X Server 1.8 with new configuration mechanisms
Intel employee and X veteran Keith Packard has recently released version 1.8.0 of X.org's X Server. Like all versions of X Server released in the past few years, the new version usually auto-configures a system's graphics hardware and input devices, which allows it to function without any configuration file at all on many systems. If manual configuration does become necessary, however, the new X Server can now assemble the configuration from individual files stored in
/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/; this is designed to offer a more flexible and less error-prone configuration procedure to distributors, third-party driver vendors and users.
After many Linux programs moved away from HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) in the past year, version 1.8 of X Server has now also followed this trend. The new version detects and implements input devices under Linux directly via udev. X developer Peter Hutterer posted some background information about this strategic shift, the configuration directory and various other changes on a blog a few months ago.
The new X Server also supports DRI 2.2, but is still missing XKB2 (X Keyboard Extension 2) support, which was originally already planned for the series 1.7 X Servers. The developers released the new version six months after version 1.7, with a delay of only a few days. The latter is probably also due to some changes in the release process the X.org developers agreed after scheduled new major releases of X Server and new X.org versions frequently suffered months of delays. There are currently no plans for a new X.org release with X Server 1.8; X.org 7.6 is scheduled for release in October and will probably be combined with a series 1.9 X Server.
The current version of NVIDIA's proprietary graphics driver is said to work with X Server 1.8. AMD's proprietary drivers are not as current and fail to even support series 1.7 of X Server. AMD apparently intends to remedy this situation in the coming weeks but it is unknown whether the planned modifications will also provide X Server 1.8 support.