This chapter helps you install, configure, and use the X Window System (often known simply as X). If your graphics card is of a common variety and you correctly specified its characteristics during the Linux installation procedure, the install program may have successfully installed and configured X. Otherwise, you’ll need to install and configure X by using the more sophisticated procedures given in this chapter. Once X is up and running, you can choose how to start X. This chapter explains your options and also gives some tips on optimizing the performance of X.
X is the standard graphical user interface for Linux. Like other graphical user interfaces such as Microsoft Windows and Mac OS, X lets you interact with programs by using a mouse (or other pointing device) to point and click, providing a simple means of communicating with your computer.
Originally implemented as a collaborative effort of Digital Equipment Corporation and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, X was first released in 1987. Subsequently, the X Consortium, Inc. became responsible for the continued development and publication of X.
Despite its age, X is a remarkable and very modern software system: a cross-platform, network-oriented, graphical user interface. It runs on a wide variety of platforms, including essentially every variety of Unix. X Clients are available for use, for example, under Windows 3.x, 9x, and NT. The sophisticated ...