Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

What is X?

Filed under

Everyone likes pretty pictures. The newsagent’s stand is now crowded with glossy magazines, roadside advertisements glare out at you as you drive along the freeway, you see a wondrous mosaic as you look at all the packaging on supermarket shelves. Television long ago replaced the radio as standard home entertainment and the fact that you cannot judge a book by its cover doesn’t prevent the vast majority of the human population from doing so. The same applies to computers now. The GUI (Graphical User Interface) or “windows functionality” has become part of the machine that everyone now takes for granted.

Any home or client system software provider, free or otherwise, that wants to be taken seriously has to provide a graphical user interface (GUI) as their prime method of user interaction. Microsoft include theirs as part of the main system, or kernel, as do many other system providers. Most GNU/Linux distributions include it in the default install. However, with GNU/Linux and other POSIX operating systems, the GUI infrastructure is not part of the kernel but a separate program with the mystical name of “The X Window System”. It calls itself “X11 Release 6” and everyone else simply knows it as “X”. There’s a lot more to this X than meets the eye, it has attributes and powers that are not well known and can do things that other windowing systems cannot. What is this X? What amazing super-GUI powers does it have? This article attempts to tear off its mask and reveal all.

What is X?

A more appropriate question to “What is X?” is “What is X not?”. X is not actually a GUI.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

antiX MX-15 Linux Distro Gets a Second Beta Release, Based on Debian GNU/Linux 8.2

The developers of the antiX MX Linux distribution have announced the release and immediate availability for download and testing of the second Beta build of the upcoming antiX MX-15 operating system. Read more

What Are the UX Principles Behind Ubuntu Phone?

There’s still a lot of work ahead for Canonical’s mobile operating system to properly gain traction as an alternative mobile operating system. With Blackberry and Microsoft fighting over the small slices of market share left, it will be interesting to see what happens next for Canonical. Nonetheless, Ubuntu for Phones has a unique user experience and design philosophy, which could prove useful if used right. Read more

DragonFlyBSD Switches To Gold Linker By Default

DragonFlyBSD has switched to using the Gold Linker by default rather than GNU ld. The GNU Gold linker for ELF files is designed to be faster and much more modern than the GNU linker. DragonFlyBSD has traditionally used GNU ld, but now Gold is ready for primetime use by default on this BSD distribution. Read more

GNOME Photos App Now Tries to Become an Image Editor Too

The GNOME developers are working around the clock these days to update the core components and applications of the GNOME desktop environment for the 3.19.2 milestone of the upcoming GNOME 3.20 release. Read more