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In this paper, several schemes of soft X-ray and hard X-ray free electron lasers (XFEL) and their progress are reviewed. Self-amplified spontaneous emission (SASE) schemes, the high gain harmonic generation (HGHG) scheme and various enhancement schemes through seeding and beam manipulations are discussed, especially in view of the generation of attosecond X-ray pulses. Our recent work on the generation of attosecond hard X-ray pulses is also discussed. In our study, the enhanced SASE scheme isdoi:10.3390/app3010251 fatcat:sthkvrkeqzeapmawdhj2t3kqh4