31.1. The X11R7.1 Release

31.1. The X11R7.1 Release

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.0.0 now uses the X11R7.1 release as the base X Window System, which includes several video driver, EXA, and platform support enhancements over the previous release, among others. In addition, this release also includes several automatic configuration features for the X server.

X11R7.1 is the first release to take specific advantage of the modularization of the X Window System. This modularization, which splits X into logically distinct modules, makes it easier for open source developers to contribute code to the system.


Red Hat Enterprise Linux no longer provides the XFree86™ server packages. Before upgrading a system to the latest version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, be sure that the system's video card is compatible with the X11R7.1 release by checking the Red Hat Hardware Compatibility List located online at http://hardware.redhat.com/.

In the X11R7.1 release, all libraries, headers, and binaries now live under /usr/ instead of /usr/X11R6. The /etc/X11/ directory contains configuration files for X client and server applications. This includes configuration files for the X server itself, the xfs font server, the X display managers, and many other base components.

The configuration file for the newer Fontconfig-based font architecture is still /etc/fonts/fonts.conf. For more on configuring and adding fonts, refer to Section 31.4, “Fonts”.

Because the X server performs advanced tasks on a wide array of hardware, it requires detailed information about the hardware it works on. The X server automatically detects some of this information; other details must be configured.

The installation program installs and configures X automatically, unless the X11R7.1 release packages are not selected for installation. However, if there are any changes to the monitor, video card or other devices managed by the X server, X must be reconfigured. The best way to do this is to use the X Configuration Tool (system-config-display), particularly for devices that are not detected manually.

In Red Hat Enterprise Linux's default graphical environment, the X Configuration Tool is available at System (on the panel) => Administration => Display.

Changes made with the X Configuration Tool take effect after logging out and logging back in.

For more information about X Configuration Tool, refer to Chapter 32, X Window System Configuration.

In some situations, reconfiguring the X server may require manually editing its configuration file, /etc/X11/xorg.conf. For information about the structure of this file, refer to Section 31.3, “X Server Configuration Files”.

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