System News
XFree86 Video Drivers and Porting Kit
For the Solaris Operating System
June 17, 2003,
Volume 64, Issue 3

Two editions of the porting kit for XFree86 Video Drivers for the SolarisTM Operating System (Solaris OS) are available: The source edition with source code for developers, and the binary edition with binary files from Sun for users. The porting kit expands the number of video devices that work with Solaris OS on x86 platforms.

Solaris XFree86 Video Drivers and Porting Kit is a freeware product for users and developers of Solaris OS (x86 Platform Edition). With the Kit, you can use XFree86 video drivers with the X Window System server for Solaris 8 OS (x86 Platform Edition) or for Solaris 9 OS (x86 Platform Edition).

The X Window System is also called the X11; it is an open source, collaborative technology that is the standard graphical engine for UNIXR systems and Linux operating systems. XFree86 is a freely redistributable open-source implementation of the X Window System. XFree86, provides a client/server interface between display hardware (the mouse, keyboard and video displays) and the desktop environment while also providing both the windowing infrastructure and a standardized API.

The video devices supported by the current Solaris 8 OS Update (x86 Platform Edition) are listed on the Hardware Compatibility List (see the URL). The newest Solaris OS (x86 Platform Edition) video support and bug fixes can be obtained by installing the latest version of Patch 109401, which is available from SunSolveSM online.

The Porting Kit includes support for many notebook video devices and a generic VESA mode driver that works on almost all video devices at practical resolutions and color depth. Therefore users can always try VESA driver for any unsupported video driver. The Porting Kit does not include XFree86 support for the video devices on the Intel 810 or 815 chips, nor will the generic VESA driver work with these chips. However, Intel 810 and 815 devices are supported in the current Solaris 8 OS (x86 Platform Edition) and Solaris 9 OS (x86 Platform Edition).

Source Edition

Includes MODIFIED and AUGMENTED XFree86 source code that builds XFree86 video drivers, XFree86 library modules and other components such as the interface module (or the wrapper module) and configuration files. You need these components to run and to configure XFree86 video drivers on Solaris OS (x86 Platform Edition).

The Source Edition is intended primarily for developers who want to create additional video-device driver support for Solaris OS (x86 Platform Edition), fix bugs or enhance and redistribute the Porting Kit with additional features.

Binary Edition

Includes binary files that Sun builds from the source that is included in the Source Edition. These binary files are delivered in Solaris OS software packages. When you install and configure these Solaris OS software packages, you can use the XFree86 video drivers on Solaris OS (x86 Platform Edition) just as you do the video drivers that Sun provides with the Solaris OS.

The Binary Edition is intended primarily for users who want to use graphic cards that are not currently supported for use in the Solaris OS.

Solaris XFree86 Video Drivers and Porting Kit is not supported by Sun. As with XFree86, the video drivers in the Porting Kit includes support for 16-bit color depths (65536 colors). This color depth is not fully supported by the Solaris X Server and many applications, including the Solaris Installer and other freeware products. If you use this color depth and encounter problems, please change to either an 8- or 24-bit color depth.

People seeking discussion and willing to provide collaborative help with this product may find open discussion at public forum atl.solaris.x86. Feedbacks, suggestions and comments can be submitted to xf86@west.sun.com.

See the URL for links:

http://developer.sun.com/solaris/developer/support/driver/tools/video/video-index.html "

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