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Thread: MicroXwin superlight alternative to X windowing system

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    69

    Default MicroXwin superlight alternative to X windowing system

    From their website:
    http://www.microxwin.com/
    MicroXwin is binary compatible to the Xlib API. However it is neither client server nor network oriented. Graphics operations are implemented in the linux kernel via a kernel module. An open source Xlib library sends graphics commands to the kernel. There is no network overhead and no context switch from X client to X server. This makes our solution smaller and faster than traditional X Windows.

    It seems that this implementation would boost considerably the performance (they claim):
    An improvement of 62% for asynchronous display or 384% for synchronous display of images of a 100x100 size.
    Scrolling a web page under MicroXwin is much faster and smoother.
    There are only about 300 Kbytes of kernel memory in use by the kernel module. X.Org server, however, has a run-time memory usage of 12MB.
    The smallest MicroXwin distribution can fit within 1 megabyte of disk space in contrast to the X.Org Server, which has a disk footprint of 1.8MB.

    What I don't understand is: it seems all good and perfect, but apart from the fact that is a proprietary module, what are the big cons?
    I mean if a distribution is going to use it, what would be the limitations for a Home user? (3D and 2D missing funcionality, or impossibility to use some open or closed drivers etc etc, application incompatibility?)
    Is out there any distribution implementing that?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    3,046

    Default

    From their FAQ:

    Why not open source the kernel module ?.
    ANYTHING that uses this and is placed into the hands of an individual is an EXPLICIT GPL violation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    69

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    From their FAQ:



    ANYTHING that uses this and is placed into the hands of an individual is an EXPLICIT GPL violation.
    are you saying their work is illegal?
    If true it would be very stupid from them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    780

    Default

    Direct rendering for 2d apps certainly is an interesting project. Hopefully G3D will provide the same benefits eventually.
    Wrapping Xlib sounds like a smart solution, maybe something can be pillaged from that code eventually.



    Re GPL: The kernel module itself isn't illegal. Distributing the kernel module without source code might be illegal if it's a derived work of the kernel.

    Distributing a whole linux OS that contains binary modules is problematic in any case, that's why there's no distribution that contains the proprietary gfx drivers out of the box.

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