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Appendix F

Local X and Motif Clients

The XConnectPro package includes the following local X and Motif clients:

  • mwm (based on OpenMotif 2.0)
  • glxinfo (the GLX extension local X Client)
  • glxgears (the GLX extension local X Client)
  • xclock
  • xdpyinfo
  • xev
  • xfd
  • xfontsel
  • xkill
  • xlsfonts
  • xmodmap
  • xprop
  • xrdb
  • xset
  • xshowcmap
  • xwininfo

They have the same functionality and command line syntax as related remote (UNIX) ones, but were developed to be run under MS Windows, so you can use them the same way.

To run one of these programs, click its name on the X-clients Program Folder of the package (when XServer is running) or from the Run menu of XServer. (In these cases, the clients are called with parameters specified by XServer.)

Also, you can launch the clients from Startup (in the lShell mode) or from the Start/Run menu of your MS Windows system. (In this case, you must specify startup parameters for the invoked X client on the command line.)

The local X clients were developed (to be run under MS Windows) with the X Development Kit supplied with the package.

You can take advantage of the local X clients when remote (UNIX) ones are inaccessible or inconvenient to run.

The following is brief descriptions of available local X clients. For more information, refer to corresponding manuals on these applications.


mwm is a local implementation of the Motif window manager (based on OpenMotif 2.0). The local mwm program may be useful when XServer is in the Single Window mode (this allows not to use a remote window manager).


glxinfo is a sample program for displaying info about a GLX extension and OpenGL renderer. It lists information about the GLX extension, OpenGL capable visuals, and the OpenGL renderer on an X server. The GLX and renderer info includes the version and extension attributes. The visual info lists the GLX visual attributes available for each OpenGL capable visual (e.g. whether the visual is double buffered, the component sizes, Z-buffering depth, etc). By default the visual info is presented in a concise 80 character wide tabular format. The -l option allows you to print interesting OpenGL limits.


The glxgears program is a sample GLX version of the "gears" GL demo. It is a GLX demo that draws three rotating gears, and prints out framerate information to stdout. The -info option allows you to print out GL implementation information before running the demo.


The xclock program displays the time in analog or digital form. The time is continuously updated at a frequency that may be specified by the user.


The xdpyinfo program displays information about an X server. It is used to examine the capabilities of a server, the predefined values for various parameters used in communicating between clients and the server, and the different types of screens and visuals that are available.


xev is the X Event Tester. You can run this standard X client locally (on your PC) to obtain the values of keysyms for keys. According to its manual, when xev is running, it creates a window and then asks the X server to send it notices called 'events' whenever anything happens to the window (such as being moved, resized, typed in, clicked in, mouse movements, button clicks, etc.). It is useful for seeing what causes events to occur and to display the information that they contain. For example, you can run xev to obtain the values of keysyms for key presses.


This program is used to displays all the characters in an X font. According to its manual, the characters are displayed in a grid of boxes, each large enough to hold any single character in the font. Individual character metrics (index, width, bearings, ascent and descent) can be displayed at the top of the window by clicking on the desired character.


The xfontsel application provides a simple way to display the fonts known to your X server, examine samples of each, and retrieve the X Logical Font Description ("XLFD") full name for a font (i.e., xfontsel is a point & click interface for selecting X11 font names).

According to its manual, if the pattern option is not specified, all fonts with XLFD 14-part names will be selectable. To work with only a subset of the fonts, you can specify -pattern followed by a partially or fully qualified font name (e.g., "-pattern *medium*" will select that subset of fonts which contain the string "medium" somewhere in their font name). Be careful about escaping wildcard characters in your shell.

The sample option specifies the sample text to be used to display the selected font if the font is linearly indexed, overriding the default. The sample16 option specifies the sample text to be used to display the selected font if the font is matrix encoded, overriding the default. The noscaled option disables the ability to select scaled fonts at arbitrary pixel or point sizes. This makes it clear which bitmap sizes are advertised by the server, and can avoid an accidental and sometimes prolonged wait for a font to be scaled.

Clicking any pointer button in one of the XLFD field names will pop up a menu of the currently known possibilities for that field. If previous choices of other fields were made, only values for fonts that matched the previously selected fields will be selectable. To make other values selectable, you must deselect some other field(s) by choosing the '*' entry in that field.

Scalable fonts come back from the server with zero for the pixel size, point size, and average width fields. Selecting a font name with a zero in these positions results in an implementation-dependent size. Any pixel or point size can be selected to scale the font to a particular size. Any average width can be selected to anamorphically scale the font (although you may find this challenging given the size of the average width menu).

Clicking the left pointer button in the select widget will cause the currently selected font name to become the PRIMARY text selection as well as the PRIMARY_FONT selection. This then allows you to paste the string into other applications. The select button remains highlighted to remind you of this fact, and de-highlights when some other application takes the PRIMARY selection away.


The xkill program is a utility for forcing the X server to close connections to clients. This program is very dangerous, but is useful for aborting programs that have displayed undesired windows on a user's screen. According to its manual, if no resource identifier is given with -id, xkill will display a special cursor as a prompt for the user to select a window to be killed. If a pointer button is pressed over a non-root window, the server will close its connection to the client that created the window.


This program is used to display server font list for X. According to its manual, xlsfonts lists the fonts that match the given pattern. The wildcard character '*' may be used to match any sequence of characters (including none), and '?' to match any single character. If no pattern is given, '*' is assumed. The '*' and '?' characters must be quoted to prevent them from being expanded by the shell.

The l option lists some attributes of the font on one line in addition to its name. The ll option lists font properties in addition to l output. The lll option lists character metrics in addition to ll output.


The xmodmap utility is for modifying keymaps and pointer button mappings in X. It is used to edit and display the keyboard modifier map and keymap table that are used by client applications to convert event keycodes into keysyms. It is usually run from the user's session startup script to configure the keyboard according to personal tastes.

Some options that may be used with xmodmap (according to the manual):

  • The -display display option specifies the host and display to use.
  • The -e expression option specifies an expression to be executed. Any number of expressions may be specified from the command line.
  • The -pm option indicates that the current modifier map should be printed on the standard output.
  • The -pk option indicates that the current keymap table should be printed on the standard output.
  • The -pke option indicates that the current keymap table should be printed on the standard output in the form of expressions that can be fed back to xmodmap.
  • The -pp option indicates that the current pointer map should be printed on the standard output.

The filename argument specifies a file containing xmodmap expressions to be executed. This file is usually kept in the user's home directory with a name like .xmodmaprc.

The xmodmap program reads a list of expressions (from a command line or a file) and parses them all before attempting to execute any of them. This makes it possible to refer to keysyms that are being redefined in a natural way without having to worry as much about name conflicts.

The list of keysym names may be found in the header file X11/keysymdef.h (without the XK_ prefix) or the keysym database <XRoot>/lib/X11/XKeysymDB, where <XRoot> refers to the root of the X11 install tree.

Many pointers are designed such that the first button is pressed using the index finger of the right hand. People who are left-handed frequently find that it is more comfortable to reverse the button codes that get generated so that the primary button is pressed using the index finger of the left hand. This could be done on a 3-button pointer as follows:

%  xmodmap -e "pointer = 3 2 1"


The xprop utility is for displaying window and font properties in an X server. According to its manual, one window or font is selected using the command line arguments or possibly in the case of an X's window, by clicking on the desired window. A list of properties is then given, possibly with formatting information. Normally each property name is displayed by printing first the property name then its type (if it has one) in parentheses followed by its value.


The xrdb utility is for controlling the X server resource database. According to its manual, xrdb is used to get or set the contents of the RESOURCE_MANAGER property on the root window of screen 0, or the SCREEN_RESOURCES property on the root window of any or all screens, or everything combined. You would normally run this program from your X startup file.

Most X clients use the screen-independent resource property, RESOURCE_MANAGER, and the screen-specific resource property, SCREEN_RESOURCES, to get user preferences about color, fonts, and so on for applications. The RESOURCE_MANAGER property is used for resources that apply to all screens of the display. The SCREEN_RESOURCES property on each screen specifies additional (or overriding) resources to be used for that screen. When there is only one screen, SCREEN_RESOURCES is normally not used and all resources are just placed in the RESOURCE_MANAGER property.


This program is used to set various user preference options of the display. According to its manual, the options control the bell parameters, key click, autorepeat, the turning on/off the keyboard LEDs, the mouse parameters, pixel color values, the screen saver parameters, the font path, Energy Star mode, power management, and many others.


The xshowcmap program displays the contents of the currently active colormap in a window (a map of the system colors). The created window shows a square for every color currently defined in the server's active colormap. The number of squares is the number of colormap-cells the server supports.


The xwininfo utility is for displaying information about X's windows. According to its manual, various information is displayed depending on which options are selected. The user has the option of selecting the target window with the mouse or by specifying its window id or name. There are also special options to quickly obtain information on the screen's root window or on parent and/or children windows.

The stats (default) option causes the display of various attributes pertaining to the location and appearance of the selected window. Information displayed includes the location of the window, its width and height, its depth, border width, class, colormap id if any, map state, backing-store hint, and location of the corners.

The bits option causes the display of various attributes pertaining to the selected window's raw bits and how the selected window is to be stored. Displayed information includes the selected window's bit gravity, window gravity, backing-store hint, backing-planes value, backing pixel, and whether or not the window has save-under set.

The metric option causes all individual height, width, and x and y positions to be displayed in millimetres as well as number of pixels, based on what the server thinks the resolution is.

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