GGI first release
The GGI group has issued its first public release. Was someone packaging
this for Debian? GGI will solve a lot of security problems of X and SVGAlib
programs, some problems of X configuration, and it makes it possible to run
two complete SVGA/keyboard/mouse consoles on PCI machines that have a PS/2
From: Steffen Seeger <email@example.com>
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Hello All People Reading,
This message is to announce the release of GGI-0.0.9 public.
What is GGI?
GGI - The General Graphics Interface Project is an attempt to
setup a general, fast, efficient and secure interface to graphics
and human-machine interaction hardware for UNIX-like operating
systems. It allows normal applications to have direct but
controlled access to the underlying graphics hardware without
compromising system stability. The basic design consists of
two parts. First a kernel part, which does all the critical
operations that may cause the system to hang or may cause damage
to the hardware. Second is a library, that translates the drawing
requests from applications into 'commands' for the kernel part.
More detailed information can be found at
The highlights of GGI-0.0.9 can be summarized as:
* XGGI, a non-SUID X server running with GGI is now
available. The kernel part is not backward compatible
yet, but this will be fixed with the next release.
You will be able to choose between old SUID servers
and the new, hardware independent XGGI server then.
* first implementation of libGGI. This library allows
GGI applications to run in various environments without
a change. E.g. you can simply run the XGGI server
´on the hardware´ and ´on itself´. LibGGI has been
ported to various platforms, like AIX and IRIX, and more
platforms will be supported in the next release. You
can use libGGI without the kernel part, if your card
is not supported yet.
* A replacement for SVGAlib that allows you to run older
SVGAlib applications is included. However, they should
not need root-rights anymore. This lib is still under
development, so please report us your experiences
* easy to use support for mixed brand multi-display
configurations. You can plug in two video cards, from
different vendors and run independent graphics
applications (or consoles) on both. Configurations
tested include S3 968 with normal VGA, 3Dlabs Permedia
based cards, another (two) S3 968 cards and lots more.
But multihead capability depends on the particular
drivers and hardware, so not all supported cards
can be run multi-display.
* support for mixed brand multi-input configurations.
Connect as many mice to your computer as you want and
use them with your favourite graphics application or
even on the console. No extra configuration needed, just
load the driver. Together with the multi-display
capability this allows you to run multi-terminal
machines. Simply connect two keyboards (one to the
keyboard port and one to the ps/2 aux port), plus
two serial mice and run two independent graphics
applications (e.g. a game on one and XGGI on the
other). Of course none of them needs other than
access permissions to some special files.
* greatly extended driver base. The following hardware
- various multisync and monosync monitors.
Chips & Technologies 655xx
Cirrus Logic 542x, Laguna 3D (CL-GD546x)
Cyrix Media GX, thanks to Cyrix Corporation
IBM VGA, Hercules MGA (text mode only)
Matrox MGA 2x64 (Millenium I/II) and
MGA 1064 (Mystique)
S3 86c765 (Trio64V+), S3 928, S3 86c968,
Tseng ET4000 (including W32, W32i, W32p),
Thanks to 3Dlabs Incorporated, a Permedia
driver has been developed and will be
released within the next days. Source
release conditions are not fully figured
out yet, but will probably be similar to
that of the SUSE/ELSA X servers. A
Permedia2 driver is in the works and will
be announced separately.
- clock chips:
various fixed frequency clock chips
found on S3, Western Digital, Tseng Labs
and Cirrus Logic cards
various programmable clock chips
ATT 20c504, ATT 20c505, Bt485,
TI TVP 3026, SC 15026 and various
So, if all the parts on your particular graphics card
are supported, chances are very good it runs with GGI.
However, we have tested only on our boards, so test results
are very welcome.
* first applications are available for GGI. Please
check our website for more information, this is changing
If you got interested, you may download a copy of the
GGI 0.0.9 public release from the following sites:
http://synergy.foo.net/~ggi/ and its various mirrors
[uploaded today, so it should appear by the end of the week]
However, though this software is still in ALPHA stage, but we
encourage everyone interested to test and contribute to the
As you see, GGI-0.0.9 is a milestone that marks the first version
showing a useable proof of concepts to the public. We are now
heading towards the next release of GGI, code-named DEGAS.
Its main features will be:
* accelerated X server
* fully accelerated libGGI
* accelerated OpenGL-like API for the supported chipsets.
* backward compatible kernel part. We also plan to work
closely with the Linux/SGI effort to ensure compatiblity
of the /dev/graphic special file interfaces between the
* enhanced support for graphical consoles, allowing you to
run GGI-enabled kernels on any VESA card. You will not
have acceleratation then, but may have X even on not
supported cards. This will also allow to take a second
attempt at the m68k port of KGI.
This is a lot to do, but we look forward to present the next version
of GGI to the UNIX community, perhaps being out of ALPHA state then.
The GGI Project team wishes to thank all developers involved in
this effort. Also, we would like to thank Stone Microsystems,
ELSA GmbH, Cyrix Inc., S3 Inc, Matrox Inc and 3Dlabs Inc. for
their support of our efforts.
Also, we thank the Freiburger Linux Users Group for their donation
that will enable us to provide Permedia2 support.
Finally, we want to thank you for reading, testing and commenting
on GGI. We would like to know your opinion and/or experiences
with GGI. If you like it, tell us, and if you don´t like it,
please tell us why.
More information about GGI can be found on
Whatever is your taste, we wish you a happy new year and a lot of
fun with GGI-0.0.9
Steffen Seeger on behalf of The GGI Project Team.
- ------------- The GGI Project: http://synergy.foo.net/~ggi/ -------------
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