How to Become an XFree86 Developer

The 4-Step Program:

  1. Get the latest code
  2. Build and test it on your hardware
  3. Subscribe at least to our devel list
  4. Participate regularly adding your insights, questions, gripes and raves

If you would like submit code or patches

When you feel comfortable and are ready to submit source code for either new features or patches to fix old ones to XFree86, first run it by the devel list. Once that's done, and particularly if there is no comment, meaning that no one has anything to offer or add to your work, submit your source to our Bug-Man. This is the best method to track ts progress and view when it is applied against the source. If that sounds more trouble than it is worth (the Bug-Man requires you set up an account first to submit bugs, but you can query for free), then just submit it to Either way, a committer will 'claim' it and then apply it for you. Look to the CVS-commit messages for confirmation as not all committers remember to close out a Bug patch and patches of course leaves no trail.

Submitting code and applying patches always happens, at all times of our development cycles. Whether your work will be applied depends upon it's relevance to where in the cycle it is submitted, so always pay attention to where in the cycle we currently are.

An important note: You cannot bypass the devel method if you are proposing new features or methods.

Copyrights and Licensing

When submitting code it is important to understand our licensing policy, particularly since XFree86 is not a GPL Project. Code submitted under the restrictions of the GPL are not acceptable and will be refused because the GPL does not allow for binary-only distributions.

The core components of the XFree86 distribution are covered by the XFree86 Project License which is in turn based on the original MIT/X license. There are though, many other licenses in XFree86 and this list has all that are in the current XFree86 release. It also provides an example of acceptable copyright/licensing schemes.

For a new license to be submitted to XFree86, it must meet all of the following free and open-source conditions:

Contributors of source code to The XFree86 Project are free to retain ownership of their code and although contributors may choose to assign copyright ownership of such code to XFree86 there is no requirement or expectation that this be done. A consequence of this is that XFree86 developers are free to release any or all of the code that they contribute independently of XFree86 releases.

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XFree86® is a registered trademark of The XFree86 Project, Inc.

Last Modified: 9 February 2005.

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