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>> file. Disk. appears.
– The files save to the
„ Click the drop-down location you chose in
menu to select the location step 14.
where you want to save the


means X Windows on Mac OS X is the place to start.

ou can install an X server on your Mac OS X system.
The XFree86 4.2.0 file is roughly 56 Mbytes in size, so
After X Windows is installed, you can then run many
be prepared for a long download time if you are using a
applications built to run in X Windows.
dial-up connection. Check the XonX site for updates. Any X
server that is more than six months old is likely to have new
To install XDarwin, the port of XFree86 to Mac OS X, you
patches available or have moved to a new release.
will need to download a series of files or procure an
installation CD. As of this writing, you will need to install
After this file is downloaded, you can double-click the SIT
XFree86 4.2.0 followed by two patch releases ” and
file to install the initial X Windows server and then install ” to get a trouble-free installation for Mac OS X
each of your patch files in release order. The patch files are
10.2. This gives you a basic X environment. You will
available as ZIP files. You can install these updates, or
probably then want to quickly move beyond the default
patches, by double-clicking the icons.
window manager, twm, to one that provides a more
attractive and useful desktop.
If you are working on a dial-up Internet connection,
you might prefer to install XFree86 from a CD-ROM.
One of the simplest ways to install Xfree86 is to acquire the
You can acquire CDs at minimal cost from sites such
4.2.0 release in the form of a SIT file from sourceforge.net.
as www.gnu-darwin.org.
The URL sourceforge.net/projects/xonx where "xonx"


– The file unzips.
„ In the Finder, open ¤ Double-click the file.
the folder containing your
downloaded XFree86 SIT file.


Files used in X Windows include .Xdefaults, which
While the procedure described below installs
sets default preferences for windows services, and
basic X Windows, keep in mind that the version
.xinitrc, which establishes your initial screen setup. A
of XFree86 that you should install will change as
typical .xinitrc file might start several windows on
time passes. Consult the XonX site and amend
your display. These will often include the more typical
the filenames and your procedure according to
X clients, such as xterm ” a terminal emulator;
the information available on this site.
xlock ” a simple analog clock; and xeyes ” a pair of
You can also install an X server using Apple's Get
eyeballs that follow your cursor around the screen.
MacOS X Software... link from your Apple menu.
Apple's X server is called X11 for Mac OS and, at
this writing, is a Public Beta release. Apple's
implementation of X Windows is also based on

– The language selection
‹ Double-click the XInstall › Type your password. ‡ Click OK.
file. dialog box appears.
– Continue through the
ˇ Click OK.
– The Authenticate dialog Á Click the drop-down remainder of the installation.
box appears. menu to select a language
from the menu.


the Finder. This will unzip the file and create an install file.

ou can install XFree86 upgrades to bring your
When you double-click the install file, your upgrade
XFree86 installation up to the current release from
installation will begin.
the base release. Upgrades will usually bring bug fixes
and performance improvements and are generally worth
As with most installations of this type, you will be required
the time that it takes to install them. Because the ZIP files
to authenticate yourself so that the system can verify that
containing the modified files are generally small, the
you are an administrator on the system and have the
process of downloading and installing them takes little time
authority to install applications.
and little effort.
The process will then run through a couple of additional
The upgrade installations complete the installation and
steps. You will have to select the disk on which the software
assume that the two upgrade files have been downloaded
is to be installed. You should select your Mac OS X system
as described in the "Get X Software for Mac OS X" section.
disk to simplify administration. Click Next to proceed with
While one specific upgrade is being installed in this section,
the installation and click Install before the software starts to
this process is repeated for both of the upgrades
load onto your drive. The installation can be restarted if
downloaded in the previous section and for other upgrades
needed. Whenever you install more than one upgrade, be
that you may need to install in the future.
sure to install them in the order in which they were created.
XFree86 upgrades are distributed as ZIP files. The easiest
way to install one of these files is to double-click the icon in


– The Authenticate dialog – The Introduction page
„ Double-click the ZIP file ˇ Click Next to continue.
for your XFree86 upgrade. box appears. appears.
– The file unzips. ‹ Type your password.
¤ Double-click the install › Click OK.
file for your XFree86 upgrade.


If you need help with XDarwin, you can take
After XFree86 is installed on your system and you
advantage of the discussion forum on the
have verified that it works properly, you can
www.xdarwin.org site. You can also look for
remove the ZIP and install files for the upgrades
in-depth information on technical issues at the
along with the SIT file for the major release. If
SourceForge/projects/XonX site. The XonX site
you do not need the space, keeping these files
provides a public discussion forum as well as several
available in case a re-install is needed is probably
mailing lists that are devoted to such topics as
a good idea. There is little reason to keep these
porting Unix software to Mac OS X.
files after you install and verify a new major
release, like XFree86 4.3.
While XFree86 is an extremely useful tool and
enables you to run many applications previously
not available on Mac OS X, the look and feel of
your X environment depends on the window
manager that you decide to use. For most X
users, installing XFree86 is just the beginning of
setting up a versatile X Windows environment.

– The Choose Install Folder – The installation disk is
Á Select your disk, if ‡ Click install to complete
page appears. applicable, and click identified. the installation.
Next to continue.
– A summary description of – The installation completes.
the software appears.


You will notice these windows when you start your X

ou can start up your X Windows server in rootless
session. The numbers associated with the xterm command
mode. This allows you to run X applications
define the number of columns, the number of rows, and the
side-by-side with Mac OS X applications.
screen location. For example, the first xterm defined in the
lines above will have 80 columns and 50 rows; 80 columns
Each time you start XDarwin, the system will ask whether
wide is equivalent to the width of 80 mono-spaced
you want to run in full-screen or rootless mode. If you will
characters side-by-side. Its upper-left corner will be placed
always be running in one mode or the other, you can select
in the upper-left corner of the screen.
your mode and click the check box so that the application
stops asking you this question. Both modes have their
The most convenient way to start X Windows is to elect to
advantages, however.
keep it in the Dock after you first bring it up. You can then
customize the windows that start by making a copy of the
To start in rootless mode, click the Rootless button after
system-wide .xinitrc file and installing that copy as .xinitrc in
double-clicking the icon for your XFree86 application or
your home directory.
after starting it from the Dock. The X Windows that launch
when you do this depend on the contents of your system's
When you first install XFree86, you will be using the default
.xinitrc file or on your personal .xinitrc file if you have one.
window manager. It is called twm and, while it adds some
For example, the following lines from an .xinitrc file would
window controls to your windows, it is a dull window
start up several xterm windows and a clock:
xclock -geometry 50x50-1+1 &
xterm -geometry 80x50+0+0 &
xterm -geometry 80x20+400-0 &
exec xterm -geometry 80x66+0+0 -name login


– The Welcome to XDarwin
„ Double-click the XDarwin ¤ Click Rootless.
application icon. window appears.


You can change the colors used on a xterm window
You can update your search path to include X


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