Automatic driver reload with like with Microsoft Vista?

Jamey Sharp jamey at
Tue Dec 12 13:17:46 PST 2006

On Mon, Dec 11, 2006 at 05:57:10AM -0600, drag sidious wrote:
> I expect that this would be a handy feature for end users. Since the
> realities of video drivers mean that time to time hangs and such are
> unavoidable I think that this feature would be handy.. Is there some
> sort of heartbeat the system can do with the GUI to reset it if it
> starts hanging? Is is possible to do this without loosing the user's
> session?

Since Windows doesn't provide a network-transparent window system [1],
isolating buggy drivers is about the most exciting thing they can do
with this kind of feature. Of course, when bugs are common enough that
you're excited about making them less painful, you've got problems.

However, since X is network-transparent, "migration and replication"
become interesting. X apps should be able to move themselves from one X
server to another, and even display on multiple servers simultaneously.
See Jim Gettys' paper from Freenix 2002 [2]. In the abstract he
comments, "Applications should be able to easily survive the loss of the
X server ..." This is a key part of what you're asking for.

If toolkits and applications had widespread support for migration and
replication, then all we'd need to do what you ask is a trivial 100-line
watchdog process that could monitor, kill, and restart the X server. But
then we'd also have migration and replication, which would be so much
cooler than a mere bug workaround. :-)


[1] But Keith's paper on the architecture of WinCenter Pro is
    interesting reading:
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