X server and xinit works excellent....almost.

Polytropon freebsd at edvax.de
Thu Nov 10 00:30:44 UTC 2011

On Thu, 10 Nov 2011 00:49:19 +0100, Samuel Magnusson wrote:
> Michael Cardell Widerkrantz wrote 2011-11-09 21:02:
> > Samuel Magnusson<samuel.magnusson5 at bredband.net>, 2011-11-09 12:06 (+0100):
> >> Now I'm curious:
> >>
> >> Is it then so that in the "new style" Xorg the XML-method will
> >> override HAL, and this is the new default way of providing opitons
> >> that formerly were in the InputDevice sections in xorg.conf?
> > What new style XML method?
> >
> > AFAIK the more modern X.org X servers uses the Linux udev instead of
> > HAL. Those servers are not yet available on FreeBSD but presumably it
> > would be possible to use devd for the same purpose.
> I'm referring to what Polytropon said about all the "new" stuff required 
> by X. As I understood him he was talking about the XML-files to give 
> directions to HAL, and he used quotes so I think he meant "supposedly 
> new", or just newer than the classic configuration file but already the 
> "old new", as he seem to agree with you that HAL is on it's way out and 
> should be avoided if possible.

Depends. If you are using a normal US keyboard and don't
have any "deviant" needs, HAL autodetection of devices
should work fine. And as it is X's default configuration,
you could even omit xorg.conf if X detects your GPU and
display properly.

The problems start when you do something "not-normal".
In such cases, it seems that you better leave HAL and
DBUS out of your system, if you don't see any use for
them. In that case, the "old-fashioned" configuration
methods should do what you want: centralized settings
for X in xorg.conf. Setup once, then use.

> Anyway, I wasn't aware that the FreeBSD X server was "ancient" and 
> different from any other. :)

There is some delay in porting X's new features from
Linux to FreeBSD. Linux is the platform that mostly
drives that development.

Some parts used by X and by desktop environments are
specific to Linux. HAL was initally meant to be a kind
of "plugin system" to get independent from the OS, but
it didn't get that far. Now as it (almost?) works on
FreeBSD, it's already deprecated by new Linux concepts
such as udev, upower and other u<something>s. Maybe
they become available as interfaces on FreeBSD too,
but my fear is... as soon as they are usable, there's
already something else obsoleting them right away. :-(

Those Linux developments often serve functionalities
that have been present in FreeBSD for many years. One
of the often cited things is automounting. FreeBSD's
automounter amd, in combination with devd, can already
automount things independently from desktop environments.
It could do that already 5 years ago. This setup can
also handle webcams and USB mass storage. The question
is: How to interface that with a desktop environment?

Those IDE's development is also mainly driven on Linux.
An example is Xfce which lost some functionality on
FreeBSD because those parts have been "rewritten" with
Linux-only "back-ends" in mind. Maybe other things will
follow, maybe Gnome 3? Who knows...

> And migrating from Windows and Mac might be 
> discouraging if there isn't a working desktop with visible text at least 
> within an hour or two after installation. :)

No problem in that, see FreeSBIE - all what you said,
plus you don't need to install anything. :-)

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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