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Linux 101 Essentials

On Fri, 30 Jun 2000, Kevin M. Gleason wrote:
> Let me try these definitions on y'all:
> X, X11, X windows establishes a graphical interface between the user and
> Linux. Was written at MIT as part of project Athena. X deals with
> definition of mouse type and screen resolution(s) during setup and
> operation.

X (or X Window) is the protocal definition for a network transparent
windowing.  That means:
1.  fundamentally X itself is a protocol.  XFree86 is an
implementation of the protocol.
2.  It's designed from the ground up for networking.  You can run it
one one machine & have the display elsewhere.  Have the client program
on one machine, the server on another.
3.  X defines basic drawing & how to define widgets & such.  It
doesn't define the widgets, or how to interconnect them (that's widget
sets like GTK & QT & the environments like GNOME & KDE).  As you say
below, it also doesn't describe how the windows look & feel - that's
the window manager.

The X server therefore:

displays drawing requests on the screen. 
replies to information requests. 
reports an error in a request. 
Manages the keyboard, mouse and display
	Multiplexes keyboard and mouse input
       onto the network (or via local IPC) to
       the respective X clients. (X events)
creates, maps and destroys windows. 
	writes and draws in windows.

Clients (programs that want to write to the X server) use widgets,
normally defined by such widget kits as GTK+, QT, Xt.  Window Managers
govern the look & feel of the windows on a server, and are a special
client.  Examples of Window Managers include twm, fvwm, Enlightenment,
KWM, Sawfish.  Interaction & lots of other things related to the
interaction of various programs are governed by desktop environments
like GNOME, KDE, CDE (I admit, I'm on shaky ground in describing DE's.
Hopefully someone who knows more about it than me can fill that in).

Jeffry Smith      Technical Sales Consultant     Mission Critical Linux
smith at   phone:603.930.9379   fax:978.446.9470
Thought for today:  The cost of feathers has risen, even down is up!

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