Gentoo Logo

Xorg 1.5 Upgrade Guide


1.  Ebuild changes

  • x11-misc/xkbdata is now completely deprecated. If you were not using its replacement (x11-misc/xkeyboard-config), Portage may ask you to remove it before proceeding with the update.
  • X now no longer forces a double hidden build of media-libs/mesa. Mesa now builds the software renderer (swrast) and whatever hardware driver you've chosen with the VIDEO_CARDS variable.
  • Due to the above change, the dri USE flag was dropped. Xorg will now always have OpenGL support unless USE=minimal is set.
  • XPrint has been removed in Xorg 1.6 and newer, but we've decided to drop it as well from 1.5. XPrint support has been removed from all X libraries.
  • Xorg now supports HAL to automatically hot-plug input devices, see the section below to properly configure it.
  • The "synaptics" driver is now provided by x11-drivers/xf86-input-synaptics

2.  Configuring Input

With HAL (with xf86-input-evdev)

In a nutshell, HAL allows to set the exact same properties as xorg.conf does but with a lot more flexibility: you can now have per-device layouts for instance. All of this is provided by the xf86-input-evdev driver.

First, make sure you've built xorg-server with INPUT_DEVICES="evdev" and enabled evdev in your kernel.

Code Listing 2.1: Configuration for 2.6 kernels

Device Drivers --->

Input device support --->

--- Input device support
[*]     Event interface

Then, we can configure HAL to correctly report the keyboard's layout. HAL ships with device rules that are kept in /usr/share/hal.

Important: Do not edit those, they will be overwritten during the next HAL update. You can instead add your own rules into /etc/hal/fdi/policy.

Sample configuration FDI files are available /usr/share/doc/hal-*/*.fdi*. Pick the one that best fits your current configuration and copy it to /etc/hal/fdi/policy.

For example, if you just want a basic configuration for a non-US keyboard layout, copy the content of /usr/share/doc/hal-*/use-estonian-layout.fdi.bz2 into /etc/hal/fdi/policy/10-xinput-configuration.fdi (using bzcat) and edit it to match the keyboard layout you wish to use.

Don't forget to read man evdev to see the driver's capabilities and options (especially mouse wheel emulation, middle mouse button emulation, ...).

Note: Current HAL versions are not (yet) able to pick up FDI file changes on their own. You'll have to restart HAL's init script to see your changes. To make sure everything is correct, use the lshal utility to display HAL's device tree and search for "input". The content of your HAL rules should show up in lshal's output.

With HAL and other drivers (xf86-input-synaptics, linuxwacom, ...)

By default, HAL will tell the X server to use the evdev driver to access all input devices. However this can be changed to any input driver you wish.

You can therefore put all your input device configuration into HAL even if you use other input drivers such as synaptics or linuxwacom.

More information on how to configure those drivers can be found here:

Without HAL

If you don't want to use HAL, you can either build xorg-server with USE="-hal" or you can turn AutoAddDevices option off in the ServerFlags section of your xorg.conf.

Code Listing 2.2: Turning AutoAddDevices off

Option      "AutoAddDevices"    "false"

Both options will allow the X server to use the legacy mouse and kbd drivers.

3.  Configuring the graphics card

The "Device" section in your xorg.conf should mostly work unchanged.

However, if you have any issues, here's a few steps you can try:

  • Try commenting out all "Options" in the "Device", "Screen" and "Monitor" sections in your xorg.conf
  • Even better, try running Xorg without any xorg.conf (you can rename it to xorg.conf.old)

Xorg drivers are now much better at actually detecting what kind of hardware you have and (except for a few special cases) the default settings should be kept.

4.  Miscellaneous Options

The old font handling was shaken quite a bit in our version of 1.5.3. The freetype module is now useless since the server uses libXfont to load whatever fonts you might have for legacy applications.

As for legacy fonts themselves, they are now nearly useless as we provide a built-in "fixed" font which all legacy applications and toolkits should be able to use. Beware though that this font is extremely ugly.

Xdmx is broken. Don't use it unless you know what you're doing.

5.  Troubleshooting

If you have strange mouse behaviour in all SDL-based applications (many games), you need to set the following in your xorg.conf:

Code Listing 5.1: Turning DGA off

Section "Module"
       SubSection  "extmod"
         Option    "omit xfree86-dga"


Page updated March 30, 2009

Summary: This guide shows you how to upgrade to version 1.5.

Remi Cardona

Donate to support our development efforts.

Copyright 2001-2015 Gentoo Foundation, Inc. Questions, Comments? Contact us.