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UGU: Unix Guru Universe - MachTen XTen FAQ - Home : Unix Flavors : MachTen
MachTen XTen FAQ

Q1. How does XTen differ from other X servers for the Macintosh?
Q2. Does XTen support all X Client applications?
Q3. Why is XTen so much faster that the other X servers for Macintosh?
Q4. What networking support does XTen provide?
Q5. On what media is XTen distributed?
Q6. What add-on hardware is supported?
Q7. How can I learn more about the X Window System?

Q1. How does XTen differ from other X servers for the Macintosh?

XTen is a 100% compatible, X11R6 X Window System. All other X servers for the Macintosh are derivatives of X11R5 with some X11R6 extensions added on. XTen supports 16 bits (thousands) and 24 bit (millions) of colors, and device independent color. All other X servers for the Macintosh are limited to 8 bits (hundreds) of colors, and do not support device independent color. XTen supports PEX (Phigs Extension to X) and XIE (X Imaging Extension). XTen is the fastest Macintosh X server available. XTen includes a suite of over 100 ready-to-use X clients. XTen is the only Macintosh X server capable of running X clients locally, thus eliminating network overhead for standard X applications.

Q2. Does XTen support all X Client applications?

Yes. XTen is a completely standard X11R6 version of the X Window system. It can display X clients from UNIX X Window systems (eg. Sun, SCO, HP, IBM R/6000, Silicon Graphics, and NeXT) and other (non-UNIX X Window Systems) like DEC.

X clients can also be ported to run directly on the XTen system. Since XTen is a "vanilla" X11R6 system with standard X libraries, these ports are no more difficult than porting to any other X Window system. Power MachTen, Tenon's UNIX for Power Macintosh, makes an excellent platform for porting specialized or proprietary X clients to XTen. Before engaging in porting your favorite X application, check the existing suite of over 100 ready to use X clients already included in XTen, and the additional X clients available via anonymous ftp from Tenon's ftp server.

Q3. Why is XTen so much faster that the other X servers for Macintosh?

XTen's architecture is very different than the other Macintosh X server programs. XTen writes directly to VRAM, bypassing QuickDraw. XTen uses its own high performance TCP/IP implementation, bypassing MacTCP. This combination has profound performance implications, making XTen the fastest Macintosh X server available.

Q4. What networking support does XTen provide?

XTen works over Ethernet or AppleTalk (which can be set to LocalTalk, EtherTalk, TokenTalk, FiberTalk, etc) to easily access any system on your LAN or WAN.

For dial-up access to your network, XTen works with the Point to Point Protocol (PPP), the Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP) and AppleTalk Remote Access (ARA). PPP and SLIP are included with XTen. Both can directly access the Macintosh serial port or use the Macintosh Communication Toolbox (CTB) to communicate via modems or ISDN devices. For best performance with high speed modems, XTen requires a hardware-handshaking cable supporting RTS/CTS, DTR and GPi. The CompUnite High-Speed Mac Modem Cable from Celestin is one example of a properly configured cable.

You can also dial in to your AppleTalk server using ARA, then use XTen over AppleTalk (which must be set to ARA) to access TCP/IP systems across your ARA connection.

XTen provides interoperability with Macintosh applications that rely on MacTCP (such as Netscape and Eudora) by emulating the MacTCP interface on XTen's TCP/IP implementation.

Q5. On what media is XTen distributed?

XTen is distributed on CD-ROM and includes a printed copy of the "XTen User's Guide".

Q6. What add-on hardware is supported?

Because XTen interoperates with the Macintosh OS, all add-on hardware works with XTen. XTen has been used with cache cards, accelerators, multiport serial cards, ethernet cards (NuBus, SCSI and PCI) and video cards.

XTen does not require a three-button mouse, but can be configured to support one. We reccommend the Logitech MouseMan or the Kensington 4-button mouse, but any three-button mouse will work.

Q7. How can I learn more about the X Window System?

O'Reilly & Associates publish an excellent series of X Window books. The list below is certainly not complete, but is a sampling of those most appropriate for an XTen user.
Title                                               ISBN         Price

Volume 3: X Window System User's Guide 1-56592-014-7 $34.95 Volume 3M: X Window System User's Guide 1-56592-015-5 $34.95 Volume 8: X Window System Administrator's Guide 0-937175-83-8 $29.95 MH & xmh: E-mail for Users & Programmers 1-56592-093-7 $34.95 X User Tools 1-56592-019-8 $49.95 Motif Tools 1-56592-044-9 $54.95 The X Window System in a Nutshell 1-56592-017-1 $19.95

For further X Window information resources, check out the X Consortium home page or the X Window System page at Yahoo .

A monthly posting on the newsgroup comp.windows.x gives answers to Frequently Asked Questions about X. It is so long it is posted in multiple parts:

MachTen, and XTen, are trademarks of Tenon Intersystems.
Copyright © 1996 Tenon Intersystems
Send any questions, suggestions, or comments to webmaster@tenon.com

 
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