NAME Xserver - X Window System display server SYNOPSIS X [option ...] DESCRIPTION X is the generic name for the X Window System display server. It is frequently a link or a copy of the appropri- ate server binary for driving the most frequently used server on a given machine. STARTING THE SERVER The X server is usually started from the X Display Manager program xdm(1). This utility is run from the system boot files and takes care of keeping the server running, prompt- ing for usernames and passwords, and starting up the user sessions. Installations that run more than one window system may need to use the xinit(1) utility instead of xdm. However, xinit is to be considered a tool for building startup scripts and is not intended for use by end users. Site administrators are strongly urged to use xdm, or build other interfaces for novice users. The X server may also be started directly by the user, though this method is usually reserved for testing and is not recommended for normal operation. On some platforms, the user must have special permission to start the X server, often because access to certain devices (e.g. /dev/mouse) is restricted. When the X server starts up, it typically takes over the display. If you are running on a workstation whose console is the display, you may not be able to log into the console while the server is running. OPTIONS All of the X servers accept the following command line options: :displaynumber the X server runs as the given displaynumber, which by default is 0. If multiple X servers are to run simultaneously on a host, each must have a unique display number. See the DISPLAY NAMES section of the X(1) manual page to learn how to specify which display number clients should try to use. -a number sets pointer acceleration (i.e. the ratio of how much is reported to how much the user actually moved the pointer). -ac disables host-based access control mechanisms. Enables access by any host, and permits any host to modify the access control list. Use with extreme caution. This option exists primarily for running test suites remotely. -audit level Sets the audit trail level. The default level is 1, meaning only connection rejections are reported. Level 2 additionally reports all successful connec- tions and disconnects. Level 4 enables messages from the SECURITY extension, if present, including generation and revocation of authorizations and vio- lations of the security policy. Level 0 turns off the audit trail. Audit lines are sent as standard error output. -auth authorization-file Specifies a file which contains a collection of authorization records used to authenticate access. See also the xdm and Xsecurity manual pages. bc disables certain kinds of error checking, for bug compatibility with previous releases (e.g., to work around bugs in R2 and R3 xterms and toolkits). Deprecated. -bs disables backing store support on all screens. -c turns off key-click. c volume sets key-click volume (allowable range: 0-100). -cc class sets the visual class for the root window of color screens. The class numbers are as specified in the X protocol. Not obeyed by all servers. -co filename sets name of RGB color database. The default is <XRoot>/lib/X11/rgb, where <XRoot> refers to the root of the X11 install tree. -config filename reads more options from the given file. Options in the file may be separated by newlines if desired. If a '#' character appears on a line, all characters between it and the next newline are ignored, providing a simple commenting facility. The -config option itself may appear in the file. -core causes the server to generate a core dump on fatal errors. -dpi resolution sets the resolution of the screen, in dots per inch. To be used when the server cannot determine the screen size from the hardware. -deferglyphs whichfonts specifies the types of fonts for which the server should attempt to use deferred glyph loading. whi- chfonts can be all (all fonts), none (no fonts), or 16 (16 bit fonts only). -f volume sets feep (bell) volume (allowable range: 0-100). -fc cursorFont sets default cursor font. -fn font sets the default font. -fp fontPath sets the search path for fonts. This path is a comma separated list of directories which the X server searches for font databases. -help prints a usage message. -I causes all remaining command line arguments to be ignored. -kb disables the XKEYBOARD extension if present. -p minutes sets screen-saver pattern cycle time in minutes. -pn permits the server to continue running if it fails to establish all of its well-known sockets (connec- tion points for clients), but establishes at least one. -r turns off auto-repeat. r turns on auto-repeat. -s minutes sets screen-saver timeout time in minutes. -su disables save under support on all screens. -t number sets pointer acceleration threshold in pixels (i.e. after how many pixels pointer acceleration should take effect). -terminate causes the server to terminate at server reset, instead of continuing to run. -to seconds sets default connection timeout in seconds. -tst disables all testing extensions (e.g., XTEST, XTrap, XTestExtension1, RECORD). ttyxx ignored, for servers started the ancient way (from init). v sets video-off screen-saver preference. -v sets video-on screen-saver preference. -wm forces the default backing-store of all windows to be WhenMapped. This is a backdoor way of getting backing-store to apply to all windows. Although all mapped windows will have backing store, the backing store attribute value reported by the server for a window will be the last value established by a client. If it has never been set by a client, the server will report the default value, NotUseful. This behavior is required by the X protocol, which allows the server to exceed the client's backing store expectations but does not provide a way to tell the client that it is doing so. -x extension loads the specified extension at init. This is a no-op for most implementations. [+-]xinerama enable(+) or disable(-) XINERAMA extension. Default is disabled. SERVER DEPENDENT OPTIONS Some X servers accept the following options: -ld kilobytes sets the data space limit of the server to the specified number of kilobytes. A value of zero makes the data size as large as possible. The default value of -1 leaves the data space limit unchanged. -lf files sets the number-of-open-files limit of the server to the specified number. A value of zero makes the limit as large as possible. The default value of -1 leaves the limit unchanged. -ls kilobytes sets the stack space limit of the server to the specified number of kilobytes. A value of zero makes the stack size as large as possible. The default value of -1 leaves the stack space limit unchanged. -logo turns on the X Window System logo display in the screen-saver. There is currently no way to change this from a client. nologo turns off the X Window System logo display in the screen-saver. There is currently no way to change this from a client. XDMCP OPTIONS X servers that support XDMCP have the following options. See the X Display Manager Control Protocol specification for more information. -query host-name Enable XDMCP and send Query packets to the specified host. -broadcast Enable XDMCP and broadcast BroadcastQuery packets to the network. The first responding display manager will be chosen for the session. -indirect host-name Enable XDMCP and send IndirectQuery packets to the specified host. -port port-num Use an alternate port number for XDMCP packets. Must be specified before any -query, -broadcast or -indirect options. -class display-class XDMCP has an additional display qualifier used in resource lookup for display-specific options. This option sets that value, by default it is "MIT- Unspecified" (not a very useful value). -cookie xdm-auth-bits When testing XDM-AUTHENTICATION-1, a private key is shared between the server and the manager. This option sets the value of that private data (not that it is very private, being on the command line!). -displayID display-id Yet another XDMCP specific value, this one allows the display manager to identify each display so that it can locate the shared key. XKEYBOARD OPTIONS X servers that support the XKEYBOARD extension accept the following options: -xkbdir directory base directory for keyboard layout files -xkbmap filename keyboard description to load on startup [+-]accessx enable(+) or disable(-) AccessX key sequences -ar1 milliseconds sets the length of time in milliseconds that a key must be depressed before autorepeat starts -ar2 milliseconds sets the length of time in milliseconds that should elapse between autorepeat-generated keystrokes Many servers also have device-specific command line options. See the manual pages for the individual servers for more details. SECURITY EXTENSION OPTIONS X servers that support the SECURITY extension accept the following option: -sp filename causes the server to attempt to read and interpret filename as a security policy file with the format described below. The file is read at server startup and reread at each server reset. The syntax of the security policy file is as follows. Nota- tion: "*" means zero or more occurrences of the preceding element, and "+" means one or more occurrences. To inter- pret <foo/bar>, ignore the text after the /; it is used to distinguish between instances of <foo> in the next section. <policy file> ::= <version line> <other line>* <version line> ::= <string/v> '\n' <other line > ::= <comment> | <access rule> | <site policy> | <blank line> <comment> ::= # <not newline>* '\n' <blank line> ::= <space> '\n' <site policy> ::= sitepolicy <string/sp> '\n' <access rule> ::= property <property/ar> <window> <perms> '\n' <property> ::= <string> <window> ::= any | root | <required property> <required property> ::= <property/rp> | <property with value> <property with value> ::= <property/rpv> = <string/rv> <perms> ::= [ <operation> | <action> | <space> ]* <operation> ::= r | w | d <action> ::= a | i | e <string> ::= <dbl quoted string> | <single quoted string> | <unqouted string> <dbl quoted string> ::= <space> " <not dqoute>* " <space> <single quoted string> ::= <space> ' <not squote>* ' <space> <unquoted string> ::= <space> <not space>+ <space> <space> ::= [ ' ' | '\t' ]* Character sets: <not newline> ::= any character except '\n' <not dqoute> ::= any character except " <not squote> ::= any character except ' <not space> ::= any character except those in <space> The semantics associated with the above syntax are as fol- lows. <version line>, the first line in the file, specifies the file format version. If the server does not recognize the version <string/v>, it ignores the rest of the file. The version string for the file format described here is "version-1" . Once past the <version line>, lines that do not match the above syntax are ignored. <comment> lines are ignored. <sitepolicy> lines are currently ignored. They are intended to specify the site policies used by the XC-QUERY-SECURITY-1 authorization method. <access rule> lines specify how the server should react to untrusted client requests that affect the X Window property named <property/ar>. The rest of this section describes the interpretation of an <access rule>. For an <access rule> to apply to a given instance of <property/ar>, <property/ar> must be on a window that is in the set of windows specified by <window>. If <window> is any, the rule applies to <property/ar> on any window. If <window> is root, the rule applies to <property/ar> only on root windows. If <window> is <required property>, the following apply. If <required property> is a <property/rp>, the rule applies when the window also has that <property/rp>, regardless of its value. If <required property> is a <property with value>, <property/rpv> must also have the value specified by <string/rv>. In this case, the property must have type STRING and format 8, and should contain one or more null- terminated strings. If any of the strings match <string/rv>, the rule applies. The definition of string matching is simple case-sensitive string comparison with one elaboration: the occurence of the character '*' in <string/rv> is a wildcard meaning "any string." A <string/rv> can contain multiple wildcards any- where in the string. For example, "x*" matches strings that begin with x, "*x" matches strings that end with x, "*x*" matches strings containing x, and "x*y*" matches strings that start with x and subsequently contain y. There may be multiple <access rule> lines for a given <property/ar>. The rules are tested in the order that they appear in the file. The first rule that applies is used. <perms> specify operations that untrusted clients may attempt, and the actions that the server should take in response to those operations. <operation> can be r (read), w (write), or d (delete). The following table shows how X Protocol property requests map to these operations in The Open Group server implementation. GetProperty r, or r and d if delete = True ChangeProperty w RotateProperties r and w DeleteProperty d ListProperties none, untrusted clients can always list all properties <action> can be a (allow), i (ignore), or e (error). Allow means execute the request as if it had been issued by a trusted client. Ignore means treat the request as a no-op. In the case of GetProperty, ignore means return an empty property value if the property exists, regardless of its actual value. Error means do not execute the request and return a BadAtom error with the atom set to the property name. Error is the default action for all properties, including those not listed in the security policy file. An <action> applies to all <operation>s that follow it, until the next <action> is encountered. Thus, irwad means ignore read and write, allow delete. GetProperty and RotateProperties may do multiple operations (r and d, or r and w). If different actions apply to the operations, the most severe action is applied to the whole request; there is no partial request execution. The sever- ity ordering is: allow < ignore < error. Thus, if the <perms> for a property are ired (ignore read, error delete), and an untrusted client attempts GetProperty on that pro- perty with delete = True, an error is returned, but the pro- perty value is not. Similarly, if any of the properties in a RotateProperties do not allow both read and write, an error is returned without changing any property values. Here is an example security policy file. version-1 # Allow reading of application resources, but not writing. property RESOURCE_MANAGER root ar iw property SCREEN_RESOURCES root ar iw # Ignore attempts to use cut buffers. Giving errors causes apps to crash, # and allowing access may give away too much information. property CUT_BUFFER0 root irw property CUT_BUFFER1 root irw property CUT_BUFFER2 root irw property CUT_BUFFER3 root irw property CUT_BUFFER4 root irw property CUT_BUFFER5 root irw property CUT_BUFFER6 root irw property CUT_BUFFER7 root irw # If you are using Motif, you probably want these. property _MOTIF_DEFAULT_BINDINGS rootar iw property _MOTIF_DRAG_WINDOW root ar iw property _MOTIF_DRAG_TARGETS any ar iw property _MOTIF_DRAG_ATOMS any ar iw property _MOTIF_DRAG_ATOM_PAIRS any ar iw # The next two rules let xwininfo -tree work when untrusted. property WM_NAME any ar # Allow read of WM_CLASS, but only for windows with WM_NAME. # This might be more restrictive than necessary, but demonstrates # the <required property> facility, and is also an attempt to # say "top level windows only." property WM_CLASS WM_NAME ar # These next three let xlsclients work untrusted. Think carefully # before including these; giving away the client machine name and command # may be exposing too much. property WM_STATE WM_NAME ar property WM_CLIENT_MACHINE WM_NAME ar property WM_COMMAND WM_NAME ar # To let untrusted clients use the standard colormaps created by # xstdcmap, include these lines. property RGB_DEFAULT_MAP root ar property RGB_BEST_MAP root ar property RGB_RED_MAP root ar property RGB_GREEN_MAP root ar property RGB_BLUE_MAP root ar property RGB_GRAY_MAP root ar # To let untrusted clients use the color management database created # by xcmsdb, include these lines. property XDCCC_LINEAR_RGB_CORRECTION rootar property XDCCC_LINEAR_RGB_MATRICES rootar property XDCCC_GRAY_SCREENWHITEPOINT rootar property XDCCC_GRAY_CORRECTION rootar # To let untrusted clients use the overlay visuals that many vendors # support, include this line. property SERVER_OVERLAY_VISUALS rootar # Dumb examples to show other capabilities. # oddball property names and explicit specification of error conditions property "property with spaces" 'property with "'aw er ed # Allow deletion of Woo-Hoo if window also has property OhBoy with value # ending in "son". Reads and writes will cause an error. property Woo-Hoo OhBoy = "*son"ad NETWORK CONNECTIONS The X server supports client connections via a platform- dependent subset of the following transport types: TCP/IP, Unix Domain sockets, DECnet, and several varieties of SVR4 local connections. See the DISPLAY NAMES section of the X(1) manual page to learn how to specify which transport type clients should try to use. GRANTING ACCESS The X server implements a platform-dependent subset of the following authorization protocols: MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1, XDM- AUTHORIZATION-1, SUN-DES-1, and MIT-KERBEROS-5. See the Xsecurity(1) manual page for information on the operation of these protocols. Authorization data required by the above protocols is passed to the server in a private file named with the -auth command line option. Each time the server is about to accept the first connection after a reset (or when the server is start- ing), it reads this file. If this file contains any author- ization records, the local host is not automatically allowed access to the server, and only clients which send one of the authorization records contained in the file in the connec- tion setup information will be allowed access. See the Xau manual page for a description of the binary format of this file. See xauth(1) for maintenance of this file, and dis- tribution of its contents to remote hosts. The X server also uses a host-based access control list for deciding whether or not to accept connections from clients on a particular machine. If no other authorization mechan- ism is being used, this list initially consists of the host on which the server is running as well as any machines listed in the file /etc/Xn.hosts, where n is the display number of the server. Each line of the file should contain either an Internet hostname (e.g. expo.lcs.mit.edu) or a DECnet hostname in double colon format (e.g. hydra::). There should be no leading or trailing spaces on any lines. For example: joesworkstation corporate.company.com star:: bigcpu:: Users can add or remove hosts from this list and enable or disable access control using the xhost command from the same machine as the server. If the X FireWall Proxy (xfwp) is being used without a sitepolicy, host-based authorization must be turned on for clients to be able to connect to the X server via the xfwp. If xfwp is run without a configuration file and thus no sitepolicy is defined, if xfwp is using an X server where xhost + has been run to turn off host-based authorization checks, when a client tries to connect to this X server via xfwp, the X server will deny the connection. See xfwp(1) for more information about this proxy. The X protocol intrinsically does not have any notion of window operation permissions or place any restrictions on what a client can do; if a program can connect to a display, it has full run of the screen. X servers that support the SECURITY extension fare better because clients can be desig- nated untrusted via the authorization they use to connect; see the xauth(1) manual page for details. Restrictions are imposed on untrusted clients that curtail the mischief they can do. See the SECURITY extension specification for a com- plete list of these restrictions. Sites that have better authentication and authorization sys- tems might wish to make use of the hooks in the libraries and the server to provide additional security models. SIGNALS The X server attaches special meaning to the following sig- nals: SIGHUP This signal causes the server to close all existing connections, free all resources, and restore all defaults. It is sent by the display manager when- ever the main user's main application (usually an xterm or window manager) exits to force the server to clean up and prepare for the next user. SIGTERM This signal causes the server to exit cleanly. SIGUSR1 This signal is used quite differently from either of the above. When the server starts, it checks to see if it has inherited SIGUSR1 as SIG_IGN instead of the usual SIG_DFL. In this case, the server sends a SIGUSR1 to its parent process after it has set up the various connection schemes. Xdm uses this feature to recognize when connecting to the server is possible. FONTS The X server can obtain fonts from directories and/or from font servers. The list of directories and font servers the X server uses when trying to open a font is controlled by the font path. The default font path is "<XRoot>/lib/X11/fonts/misc/, <XRoot>/lib/X11/fonts/Speedo/, <XRoot>/lib/X11/fonts/Type1/, <XRoot>/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi/, <XRoot>/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi/" . where <XRoot> refers to the root of the X11 install tree. The font path can be set with the -fp option or by xset(1) after the server has started. FILES /etc/Xn.hosts Initial access control list for display number n
init(8) <XRoot>/lib/X11/xdm/xdm-errors Default error log file if the server is run from xdm(1) Note: <XRoot> refers to the root of the X11 install tree. SEE ALSO General information: X(1) Protocols: X Window System Protocol, The X Font Service Protocol, X Display Manager Control Protocol Fonts: bdftopcf(1), mkfontdir(1), xfs(1), xlsfonts(1), xfontsel(1), xfd(1), X Logical Font Description Conventions Security: Xsecurity(1), xauth(1), Xau(1), xdm(1), xhost(1), xfwp(1) Security Extension Specification Starting the server: xdm(1), xinit(1) Controlling the server once started: xset(1), xsetroot(1), xhost(1) Server-specific man pages: Xdec(1), XmacII(1), Xsun(1), Xnest(6), Xvfb(6), XF86_Accel(1), XF86_Mono(1), XF86_SVGA(1), XF86_VGA16(1), XFree86(1) Server internal documentation: Definition of the Porting Layer for the X v11 Sample Server AUTHORS The sample server was originally written by Susan Ange- branndt, Raymond Drewry, Philip Karlton, and Todd Newman, from Digital Equipment Corporation, with support from a large cast. It has since been extensively rewritten by Keith Packard and Bob Scheifler, from MIT. Dave Wiggins took over post-R5 and made substantial improvements.
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