Accelerated-X v. 2.1 & Metro-X 3.1.2

This has not alleviated the pain as much as I hoped. The appearance of Metro-X and Accelerated-X in the offices of Linux Journal, begging for a review, has turned my worst nightmare into an exercise in rebellion: now I can reconfigure X for the hell of it, in about twenty seconds.
So Which Server is Better?

Before we get to The Chart, I did notice one interesting thing while I was playing around with the two servers. If /usr/X11R6/bin/X is a soft link to an XFree86 server, such as XF86_SVGA, AccelX will move the XFree86 server to X.LINUX. If, however, /usr/X11R6/bin/X is linked to, oh, say, Xmetro (the Metro-X server), then AccelX will turn Xmetro into a link to Xaccel, destroying the Xmetro server. Hmmmm.



Accelerated X

Graphics card Support

38 manufacturers

51 manufacturers


up to 4 displays

Additional Cost add-on





GUI and curses

curses only

System Requirements

8MB RAM 12 MB HD space

4MB RAM, 3 MB min HD space

Require XFree installed







printed, web

printed, web






I am currently running Metro-X. I have two friends who swear by X Inside. Which server is better sort of depends on your needs. Metro-X has more support for commercial applications, including multi-head display and touch-screen capabilities. Accelerated X supports more graphics cards, making it more likely to suit your hardware.

Bottom line? Check your hardware against both lists, and if both servers will meet your needs, flip a coin—they're both cheaper than a day spent calculating modelines.

Accelerated X Update

The mouse trouble noted in our review of Accelerated X—the mouse flinging applications off the desktop and causing a disruptions to the server connection—have been resolved.

Linux kernel version 2.0.0 introduced a problem with the Async mouse feature of Accelerated X. (This feature allows the mouse to move around the screen even when the X server is busy doing something else—a usability trick Microsoft has been using for a while on their Windows product.) X Inside notified the Linux kernel team and worked with them to correct the problem. With release 2.0.26 of the kernel, the error was resolved.

Jon Gross is a scuba diver, a marine biologist, a writer, a cyclist, a sysadmin, and works for Seattle Software Labs Inc. In his “spare” time, he likes to sleep and cook (not concurrently). He can be reached at


Geek Guide
The DevOps Toolbox

Tools and Technologies for Scale and Reliability
by Linux Journal Editor Bill Childers

Get your free copy today

Sponsored by IBM

8 Signs You're Beyond Cron

Scheduling Crontabs With an Enterprise Scheduler
On Demand
Moderated by Linux Journal Contributor Mike Diehl

Sign up and watch now

Sponsored by Skybot