MacGIMP shipping with "stable rootless implementation of XFree86...?"

  • Dave Thorup
    Dave Thorup

    The MacGIMP people are claiming to have a "stable rootless implementation of XFree86 4.0.3, plus XFree86 4.1"  I'm just wondering where they got this.  Does anyone know if they are using source from this project or did they do the rootless implementation themselves?  I might go and buy a CD from them just to get the rootless XFree86.

    • While one can't know for sure unless they distribute source, I am almost certain they did not do this themselves and are using Gregory Parker's rootless patch to the development version of XFree86 on May 4. (XonX patch #421300. This was around the time of XAqua0.5, so you often see this refered to as a rootless version of XAqua0.5.) After Greg did this patch there were changes made in the mainline of XFree86 which broke his patch. So XFree86 4.1 includes improvements that aren't in the rooltess version. This is probably why they are distributing both an XFree86 4.0.3 rootless version and standard XFree86 4.1.

      If you read up on patch #421300 here, Greg gives some directions on how you can get a precompiled binary of it, assuming he is still distributing this binary. That patch has been closed because a working rootless version is now part of the XFree86 mainline development version. In the near future we will be releasing a binary patch here to XFree86 4.1 so that users can test and give us feedback on the new rootless mode. If you can't wait, build XFree86 from the top of the XFree86 CVS tree and give "startx -- -rootless" a try.

      This is not to say that you shouldn't buy a CD from MacGIMP. What they are selling is all the pieces you need put together in a very easy installation. That way you don't have to trot all over the web finding everything you need.

    • I'm quite sure that they're using Greg's patches published some weeks before 4.1.0 was released. So actually it's not 4.0.3, but 4.0.99.something that they're offering.

      MacGIMP also has the rootless server posted at (though I don't know if that's the same version as shipped on the CDs). Four or five weeks ago I mailed Mat Caughron (one of the MacGIMP people), asking if he could tell me what version of XFree86 and what patch they used, and if he could add that info to the page. I got no reply and the page still has only the download links.

      Note that the BSD-style license of XFree86 makes all of this perfectly legal. If they want, they can make changes, keep the code to themselves and sell just the binaries.


      • Anonymous

        "Note that the BSD-style license of XFree86 makes all of this perfectly legal.  If they want, they can make changes, keep the code to themselves and sell just the binaries."

        This is only partially true.  While XFree uses a "BSD like" license, GTK and Gimp do not, they use the GPL.  The GPL clearly states "These requirements apply to the modified work as a whole. If identifiable sections of that work are not derived from the Program, and can be reasonably considered independent and separate works in themselves, then this License, and its terms, do not apply to those sections when you distribute them as separate works. But when you distribute the same sections as part of a whole which is a work based on the Program, the distribution of the whole must be on the terms of this License, whose permissions for other licensees extend to the entire whole, and thus to each and every part regardless of who wrote it. "

        This seems to say that when you bundle the packages of Xfree with Gimp, Xfree must be published under the GPL.  This may be why XFree doesn't use one package for its own distribution, since parts of it are based on the GPL (, and under the same reasoning it may be why every Linux distributer use seperate packages in thier installers so as to not "mix" GPLed code with non-GPLed code...

        Now I haven't seen MacGimps installer, they make take the individual packages seperated, all scripted to install for you with a nice OS X app...

        • As you said, "This is only partially true." :-)

          >This may be why XFree doesn't use one package for
          >its own distribution, since parts of it are based
          >on the GPL (
          >licence.html), and under the same reasoning it
          >may be why every Linux distributer use seperate
          >packages in thier installers so as to not "mix"
          >GPLed code with non-GPLed code...

          Reread the web page you mentioned. In fact XFree86 contains no GPLed code and it will not accept any in the future. The key passage from the web page is, "However, some other Open Source compatible licenses are considered too restrictive for XFree86 use. They include the GNU Public License and the Perl Artistic License"

          The main reason why XFree86 distributes its releases in separate binary tarballs is to allow users on slower FTP connections to download more modestly sized files and to pick and choose which of the optional components they want to install.


          • Anonymous

            My bad on that...

            I do think the GPL seems to say that repackaging GPL code with non-GPL code is a big no-no.  Then as political as the GPL can be, I wouldn't be surprised that Stallman wants everything on a CD that contains GPLed software to be under the GPLed.

            What I do find interesting, if very nit-picky, they needed to mod makefiles ( to get full functionality out of Gimp when they compiled it.  We all know what the GPL has to say about what one has to do when they distribute such code.

            Bah.  Not that I should care too much anyhow.

    • Mat Caughron
      Mat Caughron

      The version of rootless-patched XFree is 4.0.3 with the rootless patches from this site.  I'm building a seprate packaged installer for this.  Would anyone here care to assist in testing with me? 

      - Mat

      • >The version of rootless-patched XFree is
        >4.0.3 with the rootless patches from this site.

        I'm sorry, but I don't get it. You're claiming you have ported the rootless patch that was against the XFree86 CVS of 2001-05-04 back to 4.0.3, which doesn't even contain Quartz fullscreen support?