XFree, an on-going story
I am fiddleing with X currently. It's an insane package, but with my new
computer it only takes a couple of hours to compile on the Hurd even.
(And the Hurd does cope! Although the number of threads and ports in the
root fs server grows without bounds over time... until it eventually crashes
if you are unlucky. This does not seem to happen if I reboot after Makefiles
and dependencies are generated)
Back to X. If you want to compile it yourself, get xfree86-1_3.3.6-10 form
any Debian mirror, and see the bug reports:
You also need the kbd and mouse translator to run it, which you can find in
some of the contrib dirs on alpha, I think. Follow the instructions posted
The bug reports contain some patches, and some further instructions, which
you shouldn't ignore. After make World stopped, you can and should continue
the build by doing "make" in the subdirs lib, nls, programs (to avoid
rebuilding everything over and over again). Of course fix the reason for the
After you have build everything, you can make debs by "touch
debian/stampdir/build-libc" and dpkg-buildpackage -b -nc.
So far, so good. Oh. Build-dependencies: zlib1g-dev, tcl/tk8.2 (I think this
is not yet available, but 8.0 is. You can change
build-tree/xc/programs/Xserver/XF86Setup/Imakefile to use it), and some
other stuff (check debian/control).
Now to the problems: The server starts up, although it can't open the unix
socket for communication, so no clients can connect. Fixing this in
lib/xtrans/ is a priority of course. Note that the old X didn't even have
unix socket support compiled in (maybe because it doesn't work :).
I tried to disable unix socket support, but to be honest, going over tcp is
awfully slow and had connection problems, too. So I think fixing the unix
domain socket support is the better solution to attack this problem.
As soon as I got unix domain socket support working, I am happy to upload
packages to alpha.gnu.org. Bya dding streamdev to the hurd package, we can
get a working mouse device (I think. The output of streamdev mouse is in a
strange format, maybe we can fix this in gnumach). What is not working for
me is the keyboard driver kbd, or the translation by X. I get lots of
strange and wrong characters when typing in an xterm.
People who were interested in working on X, but didn't know where to start,
should have sufficient information now.
 X has make -k by default, so you should keep a log to see the errors, or
 See xc/config/cf/gnu.cf, ConnectionFlags
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