X on NetBSD

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X on NetBSD

Rafael Ruiz
Hi All!
I would like to know why *BSD has problems with X (Xorg or XFree) on Alpha
Platform. I like NetBSD, FreeBSD, but i have a lot of problem for use X on
these. X runs very well on Linux/Alpha but i would like to work with BSD and
to make a workstation with X. Why *BSD don't let X work on Alpha? This in
not problem of X. In old versions of FreeBSD like 4.5 and so, XFree ran
good.

I think that BSD/alpha is better that Linux/Alpha .... but do we must to
limit at console/text mode only? Due to i can not to use X on FreeBSD, nor
NetBSD, I check OpenBSD, but it has the same problem. In NetBSD we can to
build xsrc (XDecNet, XFree86,...), but only for 21164 processors, with 21264
it seem not work. We can to use caseydoodley Xfree86 modifications
too(thanks mel), but with some limitations.

We only have two options:

        1.- For Workstations with graphical environment -> Linux
        2.- For Servers (Text mode) -> BSD

Is this our only choice?

It's a pity that BSD has this problem with X, it is the best free Operating
System for Alpha. Does think NetBSD or OpenBSD developers to open the door
for X in the future?

Opinions? Solutions?

Thanks for your comments.
Rafa

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Re: X on NetBSD

Andrew Thompson-15
On Tue, Jul 17, 2007 at 10:48:45PM +0200, Rafael Ruiz wrote:
> Hi All!
> I would like to know why *BSD has problems with X (Xorg or XFree) on Alpha
> Platform. I like NetBSD, FreeBSD, but i have a lot of problem for use X on
> these. X runs very well on Linux/Alpha but i would like to work with BSD and
> to make a workstation with X. Why *BSD don't let X work on Alpha? This in
> not problem of X. In old versions of FreeBSD like 4.5 and so, XFree ran
> good.
>

I had the same problem with my Alphastation 500au. However (after some
googling and hacking) I managed to get XFree86 4.5 (I think) to build
and run perfectly on NetBSD. I had to lie to pkgsrc about having Xorg
installed but that was my only issue. I don't recall precicely what
I had to change but I think it had to do with void pointers. I can
provide a binary or source tarball or I can do some scrounging and
figure out what I had to change.

I also remember finding a page containing patches for XFree86 for Alpha,
I didn't end up using them but they looked similar to what I had ended
up doing. Can't find that link now either :(

I'd prefer to run Xorg, but I couldn't find *any* documentation on
making it run on Alpha, I suspect the Xorg people just don't care about
the platform. Also, building modular xorg from source by hand was not
something that looked like fun, if pkgsrc supports modular Xorg now you
might be able to get it to compile. The Xservers included with netbsd
were worthless on my glint videocard so at the time XFree was my only
possible option.

My only Alpha box running OpenBSD doesn't have a decent graphics card so
I haven't looked at XFree on OpenBSD in particular, but I think what I
did for NetBSD should work on OpenBSD. It was a very general hack IIRC.

Andrew

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Re: X on NetBSD

Andrew Thompson-15
Ah, I found the patch I used:
http://mail-index.netbsd.org/tech-x11/2006/05/14/0000.html

Also, sorry about responding about my netbsd-specific responses to the
openbsd mailing list, the email came to my openbsd-alpha mailbox and I
didn't notice until I sent the reply that I'd sent to the wrong address.
I figure I'll add my last note on the subject on the openbsd list too
just so that it doesn't look like I'm replying to non-existant emails on
the other lists. Sorry for the off-topicness, didn't expect a
cross-posted email.

Andrew