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April 13, 2010 / P. Filippaios

Yes, we like HAL-less systems

Xorg-server is getting free from deprecated technologies.

If you are curious about reading this post, you may already know that I may mean that I’ve moved to Xorg-server 1.8.

Till Jan de Groot (and the team that tests the Xorg-server) passes this package (and all of the deps) to [extra], there is a mini repo here [just add this to your /etc/pacman.conf IF you are willing to risk]


Include = /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist

If you use the opensource packages, you are OK. If you use fglrx or/and nvidia, you have problems.

For that thing called fglrx, you can install the 10.4 prerelease [for the time speaking] which, according to the Archers on it can work with Xorg-server 1.8 BUT the xorg-server package must be hacked and masked as … Xorg-server 1.7.x. That can be done with a small hack on the file, which gives the version name to the package.

For NVidia, officially, the current driver [ 195.36.15] does not officially support Xorg-server 1.8.

You can of course override two ways:

1) If you run KDM, go to /usr/share/config/kdm/kdmrc and modify the ServerArgsLocal line like this:

ServerArgsLocal=-ignoreABI -nolisten tcp


2) Put this in your xorg.conf

Section "ServerFlags"
   Option         "IgnoreABI" "True"


You may upgrade this way to Xorg-server 1.8. I didn’t find any performance problems here or artifacts.

Why is Xorg-server 1.8 important ?

Xorg-server 1.8 is the first release that is HAL free. HAL development has been stalled many months now, since Udisks/Upower/U*[put-a-name-here], have replaced it, for development reasons mostly, since the devs were complaining for lack of documentation and deprecated techonologies.

Read more here:

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Leave a Comment
  1. sonay / Apr 13 2010 7:31 pm

    why is hal bad? I remember reading archwiki say kde needs it

    • flamelab / Apr 15 2010 8:07 pm

      KDE is (fortunatelly) conservative regarding such *big* changes, so KDE 4.4 still depends on HAL. KDE 4.5 may have support for U* packages only, but I’m not sure

      U* packages = Udev/Udisks/Upower

  2. Berseker / Apr 18 2010 12:18 pm

    Yeah, the only problem is at the momente that U*stuff simply can’t do all the things that HAL did (mounting mp3 players, photocameras, etc).
    Also I really do not understand why we have to switch again from one system to another, with a completely different syntax for the config files..

    I hope that someday I will be able to see some kind of auto-configuration of any device connected to a pc in linux too.

    • flamelab / Apr 18 2010 6:22 pm

      What I hope is that RH (which develops Udisks/Upower, mostly) will STAY on that platform for many years, so that everybody (users,devs,companies) have a stable platform to work on.

      So that we don’t have to reach year 2012 and have news like ” replaces Udev/Udisks/Upower”, with many backend changes.


  1. 2010 in review « Linuxology

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