Skip site navigation (1)Skip section navigation (2)

FreeBSD Manual Pages


home | help
XINIT(1)		    General Commands Manual		      XINIT(1)

       xinit - X Window	System initializer

       xinit [ [ client	] options ] [ -- [ server ] [ display ]	options	]

       The  xinit  program  is	used to	start the X Window System server and a
       first client program on systems	that  cannot  start  X	directly  from
       /etc/init  or  in  environments that use	multiple window	systems.  When
       this first client exits,	xinit will kill	the X server and  then	termi-

       If  no specific client program is given on the command line, xinit will
       look for	a file in the user's home directory called .xinitrc to run  as
       a  shell	 script	 to start up client programs.  If no such file exists,
       xinit will use the following as a default:

	    xterm  -geometry  +1+1  -n	login  -display	 :0

       If no specific server program is	given on the command line, xinit  will
       look  for  a file in the	user's home directory called .xserverrc	to run
       as a shell script to start up the server.   If  no  such	 file  exists,
       xinit will use the following as a default:

	    X  :0

       Note  that  this	assumes	that there is a	program	named X	in the current
       search path.  However, servers are  usually  named  Xdisplaytype	 where
       displaytype  is	the  type  of graphics display which is	driven by this
       server.	The site administrator should, therefore, make a link  to  the
       appropriate  type  of  server  on the machine, or create	a shell	script
       that runs xinit with the	appropriate server.

       Note, when using	a .xserverrc script be sure to	``exec''  the  real  X
       server.	 Failing  to  do  this can make	the X server slow to start and
       exit.  For example:

	    exec Xdisplaytype

       An important point is that programs which are run by .xinitrc should be
       run  in	the  background	 if  they do not exit right away, so that they
       don't prevent other programs from starting up.  However,	the last long-
       lived  program  started (usually	a window manager or terminal emulator)
       should be left in the foreground	so that	the script won't  exit	(which
       indicates that the user is done and that	xinit should exit).

       An alternate client and/or server may be	specified on the command line.
       The desired client program and its arguments should  be	given  as  the
       first  command line arguments to	xinit.	To specify a particular	server
       command line, append a double dash (--) to the xinit command line  (af-
       ter any client and arguments) followed by the desired server command.

       Both  the  client  program  name	and the	server program name must begin
       with a slash (/)	or a period (.).  Otherwise, they are  treated	as  an
       arguments to be appended	to their respective startup lines.  This makes
       it possible to add arguments (for example,  foreground  and  background
       colors) without having to retype	the whole command line.

       If  an explicit server name is not given	and the	first argument follow-
       ing the double dash (--)	is a colon followed by a digit,	xinit will use
       that number as the display number instead of zero.  All remaining argu-
       ments are appended to the server	command	line.

       Below are several examples of how command line arguments	in  xinit  are

       xinit   This  will  start up a server named X and run the user's	.xini-
	       trc, if it exists, or else start	an xterm.

       xinit --	/usr/X11R6/bin/Xqdss  :1
	       This is how one could start a specific type of server on	an al-
	       ternate display.

       xinit -geometry =80x65+10+10 -fn	8x13 -j	-fg white -bg navy
	       This  will start	up a server named X, and will append the given
	       arguments to the	default	xterm command.	It will	ignore	.xini-

       xinit -e	widgets	-- ./Xsun -l -c
	       This  will  use the command .Xsun -l -c to start	the server and
	       will append the arguments -e widgets to the default xterm  com-

       xinit /usr/ucb/rsh fasthost cpupig -display ws:1	--  :1 -a 2 -t 5
	       This  will  start  a server named X on display 1	with the argu-
	       ments -a	2 -t 5.	 It will then start a remote shell on the  ma-
	       chine fasthost in which it will run the command cpupig, telling
	       it to display back on the local workstation.

       Below is	a sample .xinitrc that starts a	clock, several terminals,  and
       leaves  the window manager running as the ``last'' application.	Assum-
       ing that	the window manager has been configured properly, the user then
       chooses the ``Exit'' menu item to shut down X.

	       xrdb -load $HOME/.Xresources
	       xsetroot	-solid gray &
	       xclock -g 50x50-0+0 -bw 0 &
	       xload -g	50x50-50+0 -bw 0 &
	       xterm -g	80x24+0+0 &
	       xterm -g	80x24+0-0 &

       Sites  that  want  to  create a common startup environment could	simply
       create a	default	.xinitrc that references a site-wide startup file:

	       . /usr/local/lib/site.xinitrc

       Another approach	is to write a script that starts xinit with a specific
       shell  script.	Such  scripts are usually named	x11, xstart, or	startx
       and are a convenient way	to  provide  a	simple	interface  for	novice

	       xinit /usr/local/lib/site.xinitrc -- /usr/X11R6/bin/X bc

       DISPLAY	      This  variable  gets  set	 to the	name of	the display to
		      which clients should connect.

       XINITRC	      This variable specifies an init  file  containing	 shell
		      commands	to  start up the initial windows.  By default,
		      .xinitrc in the home directory will be used.

       .xinitrc	      default client script

       xterm	      client to	run if .xinitrc	does not exist

       .xserverrc     default server script

       X	      server to	run if .xserverrc does not exist

       X(7), startx(1),	Xserver(1), xterm(1)

       Bob Scheifler, MIT Laboratory for Computer Science

X Version 11			  Release 6.6			      XINIT(1)


Want to link to this manual page? Use this URL:

home | help