[Exherbo-dev] Some X-related options

Bernd Steinhauser exherbo at bernd-steinhauser.de
Sun Jan 5 12:24:24 UTC 2014

I was thinking about the optional support for xinerama we have in some exheres. 
Now for a short explanation:
xinerama [1] is an extension to the X server, which allows spanning a desktop 
across multiple monitors (with some downsides). Originally, this was used to do 
exactly that. These days, it has been deprecated by randr and it's purpose is to 
provide applications with information about the physical screen dimensions. This 
is only necessary for few applications, likewindow managers, media playersor 
toolkits. Therefore, the xinerama option is a bit misleading, is it is more 
about multimonitor support in *clients* rather than the server (which xrandr is 
In a world, where multiple monitor support should be mandatory (think about 
laptops, beamers etc.), this ability should be always available.In addition, 
libXinerama is rather small (takes less than a minute to compile and less than 
200K disc space), so I suggest to couple it to the other X libs(which means that 
it'll be optional if "X" is optional).

So while we are at it, I was looking at some other options, which fall in the 
same category:
xrandr: app-emulation/vice and x11-wm/pekwm; Running X these without xrandr in 
my opinion is just stupid. So unless there is a really good reason for this 
option, it'll go as well.
xv: mostly media players; xv is the standard video output, doesn't take much 
space and afaik, it is used as a fallback if accelerated outputs don't work; so 
basically just about everybody wants this
composite (libXcomposite): this one is more questionable, since not everybody 
will use the composite extension (used for composite window managers), but it is 
small (<160K here) and compiles fast (less than 30s for 32bit+64bit over here)

All of these will of course be handled the same as xinerama. If you think that 
an option should definitely stay, speak up now. ;)
Other suggestions are of course welcome, too. I should also mention, that once 
wayland matures, most (if not all) of these deps will go away. Grouping the deps 
will make it slightly easier to switch to a wayland-only system.

Other candidates I'm not so sure about:
dga: Direct graphicaccess
xft: X font support
xpm: X Pixmap support

[1] http://www.x.org/wiki/guide/extensions/#index4h2

More information about the Exherbo-dev mailing list