Mike Andrew

I have used Collins Richey XFREE 401 SxS as the base of this article.

The principle of patching is

It is the latter that is all important. Patches work on pristine source code. This means you need, pristine source code to begin with.

Bite the bullet. If you envisage yourself upgrading


Grab the pristine source and compile them. RPM IS OF NO USE TO YOU.

Instead of downloading yet-another-20meg of Xfree rpms. Download the source tarballs.

1) Compile Xfree using the Richey method.

2) Getting a patch

Retrieve the patch(es) relative to your current version. For example, if you have installed Xfree version 4.0.1 (as above) then

ftp://ftp.xfree86.org/pub/XFree86/ 4.0.2/patches/

contains the files necessary to upgrade to 4.0.2


retrieve ALL patches for ALL upgrades to the latest level (as of writing 4.0.3)


Simply apply each group, in order.

Applying a patch.

The patch directories listed above contain a README.

As simple as they are, the instructions are a tad obscure

wherever you installed the original pristine source, it will be called <somewhere>/xc

cd to <somewhere>

download the patch tarball(s) to this folder (not xc), and leave them alone.

apply the patch (here is the example from the README for 4.0.3

     gzip -d < 4.0.2-4.0.3.diff.gz | patch -p0 -E

At completion, your xc directory is upgraded to the newer version. Compile and install it, just like before.


I first compiled and installed 401 with zilch trouble.

I patched up to 403 with no trouble

To install it, I required (unlike before) ncurses-devel-xxx rpms and flex rpms off the distro cd.
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