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X Power Tools

Book Description

This book puts you in charge of the most flexible and adaptable graphical interface in the computer industry. The X Window System underlies graphical desktops on Linux and Unix systems, and supports advanced features of modern graphics cards. More people use the X Window System than ever before, but there are few books about X in print. X Power Tools fills that hole with the most practical and up-to-date information available.

Written in O'Reilly's popular Power Tools format, X Power Tools offers dozens of standalone articles, thoroughly cross-referenced, on useful tools and techniques for using X. This unique inside look at X gives Unix/Linux system administrators, owners of self-administered systems, and power users a lot of useful ways to harness the power of this system effectively. This book:



  • Offers a thorough grounding in X configuration and how the system works
  • Provides the complete ins and outs of changing a desktop's behavior, such as fonts, keyboard settings, and remote security
  • Includes articles on how to take advantage of X's "network transparency" -- its ability to display graphical applications on a remote machine
  • Explores intriguing areas such as using multiple monitors, building kiosks, and accessibility
  • Features discussions on X Window innovations and the future of the system
X Power Tools covers configuration and use of X, focusing on Linux but also including notes on other operating systems such as Solaris and FreeBSD. Each article in the book gives you insight into X; the entire book gives you a real grasp on this system and what you can do with it.

Table of Contents

  1. A Note Regarding Supplemental Files
  2. Preface
    1. How This Book Is Organized
      1. Part I: The X Server
      2. Part II: X Clients
      3. Part III: Colors, Fonts, and Keyboards
      4. Part IV: Using X Remotely
      5. Part V: Special Configurations
    2. Conventions Used in This Book
    3. Using Code Examples
    4. We’d Like to Hear from You
    5. Safari® Books Online
    6. Acknowledgments
  3. I. The X Server
    1. 1. Introduction to the X Window System
      1. The X Window System
      2. The History of X
      3. The Renaissance: New X Versus Old X
      4. X by Any Other Name
      5. Seven Layers of an X-based GUI
      6. Where Is the Server?
      7. Why Windows Look and Act Differently
      8. Toolkits and Desktop Environments
      9. The Role of Freedesktop.org
      10. Display Hardware
        1. Pointing Devices
        2. Keyboards
        3. Monitors
          1. Cathode ray tube (CRT)
          2. Liquid crystal display (LCD)
          3. Other flat-panel technologies
          4. Video projectors
          5. Video timing
          6. Monitor connections
        4. Video Cards
      11. Displays, Screens, and Xinerama
      12. Display Specifications
      13. TCP/IP Ports
      14. Local Connection Mechanisms
      15. Server Extensions
      16. Where to Draw the Line: Kernel Versus User-Space Drivers
    2. 2. Starting a Local X Server
      1. One Size Doesn’t Fit All
      2. Virtual Terminals
      3. Starting a Raw X Server Manually
      4. Using a Display Manager to Start the X Server
      5. Enabling or Disabling the Display Manager at Boot Time
      6. What Started the Display Manager?
        1. Started Directly by init
        2. Started by an init Script
      7. Starting Multiple X Servers Using a Display Manager
        1. Starting Multiple X Servers Using XDM (or Early Versions of KDM)
        2. Starting Multiple X Servers Using KDM
        3. Starting Multiple X Servers Using GDM
      8. Starting Additional X Servers on Demand Using a Display Manager
        1. Starting Additional X Servers Using gdmflexiserver
        2. Starting Additional X Servers Using KDM
      9. Starting an X Server with Clients Only When Needed
      10. Switching VTs from the Shell Prompt
      11. Starting X Within X
      12. No Mouse!
      13. Bailing Out: Zapping X
      14. Terminating X Automatically
    3. 3. Basic X.org Configuration
      1. What Is There to Configure?
      2. Why Only root Can Configure the X Server
      3. Places Your Configuration Could Hide
      4. Let the X Server Configure Itself
      5. The xorg.conf Configuration File
        1. ServerLayout
        2. Screen
        3. Monitor
        4. Device
        5. InputDevice
      6. Optional Sections in the xorg.conf Configuration File
      7. Configuring the Pointer Device
      8. Configuring a Two-Button Mouse
      9. Configuring a Mouse with a Scrollwheel
      10. Configuring a Synaptics TouchPad
      11. Enabling DPMS
      12. Configuring Video Card Driver Options
      13. LightSteelBlue and Other Color Names
      14. Configuring a Monitor’s Scan Rates
      15. Reading Server Log Files
      16. Configuring the Default Depth of a Screen
      17. Configuring the Resolution of a Screen
    4. 4. Advanced X.org Configuration
      1. Multi-Screen Configuration
      2. Xinerama Configuration
      3. Differences Between Multi-Screen and Xinerama Modes
      4. Positioning Screens
      5. Overlapping Xinerama
      6. Scrolling Virtual Screens and Xinerama
      7. Using Multiple Outputs from One Video Card
      8. Parallel Pointing Devices
      9. Parallel Keyboards
      10. Using X with GPM or MOUSED
        1. GPM Under Linux
        2. MOUSED Under FreeBSD
    5. 5. Using the X Server
      1. Interacting with the X Server
      2. Changing Resolution On-the-Fly
      3. Changing the Resolution and the Screen Size Dynamically
      4. Using the Middle Mouse Button
      5. Using the Clipboard
      6. Keyboard Focus
      7. Keyboard and Mouse Grabs
  4. II. X Clients
    1. 6. X Utility Programs
      1. The Unused Toolbox
      2. Determine the Display Configuration
      3. Getting Window Information
      4. Viewing Server Settings
      5. Control That Bell!
      6. Adjusting the Keyboard Repeat Rate
      7. Adjusting the Mouse Acceleration
      8. Playing with the Lights
      9. Killing a Rogue Client
      10. Examining Part of the Display in Detail
      11. Script a Screen Dump
      12. Preventing the Screen from Blanking During Presentations
      13. Eye Candy: xscreensaver
      14. Redrawing the Screen
    2. 7. Running X Clients
      1. Running X Clients
      2. Background Operation
      3. Geometry
      4. Split Personality: Running Nongraphical Applications
    3. 8. Session Managers,Desktop Environments, and Window Managers
      1. X and Desktop Environments
      2. Session Managers
      3. Virtual Desktops
      4. Starting GNOME
      5. Starting KDE
      6. Starting Xfce
      7. Using a Window Manager Alone
  5. III. Colors, Fonts, and Keyboards
    1. 9. Color
      1. RGB and Other Systems
      2. Visuals
      3. Gamma
      4. Color Management Systems
    2. 10. Core Fonts: Fonts the Old Way
      1. Old Fonts Versus New Fonts
      2. Configuring the Font Path
      3. Using a Font Server
      4. Font Names
      5. Installing and Removing Fonts
    3. 11. Pango, Xft, Fontconfig, and Render: Fonts the New Way
      1. Client-Side Fonts
      2. Adding and Removing Fonts Manually
      3. Adding and Removing Fonts Using GNOME
      4. Adding and Removing Fonts Using KDE
      5. Fontconfig Font Names
      6. Fontconfig Utilities
      7. Installing the Microsoft Fonts
      8. Rendering Options
    4. 12. Keyboard Configuration
      1. Keyboards and XKB
      2. The Location of XKB Files
      3. XKB Components
      4. Selecting an XKB Keymap Using Rules
      5. Using Keyboard Groups
      6. Setting the Keymap in the xorg.conf File
      7. Setting the Keymap from the Command Line
      8. Setting the Keymap Using a Keyboard Configuration File
      9. Compiling Keyboard Maps
      10. Viewing or Printing a Keyboard Layout
  6. iv. Using X Remotely
    1. 13. Remote Access
      1. Network Transparency
      2. Displaying on a Remote Server
      3. Enabling Remote Sessions
        1. XDM
        2. KDM
        3. GDM
      4. Accessing a Remote Session on a Specific Host
      5. Accessing a Remote Session on Any Available Host
      6. Accessing a Remote Session from a List of Available Sessions
      7. The Three Challenges of Remote Access
      8. Host-Based Access Control
      9. xauth and Magic Cookies
      10. The X Security Extension
      11. Low-Bandwidth X (LBX)
      12. X Tunneling with SSH
      13. Using Public Keys with SSH
      14. Using Passphrase Protection of SSH Keys
      15. OpenSSH and the SECURITY Extension
    2. 14. Using VNC
      1. The VNC System
      2. So Many VNC Versions!
      3. Xvnc Basics
      4. The vncserver Script
      5. Using the VNC Viewers
      6. Using Standing VNC Servers
      7. Configuring the Xvnc Web Server
      8. Customizing the VNC Java Applet Web Page
      9. Starting VNC On Demand Using xinetd
      10. Starting VNC On Demand Using inetd
      11. Using the Java Applet with On-Demand VNC Servers
      12. Accessing VNC Securely Using SSH
      13. Embedding an X Application in a Web Page
      14. Using KDE and Gnome Remote Desktop Access Tools
      15. Using the VNC Extension to the X.Org Server
      16. Using VNC to Share a Presentation
      17. Bypassing a Firewall
  7. V. Special Configurations
    1. 15. Building a Kiosk
      1. What Is a Kiosk, and Why Do I Want One?
      2. Selecting Kiosk Hardware
        1. Monitor
        2. Pointer
        3. Keyboard
        4. System Unit, Power Supply, and Ventilation
      3. Configure X for a Kiosk
      4. Controlling the Keyboard
      5. Controlling the Mouse
      6. Starting a Single Fullscreen Application
      7. Network Status Monitoring
      8. Using xscreensaver to Reset a Kiosk
      9. Refining the Kiosk Appearance
      10. Putting It All Together: Scripting a Kiosk
      11. Booting a Kiosk
      12. Creating a Video Wall
  8. Colophon
  9. Copyright