Accelerated-X v. 2.1 & Metro-X 3.1.2
Accelerated-X v. 2.1 for Linux
X Inside Corporation
Phone: 303 298-7478
Fax: 303 298-1406
Metro Link Incorporated
Phone: 954 938-0283
Fax: 954 938-1982
by Jonathan Gross
I have this recurring dream about XFree86, the free X Window System that comes with Linux. I am sitting in a barren room, with a keyboard and monitor in front of me. I have the manuals for the graphics card and the monitor. I also have a stack of blank paper and a small calculator. I sit in the room and look up numbers in my manuals, spend five minutes calculating and entering a modeline entry, and then restart X. The shadow from the weak winter sun moves across the wall behind me as I work. It is dark in the room when finally I can bring up a display in 1024x768, and I quietly rejoice... only to have the monitor transmogrify from a nice Mag into a Packard Bell.
I've been having this dream for about three years now, and I'm convinced it is the result of an attempt to configure an old version of XFree86 that took about 12 hours one winter day. XFree86, in its infancy, was a menacing nightmare to configure. In recent years, it has gotten easier: probes have been written and configuration scripts have been included to assist users. 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. Excellent.
The first server I installed was Accelerated-X (AccelX) from X Inside. It comes as a tar archive, split across two floppy disks. The documentation comes in the form of an odd-sized manual and reminders to check the X Inside web site for the most current documentation. This is important, as the documentation that came with the software was a little dated. Accelerated-X requires you to have XFree86 installed already; the system requirements are fairly minimal:
Linux 1.2.13 or later
4MB of RAM
At least 3MB free disk space under /usr
A supported graphics board (see http://www.xinside.com/bd/ for a current list).
To install AccelX, you simply untar the floppies (as root):
cd /usr/X11R6/lib ; tar -xzvf /dev/fd0
The configuration for AccelX is a very simple console-mode menu system in which, using arrow keys, you select the options that match your hardware (see Figure 1). All options are fairly well documented in the manual. Once I configured the server, I brought it up as a regular user and started up some applications. The one problem I had was with the mouse—a cheap Microsoft Mouse knock-off. I thought that was the trouble, anyway. It turns out that Linux kernel version 2.0.0 introduced a problem with the Async mouse feature of Accelerated X. Async mouse is the feature that allows the mouse to move around the screen even when the X server is busy doing something else—a very useful 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, so that with the release of the 2.0.26 kernel, the situation was resolved, and the mouse no longer wipes applications right off the desktop, killing the connection between the client and the server.
X Inside offers several optional enhancements, including multi-headed display, Motif, and OpenGL.
Metro-X is a little more full-featured than Accelerated X. It comes out of the box with multi-headed display capabilities and touch-screen support for products from three different manufacturers. It also requires that XFree86 be installed. This comes at the price of 12MB of hard drive space, however. Metro-Link also offers Motif and OpenGL at additional cost. System requirements include:
Linux (no version was specified)
8MB of RAM
12MB of hard drive space
Metro-X comes as a cpio archive spread across three floppy disks, or it can be downloaded via FTP from the Metro Link archive. Installing the software involved moving the tar file from the floppies via cpio, and then running a small installation script which installs the files and begins the configuration.
Metro-X brings up the X server in a low resolution to allow a GUI interface, even on an unconfigured machine (see Figure 2). Clicking on the different icons exposes options for different pieces of hardware. Several mouse clicks, and I had things configured. There is also a curses-based setup utility that is very similar to Accelerated X's setup utility in case the X server isn't available.
|Designing Electronics with Linux||May 22, 2013|
|Dynamic DNS—an Object Lesson in Problem Solving||May 21, 2013|
|Using Salt Stack and Vagrant for Drupal Development||May 20, 2013|
|Making Linux and Android Get Along (It's Not as Hard as It Sounds)||May 16, 2013|
|Drupal Is a Framework: Why Everyone Needs to Understand This||May 15, 2013|
|Home, My Backup Data Center||May 13, 2013|
- Linux Systems Administrator
- New Products
- Senior Perl Developer
- Technical Support Rep
- UX Designer
- Designing Electronics with Linux
- Dynamic DNS—an Object Lesson in Problem Solving
- Using Salt Stack and Vagrant for Drupal Development
- Making Linux and Android Get Along (It's Not as Hard as It Sounds)
- Have you tried Boxen? It's a
4 hours 58 min ago
- seo services in india
9 hours 30 min ago
- For KDE install kio-mtp
9 hours 31 min ago
- Evernote is much more...
11 hours 31 min ago
- Reply to comment | Linux Journal
20 hours 16 min ago
- Dynamic DNS
20 hours 50 min ago
- Reply to comment | Linux Journal
21 hours 49 min ago
- Reply to comment | Linux Journal
22 hours 39 min ago
- Not free anymore
1 day 2 hours ago
1 day 6 hours ago
Enter to Win an Adafruit Pi Cobbler Breakout Kit for Raspberry Pi
It's Raspberry Pi month at Linux Journal. Each week in May, Adafruit will be giving away a Pi-related prize to a lucky, randomly drawn LJ reader. Winners will be announced weekly.
Fill out the fields below to enter to win this week's prize-- a Pi Cobbler Breakout Kit for Raspberry Pi.
Congratulations to our winners so far:
- 5-8-13, Pi Starter Pack: Jack Davis
- 5-15-13, Pi Model B 512MB RAM: Patrick Dunn
- 5-21-13, Prototyping Pi Plate Kit: Philip Kirby
- Next winner announced on 5-27-13!
Free Webinar: Hadoop
How to Build an Optimal Hadoop Cluster to Store and Maintain Unlimited Amounts of Data Using Microservers
Realizing the promise of Apache® Hadoop® requires the effective deployment of compute, memory, storage and networking to achieve optimal results. With its flexibility and multitude of options, it is easy to over or under provision the server infrastructure, resulting in poor performance and high TCO. Join us for an in depth, technical discussion with industry experts from leading Hadoop and server companies who will provide insights into the key considerations for designing and deploying an optimal Hadoop cluster.
Some of key questions to be discussed are:
- What is the “typical” Hadoop cluster and what should be installed on the different machine types?
- Why should you consider the typical workload patterns when making your hardware decisions?
- Are all microservers created equal for Hadoop deployments?
- How do I plan for expansion if I require more compute, memory, storage or networking?