Chapter 31. The X Window System

Chapter 31. The X Window System

31.1. The X11R7.1 Release
31.2. Desktop Environments and Window Managers
31.2.1. Desktop Environments
31.2.2. Window Managers
31.3. X Server Configuration Files
31.3.1. xorg.conf
31.4. Fonts
31.4.1. Fontconfig
31.4.2. Core X Font System
31.5. Runlevels and X
31.5.1. Runlevel 3
31.5.2. Runlevel 5
31.6. Additional Resources
31.6.1. Installed Documentation
31.6.2. Useful Websites

While the heart of Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the kernel, for many users, the face of the operating system is the graphical environment provided by the X Window System, also called X.

Other windowing environments have existed in the UNIX world, including some that predate the release of the X Window System in June 1984. Nonetheless, X has been the default graphical environment for most UNIX-like operating systems, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, for many years.

The graphical environment for Red Hat Enterprise Linux is supplied by the X.Org Foundation, an open source organization created to manage development and strategy for the X Window System and related technologies. X.Org is a large-scale, rapidly developing project with hundreds of developers around the world. It features a wide degree of support for a variety of hardware devices and architectures, and can run on a variety of different operating systems and platforms. This release for Red Hat Enterprise Linux specifically includes the X11R7.1 release of the X Window System.

The X Window System uses a client-server architecture. The X server (the Xorg binary) listens for connections from X client applications via a network or local loopback interface. The server communicates with the hardware, such as the video card, monitor, keyboard, and mouse. X client applications exist in the user-space, creating a graphical user interface (GUI) for the user and passing user requests to the X server.

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