X Display Server  «Prev  Next»
Lesson 8

X Windows System Conclusion

This module discussed the X Windows System the fundamental software layer for the Linux Graphical User Interface (GUI).
X Windows is a large and complex system and can benefit you in many ways. The configuration tool XFree86 allows you to upgrade your graphical Linux system without reinstallation. Knowing how to control GUI startup applications and the window manager gives you the tools to create a user-friendly workstation that is also be flexible, powerful, and easily maintained. Because X is so complex, you should study it further by reading the man pages and other documentation.

Learning Objectives

Having completed this module, you should now be able to:
  1. Describe the function and basic installation of the X Windows System
  2. List the factors that influence the installation of XFree86
  3. Explain the various methods to obtain video card specifications
  4. Configure XFree86 with command line tools
  5. Discuss gdm and startx
  6. Configure X startup with .xinitrc

XWindows Utility Description

The following paragraph gives additional information of several important X configuration files and utilities.
  1. .xinit: Starts initial X applications, including the window manager
  2. .Xresources: Contains information on preferences, such as border colors and styles
  3. XF86Config: Video and i/o hardware configuration information
  4. SuperProbe: Utility that seeks information about video hardware when that information is otherwise unavailable
  5. xf86config: A utility used to modify the X hardware configuration file
If you were unable to complete the exercise or have any questions click on the Search button located at the top.

X Window System Servers

X Window System servers run on computers with bitmap displays. The server distributes user input to and accepts output requests from various client programs through a variety of different interprocess communication channels. Although the most common case is for the client programs to be running on the same machine as the server, clients can be run transparently from other machines (including machines with different architectures and operating systems) as well. X supports overlapping hierarchical subwindows and text and graphics operations, on both monochrome and color displays.
The number of programs that use X is quite large. Programs provided in the core X.Org Foundation distribution include:
  1. a terminal emulator, xterm;
  2. a window manager, twm;
  3. a display manager, xdm;
  4. a console redirect program, xconsole;
  5. a mail interface, xmh;
  6. a bitmap editor, bitmap;
  7. resource listing/manipulation tools, appres, editres;
  8. access control programs, xauth, xhost, and iceauth;
  9. user preference setting programs, xrdb, xcmsdb, xset, xsetroot, xstdcmap, and xmodmap;
  10. clocks, xclock and oclock;
  11. a font displayer, xfd;
  12. utilities for listing information about fonts, windows, and displays, xlsfonts, xwininfo, xlsclients, xdpyinfo, xlsatoms, and xprop;
  13. screen image manipulation utilities, xwd, xwud, and xmag;
  14. a performance measurement utility, x11perf;
  15. a font compiler, bdftopcf;
  16. a font server and related utilities, xfs, fsinfo, fslsfonts, fstobdf;
  17. a display server and related utilities, Xserver, rgb, mkfontdir;
  18. a print server and related utilities, Xprt, xplsprinters;
  19. remote execution utilities, rstart and xon;
  20. a clipboard manager, xclipboard;
  21. keyboard description compiler and related utilities, xkbcomp, xkbprint, xkbbell, xkbevd, xkbvleds, and xkbwatch;
  22. a utility to terminate clients, xkill;
  23. an optimized X protocol proxy, lbxproxy;
  24. a firewall security proxy, xfwp;
  25. a proxy manager to control them, proxymngr;
  26. a utility to find proxies, xfindproxy;
  27. libxrx.so and libxrxnest.so;
  28. an RX MIME-type helper program, xrx; and
  29. a utility to cause part or all of the screen to be redrawn, xrefresh.

Many other utilities, window managers, games, toolkits are included as user-contributed software in the X.Org Foundation distribution, or are available using anonymous ftp on the Internet.

Glossary terms

This module introduced the following terms:
  1. Chipset : The particular graphics processing system used on a particular video card.
  2. Raster: To apply all transformations (scaling, skewing, rotating, etc.) to a font and display a string of characters on a graphical display.
  3. Scan rates: The rate at which horizontal scan lines are drawn on the monitor and the rate at which one entire sweep of the screen is made. These are referred to as the horizontal and vertical scan rates.
  4. Window manager: Layer of the GUI system responsible for moving and resizing windows and handling other window events. It also provides configuration and organization.
  5. .XF86Config: The main configuration file for XFree86, the X windows server used by Linux.
  6. XFree86: A popular implementation of the X11R6 X Window System standard used by many operating systems. XFree86 is the default X server for Red Hat Linux.
  7. .xinit: File in each user's home directory that controls graphical application and window manager startup when the X server is started.
  8. X Window System: A collection of programs which act as an intermediate layer between X applications and the computer's video hardware, keyboard, and mouse.
The next module shows you how to configure the client-side graphical environment.

Configuring Xdisplay Server - Quiz

Before moving on to the next module, click the Quiz link below to check your understanding of the concepts presented in this module.
Configuring Xdisplay Server - Quiz

SEMrush Software