[buug] hello

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Dec 6 23:35:36 PST 2010

Quoting Karen Hogoboom (khogoboom at gmail.com):

> From a little bit of reading, it seemed like the concept of server and
> client were reversed from how we think of client and server software
> now.

Not really:  What the X server is serving up to clients is its
network-accessible services in drawing X11 primatives for an output device.
Think of it that way, and you'll find it all makes sense.

> If I understand, there are three kinds of X pieces.  X Server, X Window 
> Manager, X clients.

Sort of.  A window manager actually -=is=- an Xll client, merely one of
a specialised category that handles interactions between other clients
and each other, and between other clients and the X11 server.  At any
given time, your running server can deal with either one or zero running
window manager, i.e., at most one.

You can do an interesting and instructive experiment by configuring your
system to not run X11 by default (not run an X display manager), then
edit ~/.xinitrc to start just one _non-window-manager_ X11 client, e.g.
edit it to say just this one line:


Save.  Then do 'startx' as usual -- except this time you'll see a
mottled grey X11 display with a single xterm window somewhere on-screen,
where the xterm has _no controls_ on its edges.  You can then experiment
with launching different window managers at the xterm's command prompt,
one at a time, observing how the xterm's controls and decorations change
with each different window manager, along with other associated desktop
widgets coming and going as you start and kill and replace each window
manager.  Like this:

wmaker &
killall wmaker
fvwm &
killall fvwm
twm &
killall twm
icewm &
killall icewm
blackbox &
killall blackbox

And so on.  When you're tired of this experiment, type 'exit' or Ctrl-D
at the xterm's command prompt, and X11 will immediately shut down and
dump you back at the non-graphical console prompt whence you came.

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