Thursday, July 24, 2014

Customizing the UNIX User Environment - Part 2 - Customizing X - Part 1

Customizing the UNIX User Environment


Customizing X



In UNIX systems, the X Window System - also called X - controls the interaction between the GUI display and the programs and applications that use it. The most popular and widespread of the X window System is XFree86


X architecture


The X Window System uses a client-server architecture. The X server process runs on the computer that is displaying the GUI. This is usually a terminal or workstation.


The X client process runs on the computer that runs the application that suppies data to the GUI. This can be the same computer that displays the GUI, but it can also be a remote computer such as a network server.


Because X client applications can run on central network servers, you can implement networks where the terminal computers are very simple. X terminals need to have enough RAM and disk space to run the UNIX kernel and the X server procecss, but they dont need disk space for applications. They need a network card to communicate with servers, but they dont necessarily need a modem


Simple terminals that run only the kernel and X are called as X terminals. They function only as display terminals, with all application processing taking place on the server.


Although X hanfles the interaction between the GUI and the programs that display in it, X doesn't control the way windows look and behave.

The function is taken care of by window managers. These are programs that run on X servers. They rely on X for their interaction with the Kernel


The window manager determines the way window look on screen and the kind of controls - such as close and maximize buttons - that they have.

The window manager also controls the way users can move windows and alternate the focus between them.


There are many window managers for X, including Sawfish and Blackbox. Each window manager imarts its own look and feel to the GUI


The look and feel of a window manager depends on the set of GUI controls - or widgets - that it includes. Widgets are elements like buttons and drop-down lists. Each window manager has a different set of widgets


Because the UNIX GUI is made up of the X server process, a window manager, and usually a desktop environment, it requires much more processing and system resources than a command-line shell.


X is well suited to end-user computers like home PCs and office workstations. It shouldn't be used on busy servers like database and web servers because it uses system resources and slows down the server's vital operations.


A UNIX GUI can be comprised of an X server process, a window manager, and a desktop environment.


The X Window System also called X running on a computer are resource intensive, so you shouldn't use them on busy servers.


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