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17.5   X-Windows

  Starting an X-window Session

How do I start Windows? (after trying win in unix)

It's not possible on *nix. If the machine being used is a PC it can (except for the Linux only machines) be rebooted into Windows.

From Canyon Loorem, Apr 13 15:41:23 1996
I can't start mitx. It tells me I have to be on the console to run it and of course I am. (What is wrong?)

From Adam Radford, Sun Apr 14 19:59:12 1996

Someone on dewey had left X-windows running, then pressed ctrl-alt-f2 to get to another virtual console, probably by accident. When a user tries to login, it says they can't start X because they aren't on the console.


  1. Press ctrl-alt-f7 to get to the current X windows session that was accidentally left running by the previous user.
  2. Exit X windows normally, or if it is stuck, press ctrl-alt-backspace to kill it.
  3. Press ctrl-alt-f1, login, and load X windows like you normally would.

  xlock and tvtwm Interaction


From BugID#linuxsoft_X-Windows.951129151619
Why does xlock not work, from my dropdown button bar, and ONLY when there's a netscape window on the screen?

If I change to another window, where netscape isn't on screen, it seems to work okay. It also seems to need to be "primed" by first running xlock from the text prompt of whichever console happens to be the xterm for the computer I'm physically located on. I've heard of other problems with xlock from other UCs, so it may be an xlock problem on oracle.

From Justin Hooper, Fri Dec 8 09:19:11 1995

It seems that xlock only works in tvt if you're in the root window. I.E. the upper left. If not, it just hangs until you can kill the xlock process. No known cure so far.

From Spudboy, Fri Dec 8 13:56:05 1995

And on a side note... just to add to peoples knowledge of silly trivia.

The root window under tvtwm is the whole desktop, and remains so no matter where You are in the desktop (i.e. the origin is at the upper left of the Desktop, not the current screen).

Under fvwm the origin of the root window is always at the upper left of the current screen.

I'll leave this as an exercise to figure out the differences this results in and just give you the clue that it only really matters with off screen geometries for windows (when You start the window up) and for programs that write to a specific portion of the root window and don't tile... like xantfarm. Let me know if you're further curious and can't figure it out or aren't sure you figured it all out.

  X-windows Customization

From Wed Oct 11 15:22:55 1995
Curing Promiscuity

Disease:        promiscuous X
Symptoms:       dry, cracked passwords, nauseating background colors, and 
                runny/locked screen
Cause:          combination of:
                o       xhost + or xon -access used to allow connection by 
                        remote X apps
                o       pinhead with a copy of xmelt, -rsh, xlock, etc.
Cure:           use ~mfisk/usr/bin/xon to open X windows from remote

Disease:        acutely promiscuous X
Symptoms:       same as above, but is really annoying and you don't feel
                like killing all your apps
Cure:           o       quick fix: 
                        login to the machine, set your DISPLAY to :0,
                        and type 'xhost -'. This will also kill any
                        insecure connections you initiated from other
                        machines, though.  Actually, this won't affect
                        existing connections, it'll just disallow new
                        insecure connections from that host.
                o       cooler but more time-consuming:
                        login to the machine, set your DISPLAY to :0,
                        and run xlsclients. your output should be
                        something like the following:

                                khaki  xterm
                                mauve  xmelt

                        from this you can usually determine where the evil
                        process is being run, since it's the only one
                        you don't remember starting (xmelt, in this case.)
                        if it's on a TCC machine, just rlogin and do a
                        super kill on the process. if it's not on a TCC
                        machine, just login to the machine you're running
                        X on, set your DISPLAY to :0, and xhost - the
                        offending hostname.

Disease:        hung X
Symptoms:       dead cursor (extreme cases) and nonresponding windows
Cause:          flaky software, I think; talk to a System Engineer for a real
                explanation ;)
Cure:           o       in linux, this is easy... just hold down Control and
                        Alt and press BackSpace to kill X
                o       in general, you can rlogin to the machine and do a
                        (possibly super) kill on the process X, which is
                        listed as being uid root but is killable by the
                        initiating user.

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