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Linux Desktops Get a Graphics Boost

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The Linux desktop is about to get a 3-D makeover courtesy of Novell.

Novell is contributing a new graphics subsystem called "Xgl" and the associated "Compiz" compositing manager to the granddaddy of all Linux and UNIX windowing infrastructures, X.org.

The move may well herald in a new era of graphics power for Linux and according to Novell has already garnered the interest of the principal graphics chips vendors, Intel, ATI and Nvidia.

Xgl enables *nix systems to fully take advantage of 3-D acceleration hardware. Xgl according to Novell's description is the X server architecture layered on top of OpenGL.

The new enhancements enable a long list of capabilities for Linux that include improved 3-D capabilities and more fluid "fancy" desktop animations and transitions.

From a technical perspective it is a pluggable modular architecture that is intended to easily allow developers to take advantage of its capabilities.

"Now Linux has a world-class totally modern graphics system that will last us for the next decade," Nat Friedman, vice president of Linux desktop engineering at Novell told internetnews.com.

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