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Xsgi - X Window System server for Silicon Graphics
Xsgi [:displaynumber] [-option ...]
Xsgi is the name for the Silicon Graphics, Inc. X Window
System server. The server supports the X version 11
protocol, and is based on Release 6 of the X Consortium
distribution. The X Window System is described in X Window
System by Scheifler and Gettys (Digital Press, ISBN 1-
For details on use of the X Window System, it is recommended
that you refer to the X Window System User's Guide for
Version 11 (Volume III), by Tim O'Reilly, Valerie Quercia,
and Linda Lamb (O'Reilly & Associates, ISBN 0-937175-29-3).
In addition, you may find the following books to be useful:
Xlib Programming Manual (Volume I), by Adrian Nye, O'Reilly
& Associates, ISBN 0-937175-26-9 Xlib Reference Manual
(Volume II), O'Reilly & Associates, ISBN 0-937175-27-7
STARTING THE SERVER
Xsgi is normally run by the xdm program from init. However,
it may also be started by hand, using the interface
described here, or by running xdm by hand. Details on xdm
may be found in the xdm(1) man page.
In IRIX 4.0 and 5.0, Xsgi exports visuals supporting most
available hardware. All servers support 8-bit PseudoColor.
24-bit TrueColor is available on equipped machines.
Depending on hardware, 2- or 4-bit PseudoColor may be
available, possibly for use of overlay planes. Other visuals
may be available. For details on the nature of visuals, see
Xlib Programming Manual, described above. Available visuals
may be interrogated with xdpyinfo(1) or, from within a
program, via XMatchVisualInfo(3X), or XGetVisualInfo(3X).
Extensions to the core X protocol may be available on a
given instance of Xsgi. Among the several extensions
supported at time of writing are Adobe PostScriptTM, X Input
Extension (tablet, spaceball, dials, etc), SHAPE (non
rectanglular windows) and Xinerama. Available extensions
may be interrogated with xdpyinfo(1), or, from within a
program, via XQueryExtension(3X), or XListExtensions(3X).
Xsgi accepts the following command line options:
sets the mouse acceleration threshold
sets the keyboard autorepeat timeout
sets the keyboard autorepeat interval
selects authorization file
bc enables bug compatibility mode. There was a bug in
pre-R4 servers which allowed a common protocol
violation. This option asks the server to disable
detection of that particular protocol violation. It
is supplied solely to allow old programs with the
bug to work.
specifies the graphics boards that the X server
should use. boardnumber-range is either a single
number or a comma separated list of numbers
specifying the desired graphics boards. The
graphics board numbers can be determined by
examining the report from gfxinfo(1G). For example,
to tell the X server to use graphics board 2 use
-boards 2. To tell the X server to use graphics
boards 0 and 1 use -boards 0,1. The default
behavior is for the X server to use all available
sets base address of board communication space
sets amount of space to reserve per board in bytes
-bs disables backing store support on all screens
-c turns off key-click
sets key-click volume (0-100). Note: currently, the
volume has two states: on and off.
sets class of default visual
sets name of RGB color database. The default is
specifies the initial foreground color for the
specifies the initial background color for the
specifies directory to use for dynamic DDX modules
(which are dynamic shared objects for IRIX 5.x and
6.x). The default is /usr/lib/X11/dyDDX.
sets depth of default visual
specifies directory to use for input devices. The
default is /dev/input.
sets screen resolution pixels per inch
sets the bell base volume
sets default cursor font. This defaults to cursor.
-first prevents the server from opening any but the first
sets the server default font. This defaults to
sets the search path for fonts. This defaults to
-help prints a usage message
specifies options on a per-screen basis. In addition
to a board argument, allowed options include class,
depth, overlay, pseudomap, staticmap, and visid. As
an example, to set up screen 0 of a two-headed
system to be 8-bit PseudoColor, and screen 1 to be
24-bit TrueColor, you would use
-hw board=0,class=PseudoColor,depth=8 -hw
On a multi-headed system, left, right, above, and
below allow you to specify the logical relationship
of each screen with respect to one another. For
example, to specify that display 0 is logically
above display 1, you would use
-hw board=0,below=1 -hw board=1,above=0
If Xinerama extension is enabled for a multi-headed
system, xoffset and yoffset allow you to indicate
relative offsets of one screen with respect to its
neighbours. The value should be negative to indicate
an overlap. In the previous example, to indicate
that display 1 has an overlap of 60 pixels with
display 0, you would use
-hw board=0,below=1 -hw board=1,above=0,yoffset=-60
-I causes Xsgi to ignore all remaining arguments
specifies directory to use for input configuration
files. The default is /usr/lib/X11/input.
-configdir path specifies directory to use for
device-specific configuration files. The default is
sets the name of core keyboard device to use.
sets the name of keymap to use. Omitting this
option causes the server to use its only builtin
keymap, which supports the USA keyboard. Keymap
files are named name.xkm. See -inputdir, above.
-logo turns on the X Window System logo display in the
nologo turns off the X Window System logo display in the
This switch was introduced because the X shape
extension can escalate the number of clipping
rectangles that are required to clip an image. If
the number of clipping rectangles exceeds clip, the
image will be rendered non-transparently. If this
switch isn't present the server will default to 4000
clip rectangles before the image is non transparent.
do not support scaling of bitmap fonts. By default
Xsgi supports scaling of bitmap fonts to any size.
This can often result in rather unreadable glyphs.
Type1 and Speedo fonts are still scalable with this
option since outline based fonts scale much better
do not support the use of overlay visuals. This
option and the -overlay option cannot be used
together since no overlay visuals will be available
when using -nooverlays. Also, when using this option
the inclusion of the overlay sub-option to the -hw
option will fail, resulting in the use of the
server's default visual.
This option is only applicable to systems with
ODYSSEY, KONA, and future graphics types. The type
of graphics found on a system can be queried using
the gfxinfo(1G) program.
specifies that the default visual should be in the
overlay planes. Gets optionally combined with class
enables the display of additional hardware cursor
images in regions where two (or more) screens
partially overlap their screen areas. This is useful
for example when Xinerama is enabled and -hw flags
have been used to specify negative x or y offset
values such that the screens overlap. Like
Xinerama, this option only has an effect when the X
server is managing more than one graphics pipe. It
will not have an affect on (single-pipe) multi-
tells how to initialize default PseudoColor
colormaps. String must be one of gl, envm, pseudo,
or 4sight. The setting determines the number of
cells preallocated by the server for sharing
ReadOnly by clients. All preallocated cells contain
colors which match those in the default GL
"colorindex" colormap. If more cells are
preallocated, the default map and maps used by the
GL will match better, but fewer cells will be
available for allocation by clients. gl
preallocates cells 0-15. envm preallocates cells
0-15 and 32-255. pseudo preallocates only
WhitePixel and BlackPixel. 4sight preallocates 0-15
sets name of core pointer device
-r turns off keyboard auto-repeat
r turns on keyboard auto-repeat
reports the names of font files being decompressed.
sets screen-saver timeout time in minutes. The
screen saver may be disabled by setting the timeout
to 0. The default is 10 minutes. Note that using
xset(1) sets the timeout in seconds.
enables the X security extension
starts the server with a solid color for the initial
screen; If not specified, the default is a black and
white X stipple background.
arranges screens of a multihead server vertically
instead of horizontally. Screen 0 is on the bottom.
tells how to initialize default colormaps. String
must be one of gl or cube. The setting determines
the layout of the maps. gl makes the map look like
the GL default map. cube fills the map with a color
cube. Please do not be confused by the naming, if
you want to set the class of the default colormap,
use the -class flag. This flag only determines what
is stored in the colormap.
-su disables save under support on all screens
sets the mouse threshold
sets connection timeout in seconds.
ttyxx starts server on ttyxx. For use when starting a
server from init.
v turns on video blanking for screen-saver
-v turns off video blanking for screen-saver
specifies visual ID of default visual. If the number
refers to a valid visual, this option overrides
class, depth and overlay.
NOTE: the set of visual IDs and the visuals they
correspond to is device-dependent. Thus, this set
will vary from one board type to the next. Also, for
a given board type, there is no guarantee that the
set of supported visuals (and their corresponding
visual IDs) will not change from one software
release to the next.
-wm forces the default backing-store of all windows to
be WhenMapped. This is not a very good way of
getting backing-store to apply to all windows.
-wrapx allows pointer cursor to wrap around in X direction
-wrapy allows pointer cursor to wrap around in Y direction
loads the named extension at init time
enables Xinerama extension. See Xinerama(3X11) for
sets index of X valuator in pointer device
sets index of Y valuator in pointer device
Xsgi uses an access control list for deciding whether or not
to accept connections from clients on a particular machine.
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 an Internet hostname
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. Please refer to the xhost(1) man
page for more information.
Unlike some window systems, X does not have any notion of
window operation permissions; it places few restrictions on
what a client can do. If a program can connect to a
display, it has full run of the screen and can manipulate
most resources it may discover. See also xauth(1).
SHARED MEMORY TRANSPORT
The default transport for local clients uses shared memory
for X server communication. Clients may use UNIX domain
sockets (the previous default transport) by specifying the
display as unix:0. UNIX domain sockets will automatically
be used if shared memory is not available.
INPUT DEVICE SUPPORT
Clients access core input devices (pointer and keyboard)
using core X protocol requests. Additional devices may be
accessed using the X Input Extension. See input(7) for
information about configuring input devices.
The server attaches special meaning to the following
SIGHUP This signal causes Xsgi to close all existing
connections, free all resources, and restore all
defaults. It is sent by the display manager
whenever the main user's primary client exits or
after execution of endsession to force the server to
clean up and prepare for the next user. On many
systems, this primary client frequently is an xterm
or a window manager. See endsession(1) and xdm(1)
SIGTERM This signal causes Xsgi to exit cleanly.
the default server file used by xdm,
supplying options which will be passed
X(1), xdm(1), xauth(1), xhost(1), xdpyinfo(1), input(7),
endsession(1), 4Dwm(1), twm(1), xterm(1), xset(1),
xsetroot(1), mkfontdir(1), xinit(1), Xinerama(3X11),
The option syntax is inconsistent with itself and xset(1).
If Xsgi dies before its clients, new clients won't be able
to connect until all existing connections have their TCP
TIME_WAIT timers expire.
Xdmcp doesn't support DES.
Bell Volume is not configurable on older SGI architectures.
Backing store does not correctly operate on windows which
have OpenGL or IRIS GL contexts bound to them. Since GL
programs render directly to the graphics hardware, the X
server has no ability to correctly retain rendering for
obscured regions of such windows.
Backing store is not recommended as a performance
enhancement to windows containing simple graphics. Backing
store is more expensive for deeper windows.
Read-modify-write rasterops can be slow on some older SGI
Certain use patterns can cause severe fragmentation of
memory in the server. This can lead to large resident core
sizes even though core is not leaking. Since the default
configuration resets (but does not restart) the server
between users, the process may become large without
opportunity to shrink. Consequently, performance may suffer
as a result of paging, etc. Process size may be examined
with ps(1). Should this occur, the server should be
terminated and restarted. This can be done via kill(1) or,
if xdm(1) is used, by changing the terminateServer entry in
/usr/lib/X11/xdm/xdm-config to True.
In IRIX 5.0, a new memory allocation scheme is supported in
Xsgi that allows large allocated memory chunks to be
returned to the operating system. This should minimize
The standard -dpi option for setting the monitor screen
resolution is accepted but not used by Xsgi. Most SGI
workstations have monitor-detect logic so Xsgi will
correctly determine the size and resolution.
Additional documentation for developers of X Window System
clients is available on-line and directly from the X
Cambridge MA 02139-1955
Copyright 1989-91 Silicon Graphics Inc.
Copyright 1987-91, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
See X(1) for a full statement of rights and permissions.
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