The X Window System is ubiquitous on UNIX computers and now that Linux has achieved widespread use, X is becoming commonplace. XFree86 is a freely redistributable implementation of the X Window System. This essay describes installing and using XFree86 on OS/2.
The documentation for XFree86 is not inadequate; rather there are megabytes of files describing every detail. This essay attempts to distill this somewhat. My first attempt to install XFree86 failed, I encountered a bug in version version 3.3.3 that was corrected in version 3.3.5.
Note: as of 2014, I'm informed that these instructions no longer result in working X on eComStation. In any case, the version of X presented is so old that it is unlikely to interoperate with other operating systems.
To run XFree86, you should first install emx. Only the runtime of emx is required. These directions assume the use of InfoZip tools to uncompress the archives. Download the following files. I have included the SVGA driver because it will work for so many display adapters.
Download XFree86/OS2 from the XFree86.org site in North America.
|Filename||Date||Size in bytes|
|Xbase.zip||9 Jan 2000||238,887|
|Xbin.zip||9 Jan 2000||2,623,021|
|Xdoc.zip||9 Jan 2000||269,822|
|Xfnts.zip||9 Jan 2000||1,322,729|
|Xman.zip||9 Jan 2000||1,990,535|
|XSVGA.zip||9 Jan 2000||1,755,241|
XFree86/OS2 relies on a server program to match a video card. The SVGA server supports most cards. To properly test a system, the XFree86/OS2 device driver (xf86sup.sys) must be installed.
I chose to install XFree86 in the root of my e: drive. These are the steps I used to install the driver.
My SuperProbe results
Chipset: Matrox Millenium (PCI Probed) RAMDAC: TI ViewPoint 3026 24-bit Truecolor DAC w/cursor, pixel mux, clock (with 6-bit wide lookup tables (or in 6-bit mode)
These are the steps I used to install XFree86/OS2. Note that my user name is zonker and my machine name is rambopeep.
set term=ANSI set termcap=e:/bin/emx/etc/TERMCAP.X11 set user=zonker set home=e:\zonker set x11root=e: set display=rambopeep:0.0 set xserver=e:/XFree86/bin/XF86_SVGA.exe set etc=e:\mptn\etc set tmp=e:\temp set logname=zonker set hostname=rambopeep set manpath=e:/XFree86/man
Now that XFree86 is installed, it needs to be configured.
So far, I have added xgalaga, a clone of a video game from the 1980's.
The XFree86/OS2 web page.
The XFree86/OS2 ports web page.
Frequently Asked Questions
The XFree86/OS2 FAQ web page.