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After three years without a full release, X.Org 21.1.0 has finally landed with new features and a lot of bug fixes. While the next-generation for all Linux systems will eventually be Wayland, plenty still default to X.Org.

Developer Povilas Kanapickas announced the release on October 27, noting that they expect issues to come up once more people start using it with a 21.1.1 version patch being planned to arrive in the next few weeks rather than their usual time of a few months. For a reminder: XWayland, the project that ensures backwards compatibility with applications on Wayland is now released as its own thing.

Here's the release highlights:

  • The meson support is now fully mature. While autotools support will still be kept for this release series, it will be dropped afterwards.
  • Glamor support for Xvfb.
  • Variable refresh rate support in the modesetting driver.
  •  XInput 2.4 support which adds touchpad gestures.
  • DMX DDX has been removed.
  • X server now correctly reports display DPI in more cases. This may affect rendering of client applications that have their own workarounds for hi-DPI screens.
  • A large number of small features and various bug fixes.
Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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11 comments
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Eike 28 Oct
I was under the impression that nobody would work on new X.org features anymore and it would even hardly be maintained?
TrainDoc 28 Oct
Quoting: EikeI was under the impression that nobody would work on new X.org features anymore and it would even hardly be maintained?

I think that this is maintainers realizing some bugs can't just be left to rot and decided to patch up before they leave.
Eike 28 Oct
Quoting: TrainDocI think that this is maintainers realizing some bugs can't just be left to rot and decided to patch up before they leave.

Variable refresh rate support sounds like a major thing to me, though?
Xpander 28 Oct
Quoting: Eike
Quoting: TrainDocI think that this is maintainers realizing some bugs can't just be left to rot and decided to patch up before they leave.

Variable refresh rate support sounds like a major thing to me, though?

But the question is, what did it improve?
VRR has been working on X for long time.. the only issue has been that it has been working only with 1 monitor active.
Does that change that? what the F is modesetting driver, what does it improve for the end user?
Eike 28 Oct
Quoting: Xpander
Quoting: Eike
Quoting: TrainDocI think that this is maintainers realizing some bugs can't just be left to rot and decided to patch up before they leave.

Variable refresh rate support sounds like a major thing to me, though?

But the question is, what did it improve?
VRR has been working on X for long time.. the only issue has been that it has been working only with 1 monitor active.

Oh man!
I've been actually using it on X already!
Yes, sorry, it's obviously not the big change I thought.
kokoko3k 28 Oct
QuoteVariable refresh rate support in the modesetting driver.
It is probably improved by this:
and this:

Quoting: XpanderVRR has been working on X for long time.. the only issue has been that it has been working only with 1 monitor active.
Does that change that?
Yes, tldr:
  • 1*) In vrr+nonvrr setups, in the past the vrr capability depended on the order you plug the monitors(!) (or the order in which the system probed them, so a matter of fluck), now it is handled correctly.

  • 2*) Also, when refresh rates differ, it is not only possible to vsync all the outputs to a minimum common multiple (so no vrr) , but even vsync just the primary one to his own frequency and let others basically tear (the latter is the new feature).


Quotewhat the F is modesetting driver
From man modesetting:
"modesetting is an Xorg driver for KMS devices."

It is a generic driver for xorg that works across multiple gpus, given that the underlying kernel supports them via KMS/DRM.
Optionally, it can be 2D accelerated via Glamour if the dri driver implements opengl.
Take intel cards, if you use the xf86-video-modesetting driver, than xorg will re-use already available kernel calls to show things, if you use xf86-video-intel, than different calls will be performed.
It is also a thing that nvidia could just support modesetting driver and fully integrates into the kernel and still have his proprietary 3D blob living in the dri part of his driver (nvidia-utils under Arch).

-> This is what i've understood. <-


Last edited by kokoko3k on 28 October 2021 at 11:12 am UTC
TheRiddick 28 Oct
Look forward to this in mainline arch repo. Its a feature I've been waiting for a long time and useful for me since I don't use Wayland yet due to some bugs and missing features.
Xpander 28 Oct
Thanks for explanation.

The modesetting driver part i could search myself also, but my point actually was that there are so many little things. like if you search for what modesetting driver is, then you get anther set of questions. What is KMS what is DRM..then you search for this and even more new questions arise :)


Last edited by Xpander on 28 October 2021 at 11:18 am UTC
kokoko3k 28 Oct
Quoting: XpanderThanks for explanation.

The modesetting driver part i could search myself also, but my point actually was that there are so many little things. like if you search for what modesetting driver is, then you get anther set of questions. What is KMS what is DRM..then you search for this and even more new questions arise :)
Lol, you're right, you need to get one big picture out of so many little bits.
Check this out:
https://www.bitwiz.org.uk/s/how-dri-and-drm-work.html
Pit 28 Oct
Quoting: XpanderThanks for explanation.

The modesetting driver part i could search myself also, but my point actually was that there are so many little things. like if you search for what modesetting driver is, then you get anther set of questions. What is KMS what is DRM..then you search for this and even more new questions arise :)

Yes, that's how 'learning' works - step by step
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