Subject: Put big hunks of the Xserver in the kernel?
To: None <,>
From: Gordon W. Ross <>
List: current-users
Date: 01/24/1996 12:02:12
> From:
> Date: Wed, 24 Jan 1996 00:49:23 -0500 (EST)

[ Is the i386 Xserver SUID root, and why... ]

> > Matthew green wrote (in his message from Mon 22)
> > 
> > Yes. root is basically needed to get access to i/o operations on the
> > VGA cards. This is very difficult to suppress. It would mean:
> > 
> > 1. Write a device driver for each different graphic board on the
> >    market (it should probably implement the mi level of the Xserver to
> >    be safe)
> > 2. Have XFree86 (and the other available servers) use them.
> > 
> Which would mean that NetBSD would have exactly 1 Xserver program
> that would run on all supported platforms, where these devices exist.
> What's the problem? I like this idea. Now granted, that's alot of work
> to get the MI layer of the server into a thing suitable for kernel mode,
> and it would add to the kernel somewhat, but it would be cool. I mean,
> one Xserver program, and a generic kernel for each platform that
> supports all of the cards (big kernel!). None of this "Did you get
> the Xthis server or the Xthat server" garbage that we have to deal with
> now.

Remember this old guidline:
If something does not need to be in the kernel for either functional
or performance reasons, then it should not be in the kernel.

This guidline helps preserve system robustness, and makes debugging
much easier, among several other advantages...