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X servers for Windows

Yep... I couldn't live without the Cygwin tools :-)

There are some things you can't do with the Cygwin XFree port, like spawn X applications, each in their "own" windows on your Windows desktop. This makes X applications look almost as if they were "native" to the host OS. You can do this in Hummingbird Exceed, etc. I can live without that, considering it's gift.

You can also get KDE runing under Cygwin/XFree. That's not a native KDE port of course. (Personally I like GNOME better, but no one's ported GNOME onto Cygwin/XFree)


-----Original Message-----
From: Derek D. Martin [mailto:ddm at]
Sent: Friday, March 15, 2002 3:08 PM
To: BLU Users' Group
Subject: X servers for Windows

Hash: SHA1

Hey all,

About once every oh, say, 6 months, someone asks if anyone knows of
any good, free X servers for Windows.  IIRC, the answer has always
been basically that no, there aren't any.  Well, there is one. It's
called XFree86.  No, I'm not making it up.

If you install Cygwin, which is basically a Unix compatibility layer
for Windows plus a bunch of GNU tools, you can also install XFree86 on
top of it.  It only seems to come with TWM as the window manager, but
I imagine you could compile FVWM for it too...

I've tried it out and it's pretty nice, despite TWM. :) There are a
few minor annoyances with it, mostly to do with the fact that I have
not configured my environment in Cygwin yet.  The one biggest problem
so far seems to be that, for some reason (which I haven't investigated
yet), when you start an Xterm it sets $TERM to vt102, and many of
xterm's features do not work with that setting.  You can, however,
manually change the TERM variable to xterm, and things work properly.

I suspect that this also has something to do with the fact that I
haven't set up my environment yet.

You can get both Cygwin and Cygwin/XFree86 at

Hope someone finds this useful.  

- -- 
Derek Martin               ddm at    
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