[newb] Will xorg still allow non-hal config?

Colin Guthrie gmane at colin.guthr.ie
Sat Nov 29 10:12:09 PST 2008

eatdirt wrote:
> Hi all,
> sorry about the naive questions, I am a mandriva cooker tester/user, and 
> I have just discovered recently that soon, I'll have to start HAL to get 
> working device under X. So I have a few comments/questions:
> 1) Today, if you are not under the gas factory desktops, gnome/kde, you 
> don't need HAL. I never used/needed HAL. Will xorg still allow users to 
> not use HAL?

Yes. Some platforms that Xorg is on do not support hal. But that said, 
there are lots of things in Gnome/KDE that just don't work without HAL, 
so more and more you will need it for correct operation. Is there any 
reason you have a problem using hal?

At the moment, Xorg will automatically disabled kbd/mouse devices unless 
you set the AllowEmptyInput flag in the server.

 From the man page:

        Option "AllowEmptyInput" "boolean"
               If enabled, don't add the standard keyboard and mouse 
drivers, if there are no input devices in the config file.  Enabled by 
default if AutoAddDevices and AutoEnableDe‐
               vices is enabled, otherwise disabled.  If AllowEmptyInput 
is on, devices using the kbd or mouse driver are ignored.

> 2) I am not competent to understand the need of HAL under xorg. But I am 
> experienced enough to understand that doing so will increase the 
> probability of X failure by, at least, the one of HAL failure. Why 
> taking such a risk?

While I cannot answer for certain, I believe the end goal is to have X 
"just work" One of the best ways to get information about what devices 
exist on the system is to use HAL. The alternative would be to implement 
functionality very similar to HAL in xserver itself, but why reinvent 
the wheel.

> 3) Does Xorg plan is to become a big unique freedesktop/operating system 
> in itself, sort of windows like? [<--- tease :)]

?? Xorg is the xserver and related drivers and apps. While this is a 
critical part of the puzzle I doubt this is anywhere near comparable to 
what you would call a operating system.


Colin Guthrie

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