X Server

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What Does X Server Mean?

X server is a server program that connects X terminals running on the X Window System, whether locally or in a distributed network. The X server is installed with the X Window System, which is a cross-platform and complete client-server system for managing graphical user interfaces on a single computer or networked ones. The X server manages the X clients and does the actual work in terms of managing input and display devices and performing requested operations. This simplifies programming, as the application programs themselves do not need to be aware of the hardware details and just rely entirely on the X server.


Techopedia Explains X Server

The X server manages X clients, but the relationship is reversed compared to traditional client-server model applications. Each local machine contains the X server, and the X clients are run on the remote machines, but may also run in the same local machine as the X server.

In traditional client-server implementations, the user of the client requests data from the server, which then displays them on the user’s screen through the client. In the case of the X system, however, the user controls the server in order to control clients residing in remote workstations so that multiple clients can be controlled at once, providing the user with different applications that are running in different machines. In this way, more tasks can be done without slowing down the user’s machine.

The X server provides the following basic types of services:

  • Input handling
  • Window services
  • Graphics
  • Text and fonts
  • Resource management

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.