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Thread: Ubuntu Working Towards A Rootless X Server

  1. #1
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    Default Ubuntu Working Towards A Rootless X Server

    Phoronix: Ubuntu Working Towards A Rootless X Server

    One of the benefits of kernel mode-setting on Linux besides providing a flicker-free boot experience, faster and better VT switching, and a cleaner architecture is that it removes a requirement against the X.Org Server from needing to be run as root. With Ubuntu 10.04 LTS now utilizing kernel mode-setting across Intel / ATI and AMD / NVIDIA graphics hardware, they are looking to make the X Server run as a normal user in upcoming releases...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=ODIzNQ

  2. #2
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    FYI: "rootless" has a special meaning when talking about things related to X. To convey the meaning intended, "non-root" should be used. Ideally, you should say "not running as root", but I realize that can be a bit long for a headline.

  3. #3
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    If they actually manage to get the ball rolling on this, then I'll never bitch about Ubuntu again (well, I'll at least stop for a month or two).

    This is something I've been waiting for since I started playing around with KMS in 2.6.28...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by waucka View Post
    FYI: "rootless" has a special meaning when talking about things related to X. To convey the meaning intended, "non-root" should be used. Ideally, you should say "not running as root", but I realize that can be a bit long for a headline.
    Indeed, but you are complaining at the wrong place: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/X/Rootless

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    A Google search for "rootless X server" mainly gives results about non-root user X. So I guess that's the meaning most people associate with this.

  6. #6

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    Hi,

    KMS work for this has already been done by Intel and Red Hat. It requires more upstream work to do this in a clean non-distro specific way and I am not sure Canonical is committing to doing that. It would be nice if they did.

  7. #7
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    Default closed source drivers running as non-root?

    Okay so question then:
    If nvidia and ATI provide support for KVM does that technically mean that these binary blobs wount need to run as root also?

    The potential benfits of this would be huge!
    Just think since it isnt running as root there would me more umph root is able to give if X were to crash and eat all the ram

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RealNC View Post
    A Google search for "rootless X server" mainly gives results about non-root user X. So I guess that's the meaning most people associate with this.
    In the top 20 results, fully seven of them are Michael Larabel using the redefined term in his articles, which is one person, not "most". Collapsing those, we get mostly results about X servers without their own root windows, in the context of Cygwin, Mac OS X, Xephyr/Xnest and DirectFB.

  9. #9
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    You dare oppose the Google?

  10. #10
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    @netsurf: even so, they would still have the binary blob in the kernel, running at above-root privileges.

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