The (Re)Architecture of the X Window System

Jim Gettys
Keith Packard
Cambridge Research Laboratory, HP Labs, HP


The X Window System, Version 11, is the standard window system on Linux and UNIX systems. X11, designed in 1987, was ``state of the art'' at that time. From its inception, X has been a network transparent window system in which X client applications can run on any machine in a network using an X server running on any display. While there have been some significant extensions to X over its history (e.g. OpenGL support), X's design lay fallow over much of the 1990's. With the increasing interest in open source systems, it was no longer sufficient for modern applications and a significant overhaul is now well underway. This paper describes revisions to the architecture of the window system used in a growing fraction of desktops and embedded systems

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Presented at the 2004 Ottawa Linux Symposium in July, 2004.

Keith Packard
Last modified: Tue Jun 15 13:48:08 PDT 2004