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DukeOfURL: XFree86 4.1.0 Review

Jun 14, 2001, 17:41 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Patrick Mullen)

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On June 2, 2001, the XFree86 Organization very quietly released XFree86 4.1.0, its first major update since 4.0, which was released over a year ago. While 4.1.0 wasn't met with as much fanfare as the first release in the 4.x series, it does include some enhancements, which have been in the works for quite some time now. Things like framebuffer support for many new chipsets, support for NVIDIA's new GeForce3 (through the "nv" driver), support for Trident's value-oriented CyberBladeXP, and the much awaited support for DRI on Linux/PPC machines make XFree86 4.1.0 quite an update to the already cutting-edge XFree86 4.x series.

Still, XFree86 4.1.0 is more than just new features. There also are quite a few other updates to drivers, and the XFree86 organization is also addressing the lack of support for some cards, which is nice to see. We may even see 4.x's support mature to the level of 3.3.6 before too long. With support for cards like the new GeForce3, XFree86 4.1.0 also brings some support for cards 3.3.x will probably never will.

Sure, XFree86 4.0 brought many new enhancements to the table -- but can 4.1.0 replicate that same level of breakthroughs? Is it worth the upgrade? Is it finally linked against a newer version of DRI? Will the NVIDIA drivers break yet again? I'm here to answer all these questions and more with my look at XFree86 4.1.0.

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