X Window System

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X Window System

(operating system, graphics)
A specification for device-independent windowing operations on bitmap display devices, developed initially by MIT's Project Athena and now a de facto standard supported by the X Consortium. X was named after an earlier window system called "W". It is a window system called "X", not a system called "X Windows".

X uses a client-server protocol, the X protocol. The server is the computer or X terminal with the screen, keyboard, mouse and server program and the clients are application programs. Clients may run on the same computer as the server or on a different computer, communicating over Ethernet via TCP/IP protocols. This is confusing because X clients often run on what people usually think of as their server (e.g. a file server) but in X, it is the screen and keyboard etc. which is being "served out" to the applications.

X is used on many Unix systems. It has also been described as over-sized, over-featured, over-engineered and incredibly over-complicated. X11R6 (version 11, release 6) was released in May 1994.


See also Andrew project, PEX, VNC, XFree86.

Usenet newsgroups: news:comp.windows.x, news:comp.x, news:comp.windows.x.apps, news:comp.windows.x.intrinsics, news:comp.windows.x.announce, news:comp.sources.x, news:comp.windows.x.motif, news:comp.windows.x.pex.
References in periodicals archive ?
OutputGhostGraphical uses the GHOST SDK, OutputGLUTGraphical uses the GLUT library and lastly, OutputIRIXGraphical uses the X-Window system. The haptic device is handled by OutputGhostHaptic [Fig.
TK is a tool kit initially designed to the X-window system. It allows the creation and manipulation of widgets (2) through TCL commands.
It incorporates a powerful MMI package as its graphics management and presentation "engine." XOS displays data using the X-Window System and the Open Systems Foundation (OSF) Motif graphic user interface (GUI).
The system uses a relational database and graphical user interface under the X-window system, allowing the user flexibility to design and customize screens and add functions and applications to the database.
Standards like the M.I.T.'s X-Window system as well as portable versions of the Unix operating system not only allow engineers to run their codes on many different computer platforms, but enhance the man/machine interface as well.