What is X11?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by bmer89, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. bmer89 macrumors newbie

    bmer89

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    #1
    I would like to download GIMP, but it requires the X11 environment. Apparently it's on my OS X install DVD. I don't want to install it until I know what it does and how it effects me and my system. I'm running Tiger 10.4.11. If someone can give me some information about X11, that would be great.
     
  2. saltyzoo macrumors 65816

    saltyzoo

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    #2
    http://developer.apple.com/opensource/tools/X11.html

     
  3. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

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    #3
    X11 is a series of standards for UNIX windowing environments. It is not installed by default in OSX, since we use Aqua, but if you want to run anything that does not have an OSX native interface, you must install X11.

    TEG
     
  4. Mustang Maniac macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Do yourself a favor.

    Do yourself a favor and just say No!

    X11 is a horrible environment. Don't polute your nice OS X environment with it. Instead, look for a native application that does what you need.

    Jeff
     
  5. saltyzoo macrumors 65816

    saltyzoo

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    #5
    It's a fine environment to run gimp in. There's not really any alternative in the price range.
     
  6. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

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    #6
    apple installed X11 for leopard BY DEFAULT for a reason.
     
  7. kuwisdelu macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Wow.

    Calm down, man. Do you even know that X11 is used for things beyond simply applications like OpenOffice.org and Gimp that don't have a proper Aqua interface, yet? I assume not, because there are many good reasons to keep it around.

    Yes, native applications are great. If you have Photoshop, no need for Gimp. But if you don't, it's the best free alternative around, and just because it doesn't have a native Aqua interface yet is no reason not to use it if you need it. Sure, Seashore is a great Aqua-native alternative (and I use it whenever it's up to the job) but it's not as powerful yet.

    Moreover, there are lots of people who need X11 to get work done the old Unix way, because it's the fastest way, and all that's necessary. Some of us need to SSH into off-site machines and do important work remotely, in a network that has to support a variety of Unix systems, from PuTTy on a Windows box, to Linux, to Mac OS X, and we need X11 forwarding for any GUI purposes because when you're working with theoretical physics (or whatever it happens to be, this is just my case) pretty GUI really isn't the top priority. Could I ask CERN to provide us with a pretty Aqua GUI written in Cocoa? Sure I could. They'd laugh at me. Most of my work is done in Vim, anyway.

    And if you understood my last paragraph, you should realize you shouldn't have said what you did about X11 being a horrible environment.

    And if you didn't, then you should remember not to talk about that of which you know nothing.
     
  8. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #8
    Actually X11 is a really good environment. The fact that it works on a client / server basis means you can run an application on one computer and view it on another completely transparently.

    There is a reason why X11 has been around for so long and has not been replaced. Because it is good solid software.
     
  9. bmer89 thread starter macrumors newbie

    bmer89

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    #9
    The question I want answered as not yet been addressed. What will it do to my current environment? Will it be different? In what way? Will I have to switch environments to run different programs?

    I'm still reading from that first link, but it uses terminology I don't understand. It's difficult to learn something when you don't even know what it is saying. That's why I'm asking for your help.
     
  10. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

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    #10
    NO, it will NOT change ANYTHING of non-X11 app. It will only be activated when you run an X11 app and even when activated, it won't affect any non-X11 app you are running. I.e. it behaves just like a normal app, feel safe using it.
     
  11. bmer89 thread starter macrumors newbie

    bmer89

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    #11
    Thank you! That's what I was looking for! You rock!
     
  12. kuwisdelu macrumors 65816

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    #12
    Oops! Sorry! Well, clevin answered for you. But yes, don't worry about it "changing" any other apps at all. Feel completely free to open it up and look around. If you open it without having any X11 apps open it for you, it will just look like Terminal's command line. It just provides a resource for certain applications to use, but it won't change anything. This answer is kind of redundant, but oh well.
     
  13. paul.b.davis macrumors 6502

    paul.b.davis

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    #13
    You work at CERN? I know you must get this a lot, because of that Dan Brown book (sorry), but did you guys really invent the internet?
     
  14. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #14
    Depends what you mean by the internet. Most people get it confused. The internet used to be ARPAnet which was a military network which was then later expanded to allow University access to it.

    I believe what you are talking about is the world wide web which is not the same thing as the internet.
     
  15. paul.b.davis macrumors 6502

    paul.b.davis

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    #15
    Ah, you are right
     
  16. kuwisdelu macrumors 65816

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    #16
    Actually, I don't work AT CERN, which is kind of my point about why the X Window system is very useful. I'm a student in university, actually--and my professor, incidentally, has been to CERN, and even has an office there, but still works over here in the US to teach--and I use SSH to remotely log into one of my university's computers, which gets and stores data from a computer network at Fermilab (I believe), which in turn gets and stores data from CERN itself. While remotely logged in to run analyses and such, the only way to get any GUI from the software is through X11 forwarding.

    As for your question, Cromulent answered part of it. Yes, the World Wide Web did begin at CERN, in fact, on Steve Jobs' very own NeXTStep operating system and NeXT computers (a NeXTCube to be exact). If you want more information, just wikipedia it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Wide_Web#History

    Sadly (for better or worse) CERN and Fermilab no longer use NeXT or OS X, but rather Scientific Linux (I think it's currently SL CERN 4 to be exact), their own distro of Linux that they collaborated on a while back, which built on Red Hat's version of Linux.

    Oh, and as for Dan Brown? He's crazy. Well, not completely. We have made antimatter. It does annihilate when it comes into contact with normal matter. But it would take hundreds of years at our current pace to make as much as Dan Brown has.

    I hope I was of some clarification! I'd know more, but really, I'm just a student in over his own head in high-energy particle physics! :eek: :cool:
     
  17. Evangelion macrumors 68040

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    #17
    x11 rocks. I hope that some day apple creates a proper client-server based windowing-system so we could run remote apps over the network. But I don't think that sits with their vision of personal computing that is basically one computer, one user
     
  18. yeroen macrumors 6502a

    yeroen

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    #18
    Did Al Gore work at CERN? No he didn't.

    Remember Al Gore gave us the internet, and he can just as easily take it away. That he hasn't after what happened in 2000 is a testament to his merciful nature.
     
  19. metacym macrumors newbie

    metacym

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    #19
    Ssh

    Hello. this is a good thread. I am in search of a bit of clarity about this.
    I have noticed a few of you confirm that using SSH is a process that requires X11 to deploy. Is SSH on X11 different than in the normal OS X terminal?
    i have opened the X11 terminal quite a few times, i just dont see how it is different than using the normal terminal.

    pardon my n00bishness.
     
  20. samwich macrumors regular

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    #20
    I too was in the same boat and wanted to run Gimp on OS X. I had used it on Windows and for the most part it worked out fine. I was disappointed with the performance on the mac. When you open Gimp it also automatically launches X11. The windows had problems stacking correctly/maintaining their positions and depth when choosing new dialog boxes. Sometimes dialog boxes would default behind toolbars and windows and it was very frustrating. I would often have to double click on an icon to bring focus to the dock, and then click the icon.

    Just wanted to throw those tidbits of info out there for all the prospective Gimp users.
     
  21. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

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    #21

    Gimp runs in X11. Think of it as a UNIX environment. Essentially you are running a virtual desktop. Since it is in X11 you can expect it to run as a UNIX app and not an OS X app.
     
  22. cube macrumors G5

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    #22
    "X11" is actually X. X11 is the current protocol version of X (since the 80's).

    The full name of the latest version from the X.Org Foundation is "X Window System Version 11 Release 7.4".

    The only thing better than X was NeWS.

    What is baroque is the C API, or worse yet, that of Motif.

    Common Lisp is the only other language that has a native X protocol API.


    Since version 3.0 of OOo there is OpenOffice.org Aqua, you don't need X11.
     

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