XFree86 4.0 was the first official release of the new XFree86 4 series. The current release (4.4.0) is the latest in that series. XFree86 4 represents a significant redesign of the XFree86 X server, with a strong focus on modularity and clean interfaces compared with the previous XFree86 3.x series.
XFree86 4.4 introduces an automatic configuration mechanism for the XFree86 server which makes it now possible to start XFree86 without first creating a configuration file. The initial automatic configuration support is targeted towards Linux and FreeBSD and it is hoped that automatic configuration will be supported on other platforms in future releases.
If you are running either Linux or FreeBSD, try it out if you
do not already have a working
XF86Config file. If you want to
customise things afterwards, you can cut and paste the automatically
generated configuration from the
XF86Config file and make your customisations there.
If you do not have any luck with automatic configuration, or you are using a platform that is not currently supported, try one of the older methods for getting started.
XFree86 comes with a graphical configuration tool called "
which also has a text mode interface and can be used to create an initial
configuration file. It can also be used to customise existing
Next in the order of configuration preferences is to use the XFree86 server's ability to create a starting configuration file. Run as root:
and follow the instructions.
Finally, if all else fails, the trusty old standby text-based tool
xf86config" can also be used for generating X server config
At least one, and hopefully, all of these configuration options will give you a reasonable starting point for a suitable configuration file. With the automatic mechanism you might even find that you don't need one!
If you do need to customise the configuration file, see the XF86Config manual page. You can also check the driver-specific manual pages and the related documentation (found at tables below also.
Before downloading the binary distributions for this release, please have a quick read through the Installation Document. It may save you some time and also help you figure out which of the binary releases you need.
The next section describes what is new in the latest version (4.4.0) compared with the previous full release (4.3.0). 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.