XFree86 4.0.1 is a the upgrade to the first full release in the new XFree86 4 series. Release 4 is a major re-design of the basic architectural underpinnings of XFree86's implementation of the original X Consortium's X Server. This re-design allows for a modular interaction between the hardware drivers and the XFree86 core X server. With 4.0, upgrades to the X server with new and unsupported hardware can be easily done and installed without undergoing the previous process of rebuilding a X server. All that is required is installing the new driver module and updating the configuration file.
The road to XFree86 Release 4 began as an architectural concept in mid 1997, with the serious framework being implemented in code the beginning of 1998. There were several snapshots on the road to 4.0 which are now part of the 4.0 base release. The 4.0.1 version is an upgrade to 4.0, which include more hardware ports, code enhancements and bug fixes.
Release 4 also included the long-awaited integration of the DRI (Direct Rendering Infrastructure). This upgrade into the code base gives XFree86 the abilities of direct 3-D graphics rendering, used widely in games and other visualization programs.
Many drivers used in the old 3.3.x series have not be converted over to the 4.0 design and so check first whether your hardware is supported before upgrading to the 4.0 series in the Driver Status document.
Specific release enhancements can be viewed in the Release Notes.
Information about binary distributions and the attendant installation instructions can be found in the Installation Document.
Copyright and Licensing information for this release and all XFree86 releases can be found in the License Document.