Xgl is an implementation of a display server for the X11 protocol. Xgl is based on the glitz program library to access the OpenGL API hardware accelerated thus expire. The project was located between 2006 and 2008 in the early phase of its development, but was discontinued in June 2008.

The development of Xgl architecture gave the Novell employee David Reveman end of 2004. The source code was opened on January 2, 2006 and included in the freedesktop.org project. In the course of the developers of the program structure changed greatly to facilitate the inclusion of additional video drivers.

Xgl should allow for the Linux desktop additional effects such as transparency, shadows and animations that take advantage of the 3D capabilities of modern graphics cards without additional load on the processor. Currently available in most modern PCs have sufficient powerful graphics cards, but many manufacturers offer no open source drivers for the supported platforms.

A window is started Technically, in a normal, classic X - server in which OpenGL through direct communication is allowed with the graphic card. This window behaves the window manager and other programs as compared to the real X server, much like Xnest. The output of the window is also what is displayed to the user on the screen.

Composition and Window Manager

Obtained in the course of the development of the Novell Linux Desktop 10 with Compiz a first, experimental composition manager developed that demonstrates the new possibilities of Xgl. An important feature of Compiz is that it simultaneously acts as a window manager in addition to compositing. It is currently replacing default in a desktop environment the appropriate window manager. In Compiz sample applications such as transparency, 3D arrangement of virtual desktops, live previews of windows, continuous zoom and physical properties for windows ( also referred to as " Wobbly " effect) have already been implemented, which demonstrate the possibilities of Xgl.

Other window managers were also later extended to compositing tools that can be used with Xgl. The Compiz Beryl cleavage can also be used with Xgl. Middle of 2007 were reunited Beryl and Compiz. Beryl was renamed to Compiz Fusion and gave the core of the project on. Compiz fusion is now exclusively plugins for Compiz ( core component of the program) ready.


Xglx was the first back-end that has been implemented for Xgl and currently occupies the main part of the development work. There is an existing X server with GLX ahead. However Xgl will in the future do not run on an X server, but get with Xegl its own server implementation.


With Xegl exists a long-term goal in the X development. Xegl is a server that writes directly to the framebuffer via OpenGL, with the Mesa 3D implementation of the EGL API will be used.

In Xegl the entire graphic representation on OpenGL should take place, so that current graphics drivers can be easily designed. These are currently broken down into individual parts for 2D and 3D acceleration, which would account for by such a simplification. Furthermore, all the code that depends on the graphics card driver dependent, removed from the X server. Thus, the rendering of the server is independent of the X server.

Nvidia and ATI have signaled that they would publish binary drivers for OpenGL -based X server in case of a stable API.


With the AIGLX initiated by the Fedora Project, there is another version for Linux and other Unix platforms.

Hardware-accelerated 2D display is already under the name " Quartz 2D Extreme " included with Mac OS X 10.4. Windows Vista uses a similar technique.