Ended the X Server Bling Wars Have

After 30 months of head-on competition between Red Hat’s AIGLX and Novell’s XGL, one is left standing today.

This means that XGL will no longer be shipping with modern linux distributions and you will have to use AIGLX (or a certain proprietary equivilent therof) if you want to get nice 3D effects. There are a number of reasons for Xgl’s deprication:

  • It hasn’t been updated to reflect the current state of the X Server in a long time
  • Xorg is clearly doing a cleanout in the xserver repo, a number of dead bits have been killed off
  • There are numerous bugs with it, such as the X Server randomly restarting
  • AIGLX and DRI2 are stable enough to replace it with all it’s features.

I always liked XGL for it’s superious speed over AIGLX in it’s final days. This also means that in the future, ATI owners will need to go with the rxxx, radeonhd or experimental fglrx drivers to get compiz working with AIGLX. It also means that owners of slightly more obscure cards made by matrox or VIA will have to nag for better drivers or stick with older versions of the X Server.

Rest in Peace XGL. You were the one who brought compiz into the world, but were ultimately defeated in the Xorg Bling Wars.


16 thoughts on “Ended the X Server Bling Wars Have

  1. Well, I wouldn’t say DRI2 is stable enough *yet*. At least not in its currently available state… Has the potential with a few bug fixes that may have already happened but just not been committed.

  2. Actually, it was only removed from master from what I can see. That copy of the code hasn’t been updated in two and a half years – all the development was on a branch. Whether or not it’ll ever be merged back to master remains to be seen, however… it was /supposed/ to happen for 7.2.

    > AIGLX and DRI2 are stable enough to replace it with all it’s features.

    Wrong. Think Xnest, minus the 1980s.

  3. I never used XGL again after my first experiences with compiz… So it did a good job to bring new power to the compositing business, but today AIGLX should be the better solution

  4. > So it did a good job to bring new power to the compositing business, but today AIGLX should be the better solution

    A lot of people seem to have this funny idea that Xgl exists solely for the sake of compositing….

  5. Experimental FGLRX drivers? What part of them is experimental. I’ve been using them for quite a while now and never had a problem with them. Okay, so I need to downgrade XOrg because Fedora shipped with too new a version, but that’s because the drivers *aren’t* experimental and don’t support what was probably a beta version at the time they were being developed.

  6. Xgl is only usable option for us who happened to end up with Nvidia Quadro NVS 140 or NVidia 8400M GS (same chip).

    With the nvidia proprietary driver, compiz is terribly choppy (for example switching windows with Alt+Tab takes 1 second, which gets painful after a while). On Xgl compiz runs incredibly fast and fluent on that hardware. So I’d be really sorry if Xgl was gone before NVidia fixes their drivers for this particular chip (unlikely).

  7. @Paja:

    I’ve got an 8600MGT and have no such problems. Try enabling blur and whatnot to give the card a speedboost

  8. ok – So how can I do this ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DWzuIreDGA ) without xserver-XGL ? — Without xinerama enabled to bind the 3 seperate twinview configured 8800GTX cards together and then xserver-xgl ontop of it all to combine them into one virtual screen I’m SOL 🙂

    Feel free to join the conversation over at http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=884161 – I’m curious as to what the new way of doing this is?


    – SLM – D2G

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