with the ET4000 and Trident chipsets
allowing virtual display sizes up to about 1600x1200 (with 1MB of video
memory).  For other chipsets the display size is limited to approximately

Some of the SVGA card manufacturers are using non-traditional mechanisms 
for selecting pixel-clock frequencies.  To avoid having to modify the 
server to accommodate these schemes XFree86 1.2 added 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 releases.

NOTE: The Diamond SpeedStar 24 (and possibly recent SpeedStar+) boards are
      NOT supported, even though they use the ET4000. The same is true
      for all of Diamond's S3 boards. 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 to set their clocks).  XFree86
      DOES NOT SUPPORT DIAMOND HARDWARE.  It is possible to make some
      of it work, but we will not assist in doing this.

      Diamond's Cirrus-based boards should work with XFree86 because they
      use the standard Cirrus clock synthesiser.  This includes the
      SpeedStar Pro and possibly the SpeedStar 64.

6 - Where to get more information
Additional documentation is available in the XFree86(1), Xconfig(4/5),
XF86_SVGA(1), XF86_Mono(1), XF86_VGA16(1), XF86_Accel(1) and XF86keybd(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

The files README.Config and VideoModes.doc should be consulted for 
information on how to set up the XFree86 servers.  All supplied documents
and manual pages should be read before contacting the XFree86 team for

Documentation on SVGA driver development can be found in the directory
/usr/X386/lib/Server/VGADriverDoc in the binary distribution, and in the
directory mit/server/ddx/x386/VGADriverDoc in the source distribution.

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

There is a Usenet news group that contains
mostly discussions about XFree86 and related topics. Many questions can
be answered there. The answers to common questions are found in the
corresponding FAQ.

7 - Bugs known fixed in XFree86 vs stock X11R5
    1) Server now traps and exits cleanly if unexpected signals are
       received (a core is still generated for debugging).  There is an
       Xconfig option to disable this trapping.
    2) VT switching (on OS's that support the feature) is more robust.
       The server will no longer crash nor will the screen get corrupted
       as a result of starting or exiting clients while switched away.
       Also, the screen saver is turned off when switching back so you
       don't return to a blank screen.  These changes also ensure that xdm
       shuts down cleanly, and allow multiple servers to be active
    3) Many bugs in the frame buffer code have been fixed.
    4) The use of xdm with xqueue under SVR4 has been fixed.
    5) The maximum number of server connections is now correctly
       determined for SVR4 by making use of getrlimit().
    6) The default pointer button mapping has been fixed.
    7) xterm no longer tries to open /dev/tty[psr]?? for SVR4.  This
       speeds up the startup time for xterm, as well as keeping it from
       using the wrong pty's on SVR4.0.4.
    8) xconsole fixed to use /dev/osm (SVR4 and some SVR3.2) for OS messages.
    9) A bug with XDM-AUTHORIZATION-1 which caused strange problems with
       some hardware has been fixed.
   10) The xman scroll bug has been fixed.
   11) Improved the accuracy of the server's probe for pixel clock
   12) Redefined the handling of the numeric keypad, so that it works
       correctly with Xt-based applications (translation problems
   13) Plugged security risk related to suid-root execution of the server.

8 - Known bugs in XFree86
    1) There are some problems with some of the 'xset fp' operations (in
       particular 'xset fp rehash').  These seem to be caused by memory
       allocation/deallocation problems in the server's font code.  We
       believe that we have worked around this problem, but have not yet
       solved the root cause.
    2) While not strictly a bug, there is currently a limitation on the
       dot-clock frequencies allowed with the S3 server.  For S3 cards
       with the Bt485 RAMDAC (e.g. #9 GXe), the limit is 85Mhz.  There
       is some special programming required to use these RAMDACs at higher
       dot-clocks, and we were not able to get it fully developed in
       time.  An exception to this is the SPEA Mercury card which is
       supported at dot clocks up to 135MHz.

We welcome reports of bugs sent to the electronic mail address listed

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

386BSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD  support by:
       Rich Murphey <>
Original 386BSD port by:
       Pace Willison
       Amancio Hasty Jr <>
Mach 386 support by:
       Robert Baron <>
Linux support by:
       Orest Zborowski <>
SCO Unix support by:
       David McCullough <>
Amoeba support by:
       Kees Verstoep <>
Minix-386 support by:
       Philip Homburg <>
OSF/1 support by:
       Marc Evans <M...@Synergytics.Com>
BSD/386 support by:
       Hans Nasten <>
       Paul Vixie <>
Solaris support by:
       Doug Anson <>
       David Holland <>
SVR3 shared libraries by:
       Thomas Wolfram <>
Linux shared libraries by:
       Dirk Hohndel <>

Original accelerated code by:
       Kevin Martin <>
       Rik Faith <>
       Jon Tombs <>
S3 accelerated code by:
       Jon Tombs <>
       David Wexelblat <> <>
       David Dawes <>
       Robin Cutshaw <>
       Amancio Hasty <>
Mach32 accelerated code by:
       Kevin Martin <>
       Rik Faith <>
       Mike Bernson <>
       Mark Weaver <>
       Craig Groeschel <>
Mach8, 8514 accelerated code by:
       Kevin Martin <>
       Rik Faith <>
       Tiago Gons <>
       Hans Nasten <>
       Scott Laird <>
Cirrus accelerated code by:
       Simon Cooper <>
       Harm Hanemaayer <>
       Bill Reynolds <>
Western Digital accelerated code by:
       Mike Tierney <>

16 color VGA server by:
       Gertjan Akkerman <>

ATI SVGA driver by:
       Per Lindqvist <> and Doug Evans <>
       Ported to X11R5 by Rik Faith <>
Trident SVGA driver by:
       Alan Hourihane <>
NCR SVGA driver by:
       Stuart Anderson <Stuart.Ander...@ColumbiaSC.NCR.COM>
		with the permission of NCR Corporation
Cirrus SVGA driver by:
       Bill Reynolds <>
       Hank Dietz <>
Compaq SVGA driver by:
       Hans Oey <>
Oak SVGA driver by:
       Steve Goldman <>

Configurable MFB and Hercules driver by:
       Davor Matic <dma...@Athena.MIT.EDU>
Banked Dumb Monochrome and related drivers by:
       Pascal Haible <>

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

Other contributors:
       Joerg Wunsch <> (ET3000 banked mono)
       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!

10 - 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):

       David Dawes <>
       Dirk Hohndel <>
       Rich Murphey <>
       Jon Tombs <>
       David Wexelblat <>, <>

E-mail sent to <> will reach the Core Team.

11 - The XFree86 Project, Inc.
The XFree86 Project, Inc, has been founded to accomplish two major goals:

	1) To provide a vehicle by which XFree86 can be represented in
	   X Consortium, Inc, the organization responsible for the
	   design, development, and release of The X Window System.
	2) To provide some basic funding for acquisition of facilities for
	   ongoing XFree86 development, largly to consist of new video
	   hardware and basic computing facilities.

The first of these was the primary motivation.  We have held discussions
with the X Consortium on and off for many months, attempting to find an
avenue by which our loosely-organized free software project could be
given a voice within the X Consortium.  The bylaws of the Consortium
would not recognize such an organization.  After an initial investigation
about funding, we decided to form our own corporation to provide the
avenue we needed to meet the requirements of the X Consortium bylaws.

By doing this, we are able to be involved in the beta-test interval for
X11R6, and will be contributing the majority of XFree86 to the X11R6 core
release.  The next full-featured release of XFree86, version 3.0, will
be present on the X11R6 contributed software tape, with full X11R6
support, and (hopefully) a host of new features.  As time goes on, 
XFree86 will be involved with more of the development of The X Window 
System, as a full Consortium member.  How exactly this will evolve is
still being determined.

An additional benefit of this incorporation is that The XFree86 Project,
Inc has obtained outside financial support for our work.  This will
hopefully give us the freedom to be more proactive in obtaining new
video hardware, and enable us to release better products more quickly,
as we will be able to go and get what we need, and get it into the hands
of the people who can do the work.

The initial Board of Directors and Officers of the The XFree86 Project,
Inc, are the same XFree86 Core Team as is listed above. Our bylaws have 
been crafted in such a way to ensure that XFree86 is and always will 
be a free software project.  There is no personal financial benefit 
to any member of the Core Team or any other XFree86 participant.  All 
assets of the corporation remain with the corporation, and, in the event 
of the dissolution of the corporation, all assets will be turned over 
to the X Consortium, Inc.  It is hoped that by doing this, our corporation 
will be merely a formalization of what we have been doing in the past, 
rather than something entirely new.

Here is a list of the organizations and individuals who have provided
sponsorship to The XFree86 Project, Inc, either by financial contribution
or by the donation of equipment and resources.  The XFree86 Project, Inc
gratefully acknowledges these contributions, and hopes that we can do
justice to them by continuing to release high-quality free software for
the betterment of the Internet community as a whole.

	UUNET Communications Services, Inc.

UUNET Communications Services, Inc, deserves special mention.  This
organization stepped forward and contributed the entire 1994 X Consortium
membership fee on a moment's notice.  This single act ensured XFree86's
involvement in X11R6.

	AIB Software Corporation
	American Micro Group
	AT&T Global Information Services (formerly NCR)
	Frank & Paige McCormick
	Prime Time Freeware
	Red Hat Software

The XFree86 Project, Inc, welcomes the additional contribution of funding
and/or equipment.  Such contributions should be tax-deductible; we will
know for certain when the lawyers get finished with the papers.  For more 
information, contact The XFree86 Project, Inc, at <>

We are in the process of establishing our own Internet domain, XFree86.Org.
Most of the pieces are in place, and we hope to be online within a few
more weeks.  We will post an announcement when this is ready for use.

12 - Source and binary archive sites
Source patches based on X11R5 PL25, from MIT, and as an upgrade from
XFree86 2.0 are available via anonymous FTP from: (under /contrib/XFree86) (under /XFree86) (under /pub/XFree86) (under /pub/pc/src/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               - Solaris x86 2.1 binaries
                under /pub/XFree86/solaris               - SVR3 (SCO) binaries
                under /pub/XFree86/sco            - SVR3 (SCO) binaries
                under /XFree86/SCO        - SVR3 (ISC) binaries
                under /pub/ISC            - SVR3 (ISC) binaries
                under /pub/pc/isc/XFree86                  - Linux binaries
                under /pub/linux/packages/X11                    - Linux binaries
		under /pub/linux/XFree86_2.1               - FreeBSD binaries
		under /pub/XFree86/FreeBSD/XFree86-2.1       - FreeBSD binaries
		under /pub/XFree86              - NetBSD 0.9 binaries
		under /pub/NetBSD/ports        - NetBSD 0.9 binaries
		under /pub/NetBSD/ports	               - NetBSD 0.9 binaries
	        under /pub/NetBSD/XFree86

Ensure that you are getting XFree86 2.1 - 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

15 March 1994

David Wexelblat <>  (703) 430-9247  Fax: (703) 450-4560
AIB Software Corporation, 46030 Manekin Plaza, Suite 160, Dulles, VA  20166
  Formerly Virtual Technologies, Inc.

Mail regarding XFree86[TM] should be sent to <>

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			  SCO's Case Against IBM

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