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Introduction to X

X (also called X11 or, formally, the X Window System) is the standard windowing system for most UNIX systems. It is supported by MINIX 3 and is automatically installed with the official installation images.

The NetBSD guide chapter on the X server mostly applies to MINIX 3, please refer to it for a more thorough overview.

Quick start

When logged-in as root, type:


You will get the default TWM environment from NetBSD. One of the xterm windows will be called login, you can quit X11 by closing it or using the command exit.

If the auto-detected X server settings are not satisfactory, run the command:

X -configure

to generate a X11 configuration file named based on the automatically detected settings. Move it to /etc/X11/xorg.conf and edit it to suit your configuration.

To personalize the default environment created by startx, copy the shell script /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc to ~/.xinitrc and modify it.

Once X11 is sorted out, you may want to use another window manager.


The following guides from The Linux Documentation Project give useful explanations of X and its components:

The X Window User HOWTO


For MINIX releases 3.1.4 - 3.2.0, the official X documentation can be found below:

Documentation for the X Window System Version 11 Release 6.8.2 (X11R6.8.2)

usersguide/introductiontox.txt · Last modified: 2017/05/22 08:09 by jeanbaptisteboric