AKA: X Window System
Current version: X11 (X version 11)
X is a network protocol for displaying simple graphics. It has many implementations, of which the most well-known is probably XFree86. Almost all *nix operating systems rely on X for their GUI displays.
X implementations consist of a server application (actually located on the client machine) and many client applications. When client applications are run, they connect to the X server which deals with rendering the graphics in an appropriate manner for the client's hardware.
An X server in and of itself can only do the most simple of graphical operations - displaying fonts, showing un-decorated windows, etc. For this reason almost all X installations include window managers and/or a desktop environment.
XFree86 v4.x features some useful features like using multiple monitors without jumping through hoops.
- X-Window GUI Construction
- SmallX - designed for a computer with only 4 megs of memory.
- Fresco (formerly "Berlin") - (intro) - Possible alternative to X
- Y - A X analysis, and essay about 'Y' which is an alternative to X in development.
- Crust Display System - An X replacement project which aims to help the author learn all aspects of creating a windowing system.
- xouvert - A fork of the X Window System that aims to have more routine updates and a more open development cycle