XDarwin 4.3 On The Way, Will Feature Hardware Acceleration

The folks over at the XDarwin project have been hard at work to bring more features to their popular XWindows server for OS X. Some of the new features include hardware acceleration and the ability to use existing OS X fonts.

XDarwin is an X11 (also known as XWindows) server that allows OS X users to run any of a vast array of free, open source software. Since the server is "rootless," the X11 windows will mix in with the OS X windows, giving a more seamless appearance.

While XDarwin 4.3 has not yet been released, the advanced user can download and install XDarwin 4.2.99.901, which is a release candidate for version 4.3. From the XDarwin team:

The XDarwin project announces that a hardware-accelerated version 4.3 is on the horizon which contains significant font integration functionality with Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar.

Discounted pre-orders are now being taken at http://www.xdarwin.com for the final release of XDarwin 4.3, for anyone who wishes to receive the final version on CD as soon it is available.

Notable improvements will include:

  • Hardware accelerated GLX in rootless mode
  • Ability to use all native Mac OS X fonts
  • new -configure X server option
  • Faster 2-D drawing in rootless mode
  • Much faster full screen mode 2-D drawing, comparable to rootless mode
  • New font configuration library (fontconfig)

A feature-complete pre-release version 4.2.99.901 is available immediately for testing by advanced users and beta testers. This snapshot is a release candidate for final version 4.3.0, which is expected to be available later this month. Prebuilt binaries for Mac OS X 10.2 of the prerelease are available for download here: http://www.xdarwin.org/download

Installation of the pre-release is only intended for the adventurous and those who can afford downtime and the risks associated with pre-release software. All others are encouraged to place an order for the CD which will be available in late February. Instructions for manually installing are available at www.xdarwin.org/install.php and instructions for using the XInstall script are at www.xfree86.org/4.2.99.901/Install.html.

It is anticipated that the libraries and X clients from 4.3.0 will be included in Appleis final release of X11 for Mac OS X. Testing of this snapshot, particularly by Darwin users not running Mac OS X, is encouraged to shake out any final bugs before the 4.3.0 release. Fink users can currently access this release in the unstable packages, but note that a dependency on the xfree86 4.2.1.1 packages will necessitate building XDarwin twice. This will be removed once XDarwin 4.3 is released.

You can find more information at XDarwinis Web site. You can pre-order an XDarwin 4.3 CD for US$44.95. Once the final version is released, the price will become US$69.95.

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