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Guide to X-terminal setup

The dusty old machine lying in the corner can be revived with Linux. But

when it comes to more memory hungry apps like Netscape and StarOffice then

you're at a loss. If however, you have a Linux machine on your network

with bigger hardware then you're in luck. Make that the X client and

designate the low end machine as the X server.

The X-terminal concept is essentially like telneting into a machine and

then running some application there. All the working is done on the

machine that you are connecting to but the display is shown on your

machine. That just gives you access to console mode text applications,

whereas an X-Terminal setup will give you access to the entire range of

GUI applications. All applications will be run on the server but the

display will be exported to your computer. The machine that you setup as

the X terminal just serves as a display. This setup works very well with

diskless workstations and older computers.

First a little theory for you. The X server is the software that handles

all the interactions between the GUI and your hardware. Windows equivalent

would be the graphics card driver. But X is a lot more than than. Here it

becomes a server that your clients connect to. Clients would be the

various GUI applications like GNOME, KDE etc communicating through network

protocols. This architecture allows a lot of flexibility. The clients can

be run on any machine but the display can be routed to another machine.

For remote logins via X you need to enable xdm on the server. Xdm is the X

Display Manager which manages the login and authentication of users. Think

of it as the old text login screen with a nicer GUI layout. Good feature

is that not only does it authenticate users locally, it also provides a

login screen to any client that will connect to it.

Find the xdm-config file. This should be in /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xdm

(SuSE) or in /etc/X11/xdm (Red Hat, Mandrake).

Open xdm-config. At the bottom of the file is look for a line that says

DisplayManager.requestPort: 0

This line needs to be commented out ( Put a '#' in front of it ) if you

want to allow external X clients to be able to connect to the server.

Edit the Xaccess file. Uncomment out the line with a '*' if it exists. If

not then add a line at the top which contains only a '*'. This will allow

hosts to connect directly to the server.

There are several ways in which a client may connect to the server.