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3. System Software

3.1. X Servers

The most notable freely available set of X servers are known as XFree86, which is included with all of the Linux distributions.

The main reasons for choosing a commercial X server over XFree86 are fourfold:

Metrolink X

The "robust" X, offering OpenGL , biometric authentication, as well as support for Digital Alpha (See: List of Cards Supported for Digital Alpha .)

Accelerated X

The "fast" X. I have used Accelerated X to drive my Diamond Viper card. Their old URL was; apparently they have changed the company name because they were getting monstrous numbers of web "hits" from people looking for sexually-oriented materials. ("Shouldn't X-Inside mean that you've got really 'hot stuff' inside?!?")

It is not obvious anymore that either product is significantly faster than the other; note that Caldera's Linux offerings have assortedly included versions of both at different times. These products seem to be quite comparable in both price and in functionality. Accelerated X usually supports somewhat more video cards, whilst Metro X provides "multi-headed support" as a no-extra-cost built-in feature (e.g. - support of multiple video cards and monitors on a single computer). Neither difference is likely to be of much importance to the typical user.

Both tend to provide support for new and exotic video hardware more quickly than does XFree86.

3.2. Other X Tools

3.3. Boot Management Tools

3.4. Network Security, Monitoring, Response

3.5. Fax, Pager Systems

3.6. Emulators

A company called ARDI has created a credible Mac emulator. It essentially emulates MacOS 6.0.5; they have done a clean-room reimplementation which runs under a variety of operating systems, notably Linux, MS-DOS, OS/2, and NeXT.


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