Xsgi is the X Window System (X11) server for the IRIX-based graphical workstations and servers from Silicon Graphics (SGI). Xsgi was released in 1991 with IRIX 4.0 on the SGI Indigo workstation.


Work on Xsgi began in May 1989 when Tom Paquin left IBM to join SGI to integrate the X Window System with SGI's IRIS GL interface.[1] Paquin recruited a set of software engineers experienced in X server implementation: Jeff Weinstein, Erik Fortune, Paul Shupak, John Giannandrea, Peter Daifuku, Michael Toy, Todd Newman, Spence Murray, and Dave Spalding.

Graphics hardware designed by Silicon Graphics provides accelerated rendering access through graphics hardware commands rather than memory-mapped framebuffers manipulated by the CPU. This makes the Monochrome FrameBuffer (MFB) and Color FrameBuffer (CFB) device-dependent rendering layers supplied with the MIT X11 Sampler Server inappropriate for Silicon Graphics hardware. Jeff Weinstein developed the No FrameBuffer (NFB) device-dependent rendering layer to support the Silicon Graphics style of hardware access. SCO later incorporated the NFB layer in its X server porting layer.[2]

Silicon Graphics hardware includes overlay planes to provide a hardware overlay. Initial efforts by Todd Newman to implement overlay plane support in Xsgi eventually led to Peter Daifuku's "fully functional" support for overlay planes. Daifuku separated the notion of a window's visibility clipping region from the window's renderable clipping region. The previous MIT X sample server treats these two clipping regions as being the identical region. Xsgi advertises overlay planes as X11 visuals with their overlay characteristics described by the SERVER_OVERLAY_VISUALS convention.

Erik Fortune developed the X keyboard extension (XKB) for Xsgi.

Xsgi supports the X11, IRIS GL, OpenGL, Display PostScript, and PEX PHIGS rendering models.



  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 28, 2009. Retrieved January 2, 2009.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Developing NFB graphics adapter drivers Archived June 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine