Kdrive (Xvesa) dropped from Xorg

The Xvesa (Kdrive) server got merged into Xorg awhile back. It was in Xfree86, but Xorg dropped it. Now they have dropped it again.

I read earlier today that it was seriously neglected anyway. The T2 people were trying to compile it in Xorg 7.4 back in Feb. this year, but then Rene Rebe found out this:

Even more annoying is that the kdrive xvesa was deleted from
the xorg-server git repository some weeks ago!


Too bad the commit message does not even indicate why, ...

...quoted from T2 mail list:


Remi Cardona replied:

Because it had been severely broken by other changes in the server and
no-one really cared about it anyway.

You'll probably be much better off using kdrive's Xfbdev on top of
uvesafb or another kernel fb driver.

Yes, I might follow-up the latter recommendation. We used to use Xfbdev in Puppy way back.... v2 I think. There's even a bit of Xfbdev-specific code still in /usr/X11R7/xwin I think.

Posted on 5 Apr 2009, 20:50


Posted on 6 Apr 2009, 2:00 by BarryK
Xfbdev was in Pup v1.x
No, further back, early to mid 2005. The "Xfbdev Video Wizard" (the script was called "framebufferwizard") was in Puppy 1.0.4:


...do a search for "xfbdev".

I forgot that there ever was such a wizard. Kernel framebuffer support has progressed, apparently there's new stuff in the 2.6.29 kernel. So worth another look.

Posted on 6 Apr 2009, 2:01 by raymundo dionicio
xvesa valuable asset
I am just a Linux user
seeing sadly my preferred video layer
struggling to survive.

In a side note of interest to APUP:


signed by Eduardo Romero on 2009-04-02

'i686 support not being dropped'

'Hi, Arch Linux users, we are pleased to inform you that the i686 architecture is not going to be dropped from Arch Linux. It all was part of an April Fools joke, in which all the developers and the forum moderators played a big part....'

Posted on 6 Apr 2009, 2:06 by happypuppy
Go with XfbDev
XfbDev has one major advantage: You can select the refresh rate (it's not fixed to 60Hz as in Kdrive / Xvesa)

Great news for those running old CRT monitors and quality LCD displays.

Posted on 6 Apr 2009, 2:12 by happypuppy
Another reason for dropping Xvesa
Another disadvantage of Xvesa is the mouse cursor doesn't respond for 5 seconds after the desktop appears on screen.

Posted on 6 Apr 2009, 2:26 by BarryK
Yeah, the 2.6.29 kernel has inbuilt video modesetting, see intro here:


However, it is too immature to actually use.

Oh, here's another place to read about what's going on in the kernel:


Posted on 6 Apr 2009, 2:27 by 8-bit
I run Puppy from VirtualBox in Vista. And the virtual interface to my hardware does not seem to support Xorg. So unless I am missing something, I need XVesa to be able to continue to do so.
Also, there are a lot of end users that have video hardware that is unsupported by Xorg. So the option for a generic video driver is still needed.
My 2 cents worth.

Posted on 6 Apr 2009, 2:28 by happypuppy
The future XServer for Puppy
And this is the future:


Posted on 6 Apr 2009, 3:22 by Pizzasgood
VirtualBox - maybe is like Qemu?
8-bit: I don't know about VirtualBox, but in Qemu the display sort of dies after xorgwizard does the probing. Somebody on the forum explained what was actually happening and how to fix it, but I don't remember who or how. But the good news is that it doesn't actually die, so if you can finish the xorgwizard blindly, the wizard will finish and the screen will reactivate when Xorg starts.

So maybe VirtualBox has the same problem. If so, you should be able to just mash the enter key for a while after the display dies, and it will come back up.

Posted on 6 Apr 2009, 5:45 by cli_user
jaunty puppy
I've started upgrading woof to Jaunty because the Xorg intel video seems to work with compiz, with a python script to handle the version number changes.

Posted on 6 Apr 2009, 8:24 by drongo
Opera can't see this site
Barry, I can see this new layout OK in Firefox but not in Opera 9.64 (on XP). All I get is the icons not the text and hyperlinks.

I'm in the UK and about to go to bed so I'm not going to check it in Puppy tonight (actually it's morning now!)

Posted on 6 Apr 2009, 8:28 by happypuppy
It works with Opera 10
Use Opera 10 Alpha:


It works perfectly :)

Posted on 6 Apr 2009, 8:29 by drongo
Sorry, not the blog - I can't get to that. I can't see the top-level www.puppylinux.com page. Just get four icons and your avatar.

Posted on 6 Apr 2009, 9:38 by dogone
Opera can see this site
I can reassure drongo that Opera 9.64 CAN see this site. I've not had a problem with any 9.x release, but... try disabling "Fit to Width". That feature can garble page formatting and push content down screen.

Posted on 6 Apr 2009, 10:33 by PaulBx1
I will be very sad if xvesa goes away. There have been many times when xorg did not work - either something needed tweaking, or simply would not work at all (my latest dance with Arch is a perfect example). Or there are times when I just want a quick pfix=ram boot when I don't care much about the display, e.g. for pupsave backup. I don't mind the notion of throwing away dilapidated code, but only if the thing replacing it is rock-solid; and xorg ain't.

Posted on 6 Apr 2009, 14:26 by drongo
Opera Ok now
Well what do you know, everything is OK now. I tried the Register, Distrowatch, the puppy forum and Tuxmachines last night and they all rendered perfectly.

I don't know what it was, I was getting the icons from the next page down (avatar rather than Puppy logo). Maybe a local cache problem? I'd previously visited using Seamonkey yesterday.

Sorry for the false alarm.

Posted on 7 Apr 2009, 3:44 by nic2109
Browser Issues
I find that neither Safari nor Chrome render this site perfectly. Both are acceptable, but not quite right. Other browsers are OK.

Posted on 8 Apr 2009, 23:41 by foo
XfbDev, xvesa
Agreed with PaulBx1, a 'foolproof' fallback display mode is a very good idea for those new to Puppy. Far too often (for me, anyway) Xorg consistently failed on some machines in the past and even now needs tweaks and is fairly slow on a re-X compared to xvesa. If XfbDev fills that need for a foolproof, easy to use fallback .. great.