XFree86 4.0 was the first official release of the new XFree86 4 series. The current release (4.3.0) is the latest 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 support for a lot of hardware that is not supported in 3.3.x. Our Driver Status document summarizes how the hardware driver support compares between 3.3.6 and 4.3.0. Please check there first before downloading 4.3.0.
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 the preferred configuration tool provided by with
XFree86. The trusty old text-based tool "
xf86config" can also
be used for generating X server config files. In addition to these
tools, the XFree86 server has some built in capabilities for generating
a base config file. This works well for most hardware, and in most
cases is the easiest way to get an initial config file. 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 4.3.0 config file format, and you can find that information in the XF86Config manual page. Check there and the driver-specific manual pages and the related documentation for further information. References to this driver-specific information can be found in the tables below.
We have plans to make the configuration file optional in a future release. The XFree86 server is close to being able to automatically determine a complete base configuration for most popular hardware configurations.
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 section describes what is new in the latest version (4.3.0) compared with the previous 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.