Heads up: X server configuration changes

Peter Hutterer peter.hutterer at who-t.net
Tue Feb 16 06:01:59 UTC 2010

So you're running an X server? Well, my lad or lass, sit down and let me
tell you about the neverending story of X server input configuration
changes that has hopefully ended now.
I'm just pushing the latest X server goodness into rawhide and enabling
udev, completing (from the X server's POV) the excision of the hardware
abstraction layer that shall not be named.

>From F9 to including F12 (and rawhide until today) we've used hal to
discover the input devices. For lack of better options, this means that many
configurations have moved into fdi files. As you may know, hal is deprecated
and as much as fdi files may be pleasing to the eyes, there's just no future
in them. You'll just have to let it go, even if it hurts.

Instead, we have the newest latest and greatest bits, namely xorg.conf.d
support and InputClasses. You can drop configuration files into the new
directory and the server will pick it up on startup.
e.g. /etc/xorg.conf.d/foobar.conf
"A configuration directory? Is this even possible?" you say? I know, it
sounds mightily advanced but we have to keep surfing the wave of new
technological achievements.

The existing section types in xorg.conf(5) weren't really suitable, so we
now have something that resembles the functionality provided by hal's fdi
files. A section of type InputClass will match against multiple devices and
even hotplugged ones - depending on the match rules. An example section
looks like this:

Section "InputClass"
        Identifier "superhero mouse config"
        MatchIsPointer "on"
        MatchProduct "Mighty Mouse"
        Driver "evdev"
        Option "X-Ray vision" "on"

Any pointer device that contains "Mighty Mouse" in its product name will
match against this section and be added with the evdev driver and the
options as specified. That's just one example, I've tried to detail the new
configurations on our wiki.
If you think there's anything missing, please let me know or add it

Because the match rules are different to hal's matching rules, we don't have
an automatic conversion from your custom fdi files into xorg.conf format.
If you have custom rules, I recommend porting them to the new format before
updating to ensure a smooth upgrade.


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