XFree86 4.0 was the first official release of the new XFree86 4 series. XFree86 4.2.1 is the first update to 4.2.0, which is the latest full release in that series. XFree86 4 represents a significant redesign of the XFree86 X server. Not all of the hardware drivers from 3.3.x have been ported to 4.x yet, but conversely, 4.x has some hardware support not present in 3.3.x. Our Driver Status document summarizes how the hardware driver support compares between 3.3.6 and 4.2.1. Please check there first before downloading 4.2.1.
The 4.0.1 release introduced a new graphical configuration tool,
xf86cfg", and a text mode interface was added to it for the
4.0.2 release. It is work in progress, but definitely worth trying out.
The trusty old text-based tool "
xf86config" can also be used
for generating X server config files. In addition to these tools, we've
been working on a configuration tool that is built-in to the X
server. It is included in the release, and it works well for some
hardware. To try it out, just run (as root) "
Each of these configuration options will give you a reasonable starting
point for a suitable configuration file. We've put some effort into
documenting the 4.2.1 config file format, and you can find that
information in the XF86Config manual page. Check that, the driver manual
pages and the related documentation for further information.
Before you go to download and install the binary distributions for this release, please have a quick read through the Installation Document. It may save you some time and help you figure out which of the binary releases you need.
The next sections describe what has changed in the update release(s) as well as what is new in the latest full release (4.2.0). The other sections below describe some of the new features and changes between 3.3.x and 4.0. There are lot's of new features, and we definitely don't have enough space to cover them all here.