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Clients and Servers

Because X is network oriented and applications need not be running on the same system as the one supporting the display, the concept of clients and servers needs to be introduced.

Do not worry too much about the practicalities of this for the moment as normally all this will be transparent to the user - especially if we run programs on a single workstation as we usually will be in this course.

However, in order to fully understand the workings of X we need some notion of these concepts.

The program that controls each display is known as the server.

This terminology may seem a little odd as we may be used to the server as something across the network such as a file server. Here, the server is a local program that controls our display.

Also our display may be available to other systems across the network. In this case our system does act as a true display server.

The server acts as a go-between between user programs, called clients or applications and the resources of the local system. These run on either local or remote systems.

Tasks the server performs include:
Tue May 24 16:52:56 BST 1994