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According to the current article, "rootless X" is X running as an ordinary user, without uid 0. However, in X, "root" has a different meaning: not the superuser, but the entire screen area treated as a single fixed window. For instance, the image viewer xv has a "set root image" function that sets the desktop background. I always thought that "rootless" referred to this, especially with Mac OS X: at first the X root covered up the OS X native gui, so that X was a separate desktop and you had to be in one or the other at a given time; later, "rootless" allowed X windows to appear over the regular OS X desktop. I'm pretty sure the article is mistaken about this. I don't think it has anything to do with uid. Reuben 04:32, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Release history[edit]

Most of the innovation in X in the '90s happened in XFree86, so that stuff needs to be listed in the release history in this article. I've listed XAA and XRender so far (though I'm not sure I've got the right versions for either of these) - anyone else able to add to the list, with a ref? - David Gerard 15:43, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

Article Tense[edit]

I know that XFree86 is still being updated, but, given that no Linux/Unix distributor ships versions with the license problem, I propose that the article ought generally to adopt the past tense rather than the present tense. However, before doing the edit, I'd like to see if there's a strong argument against such a move. Anyone want to share an opinion on this?

Yes. I don't see the point in putting this to the past tense. The fork doesn't mean xfree86 is dead (still being updated as you mentioned, and NetBSD uses it), just not as popular. eg. "XFree86 was an implementation of the X Window System.": that's not correct, it's still an implementation. The rest of the article would also be wrong. Wait before the project is completely discontinued. 17:18, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
According to the article, Apple has abandoned XFree86 as of Leoplard. NetBSD still using it? It's been a year since anonymous commented. --Treekids 20:29, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure this is such a big change. XFree86 is a piece of software that was once used by all GNU/Linux distros. In its hey day, it was the display engine blah blah. It is still maintained, but almost completely unused since people moved to due to licensing issues. etc. etc. What's in the past is in the past, what's in the present is in the present. Just some input - do what you like, be bold! If there's a problem, someone can revert whatever they don't agree with. --Gronky 21:18, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
NetBSD still uses XFree86 as of version 4.0, mainly because xorg is not supported on platforms other than x86. I use it, and can't find any problems with the license. (talk) 20:57, 3 January 2008 (UTC)


should we bow down to the FSF or should we follow normal usage? I vote for the latter. Plugwash 00:01, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

whats actually in 4.5.0 and 4.6.0?[edit]

is there any notable original stuff or is it just repackaging of work from other branches? Plugwash 00:04, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Well this blog post is funny about it: [1]. Not closer to any release notes though. Sverdrup❞ 01:46, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

"the official reference implementation of X11"?[edit]

The article says this title is now held by, but doesn't explain how this came to be, and who allots the title - or is this just an inflated way of saying: "'s really popular now..."? -Snori 06:23, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

X.Org, owned by The Open Group, has always been the domain for the official reference implementation. The people who now operate the X.Org Foundation convinced the Open Group to let them use the domain name and have the official imprimatur - David Gerard 16:54, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

OS-X Leopard[edit]

"Leopard will ship with". Um, this should be updated. --Treekids 20:28, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Not shipped any longer[edit]

"As of the end of 2007, no operating systems ship with XFree86 any longer." This is false. NetBSD 4 was released on 19 December 2007 and shipped with XFree86 4.5 as the default X server implementation. Check any of the file tags under for the tag netbsd-4-0-RELEASE. It's true that NetBSD (actually, pkgsrc) allows one to easily replace XFree86 with, but the default "xserver.tgz" set binary as distributed by NetBSD is still XFree86. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:25, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Be bold! (talk) 20:09, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
It appears that many of the NetBSD ports now ship with xorg as the default. That's probably going to be it for NetBSD. They might stick around until 6.0, but any OS that has to support two GUIs is eventually going to drop the unsupported one. From what I can tell, the last activity of any sort in the XFree86 community was in October. Messages of updates to xterm are still being sent to the dev list, but that's it. superlusertc 2010 January 22, 07:43 (UTC)
Thomas Dickey develops xterm independently (and it's actively maintained); he sends the same emails to Xorg - David Gerard (talk) 15:22, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

When is an open source project considered 'dead'? There have been no releases in 2009, and no major CVS commits, only minor bugfixes, the last of them being May 2009 (as of November 3, that's 7 months of CVS deadness). I'll say it... It's worse than that, it's DEAD JIM, DEAD. User:WPostma

May 2009? Last they have listed is Feb 2009. Not even bugfixes are being shipped - David Gerard (talk) 15:22, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

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