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GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams
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X: The Window System


The X Window System is the GNU/Linux windowing environment, serving a similar function to MS/Windows in providing a graphical windowing interactive mouse point-and-click (WIMP) interface.

The first task in setting up the X Window System is to determine the type of your video controller chip. There are very many video controller chips available and when you purchase a PC with MS/Windows pre-installed someone has already done the hard work of making MS/Windows work with the particular video chip. Under Linux you will need to tune the configuration to get the X Window System functionally fully.

The X Window System, unlike MS/Windows, is a client-server architecture. You run an X Window System server somewhere (usually on your local host) to display onto your local host. You then run clients (such as word processors, Netscape, etc.) somewhere (usually your local host, but not necessarily) and have them display through the server onto the display on your local host!

The freely available X.Org server is the default X Window System for most GNU/Linux systems. This replaced XFree86 in 2005 as the most widely used server following a change in the license condition of XFree86 which added restrictions that were not accepted by the free software community.

While installing xserver-xorg you will configure your card, or else it can be configured with:

  $ wajig reconfigure xserver-xorg


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