Apple Removes X11 in OS X Mountain Lion, Shifts Support to Open Source XQuartz

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    As noticed by several users running the developer preview version of OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, Apple is no longer including its X11 application for running software through the X Window System interface. A popular option for scientists and others seeking to run specialized UNIX software both on local machines and across networks, X11 has been available on OS X for a number of years and has been included as a default install since Mac OS X Leopard.


    The X Window System has an extensive open source history, with development on the Mac side being handled under the XQuartz project. Apple's X11 application has been based on this effort, although as with many open source projects bundled for use in commercial software, X11 has generally been somewhat behind the latest XQuartz releases. The current version of X11 is 2.6.3, while XQuartz is currently available in version 2.7.0.

    With Mountain Lion, Apple seems to eliminating its dedicated support for the X11 application, instead redirecting users to the open source XQuartz project, which it will continue to support.

    Article Link: Apple Removes X11 in OS X Mountain Lion, Shifts Support to Open Source XQuartz
  2. nickn macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2011
    Is ML really an update? It seems like a downgrade in many respects.
  3. Rudy69 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 30, 2009
    Makes sense, it will ensure users are running a more up to date version of the software. XQuartz and X11 are the same thing after all
  4. godknows macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2010
    Stuff like this should really be optional. Not everyone uses it.
  5. marcusj0015 macrumors 65816

    Aug 29, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Great compermise.

    Most users aren't burdenonded by having junk installed, and the people that do need it get a link to the latest version.
  6. Negritude macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2011
    This makes perfect sense. Apple has always been behind when it comes to updates of the open source and non-Cocoa components of OS X.

    I've always made it a habit to download and install XQuartz myself in order to keep up, so this is no big deal. It works just like the changes with Java, it won't install until you need it.
  7. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    I guess thats why the screenshot shows an Application requesting the use of X11. :rolleyes:

    Since most people don't use X11, it will reduce the install footprint.
  8. macduke macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Do you really know what you're talking about? It seems like you really don't know what you're talking about in many respects.
  9. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    I guess this will be another "dumbing down" thread. :rolleyes:

    Anyone who was using X11 on OS X (myself included) never really bothered with Apple's version anyhow and went straight to XQuartz.
  10. q64ceo macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2010
    THis is having an incredible negative effect upon programs in ML.

    GIMP wont run even with Xquartz
    CrossOver does not launch Windows programs correctly, and instead shuts down
    MacPorts is useless (Not just because of X11, but because of changes to Xcode)

    Yeah, there are a few bugs to be worked out
  11. GenesisST macrumors 68000


    Jan 23, 2006
    Where I live
    A lot of these hanging around here. :D

    I usually don't like X11 applications, but have to use Wireshark from time to time. As long as there is an OPTION, I don't mind at all. It's not like they are blocking it.
  12. dethmaShine macrumors 68000

    Apr 13, 2010
    Into the lungs of Hell
    Thank goodness, they are not axing it completely.
  13. WestonHarvey1 macrumors 68020

    Jan 9, 2007
    Since when does Gimp not work with XQuartz?
  14. q64ceo macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2010
    Dont know why its not, but it does not work at all in ML.
  15. guzhogi macrumors 68020


    Aug 31, 2003
    Wherever my feet take me…
    Just remember, ML is just a beta at this point. That's the point of betas: find out what doesn't work & fix it.
  16. JAPrufrock macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2009
    This isn't just a removal, where reinstallation via XQuartz fixes things all nice and neat. All the underlying launchd mechanisms that made the Apple X11 function so well with previous versions are gone as well. All the automatic $DISPLAY setting methods, for example, are ripped out. Installation of the XQuatrz package does nothing to fix that.

    It's really irksome.
  17. theluggage macrumors 68020

    Jul 29, 2011
    Yeah. What they ought to do is release some sort of "Developer Preview" 5 or 6 months ahead of the release of the new OS so that developers heard about these things and had time to produce fixes.
  18. JAPrufrock macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2009
    Since there's no way to get the old startx methods to work anymore -- because they're just gone.

    Same with several items I work with.


    This is not something they'll be fixing. I hope XQuartz manages to do something about it, but there are no guarantees. This is the kind of thing that can become orphanware in a hurry.
  19. ozaz macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2011
  20. JAPrufrock macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2009
    As I have already ranted :D

    All the supporting mechanisms were ripped out, and there is no more auto-DISPLAY setting in launchd, and I was not able to make even basic functionality behave in the hour I spent on it.

    And then I restored my Time Machine of 10.7.3 so I could use the machine again.
  21. Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

    Nov 8, 2008
    Florida, U.S.A.
    True, or if the user is about to have a seizure for this, he/she could just install X11 and get over it.
    It's not like X11 is no longer supported; it's simply not installed by default, and the user has the choice to install it.

    A lot of people don't understand that Apple is trimming down the old junk code in it to move ahead with much recent and optimized code.
    All that junk takes hard drive space and most important, RAM and CPU processing; makes the whole system slower.

    Crossover doesn't support XQuartz? Just wait and see, it will in a future release, unless they decide they no longer want to make money.
  22. BC2009 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2009
    Bingo! There was no point in Apple shipping it since we could get the latest version via open source. Only problem here is that Apple is no longer guaranteeing that X11 will work when a new version of the OS ships. Its possible for OS X to break X11 and the open source XQuartz team to have to quickly produce an update to support new operating system releases. Its probably not much of a concern if you wait a couple weeks after the release of a new version of OS X to upgrade. They should have any required updates available to XQuartz within a few weeks (or possibly before) release of OS X, given the availability of developer previews.

    This is just like the move to no longer bundle Java.
  23. Rocketman macrumors 603


    Every OS upgrade has been a legacy feature downgrade and a move toward a consumer only feature set. I get that and I can live with that, but I in no way understand why Apple does not simply have a second fee bracket to reinstall all legacy features as apps or services or whatever. Heck, they could charge people a fee to add Apple II binary support and folks would FLOCK to it. Old is new again.

    Until that day comes and I'm not holding my breath, as I run Mac Draw, Apple's first Mac vector graphics app on my PBG4 OS10.4, and folks I know are running DOS on their latest mac under Parallels or whatever. Mac users must be cut off by the spaceship from the past while Windblows users get to keep everything forever.

    I was using X11 in 1992 and it's still here. So is Ethernet!

  24. CodeBreaker macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2010
    Sea of Tranquility
    Can someone confirm that Matlab works with XQuartz?
  25. iRCL macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2011
    Here's a thought - instead of a link to a knowledge base article and a link to XQuartz project, how about a link to an *App Store version of XQuartz*. That'd be more Apple-esque

    Also, the writeup doesn't mention this, but this is the exact same stance that Apple took with Flash.

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