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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
X Window System
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operating system, graphics A specification for
device-independent windowing operations on bitmap display
devices, developed initially by MIT's Project Athena and
now a de facto standard supported by the X Consortium. X
was named after an earlier window system called "W". It is a
window system called "X", not a system called "X Windows".
X uses a client-server protocol, the X protocol. The
server is the computer or X terminal with the screen,
keyboard, mouse and server program and the clients are
application programs. Clients may run on the same computer
as the server or on a different computer, communicating over
Ethernet via TCP/IP protocols. This is confusing because
X clients often run on what people usually think of as their
server (e.g. a file server) but in X, it is the screen and
keyboard etc. which is being "served out" to the applications.