X.Org Foundation

What Does X.Org Foundation Mean?

The X.org Foundation is a nonprofit scientific organization that manages the development and standards of the X Windows system. It was established in January 2004 as a Delaware limited liability company under Delaware general corporation law.


The X Windows system (X11) is an open-source windowing and graphics system that was established by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It was designed to provide a Web browser engine or rendering engine for Unix applications. The X11 source code is in the public domain and is the base of most Unix graphical interfaces including OpenLook and Motif. Before X 11, scientific modeling applications and computer aided design (CAD) applied patented software in order to render images. This required a graphic output. X11 is also the graphics engine in Linux computers.

Techopedia Explains X.Org Foundation

The X.org Foundation started when the group that managed the standards joined with the previous XFree86 developers. XFree86 is an application of the X Window System originally used for Unix-type operating systems. The previous stewardships were vendor establishments including the X.Org, which was part of the Open Group. The Open Group passed control of the x.org domain name to the X.org Foundation.

The Foundation is managed by software developers and relies on community involvement. Corporate membership is attained through sponsorship. Current sponsors include various major corporations like Hewlett Packard.

The X.Org server is the reference implementation of an X Windows system. The reference or model implementation is the standard against which all other implementations are gauged. It is generally used with Unix and Linux platforms. The X.Org server is also the base for KDE, GNOME and Common Desktop Environment desktop interfaces.

In addition, the X.org Foundation is responsible for the scheme of the X libraries, which is the protocol client library written in C. It is made up of utilities that interact with the X.org server. The X libraries interface with applications, graphics, input drivers and the acceleration used for graphics. Furthermore, the X.org Foundation has been the base for rebuilding the Linux graphics driver stack.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse 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 explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…