X11 Overview

By: Pieter Bowman & James Reynolds - Revised: 2014-01-23 richard


X11 is the most popular implementation of the X Window system. It is a network transparent window system. Just like Apple's default window system Aqua, X11 includes the primitives used for creating a graphical desktop like windows, displays, buttons, and it is also tracks input on devices like a keyboard and a mouse. Apple's X11 is based on the most popular implementation of X11, XFree86 (http://www.xfree86.org), which is free and open source.

X11 was developed by the MIT Consortium and is currently supported by the X Consortium or X.Org Foundation (www.x.org). X Consortium members include HP, SGI, Sun, IBM, Cray, Adobe, DEC, Motorola, Novell, and Apple.

Apple's X11 opens a whole world of Unix applications like MatLab and OpenOffice for the Macintosh platform. Pieter and James will discuss how to avail yourself of these applications and tools by showing how to install, configure, and use Apple's X11.