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X11 Turns 25 Years Old Today

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  • phoronix
    started a topic X11 Turns 25 Years Old Today

    X11 Turns 25 Years Old Today

    Phoronix: X11 Turns 25 Years Old Today

    It was 25 years ago today, on 15 September 1987, that Version 11 Release 1 of the X Window System (a.k.a. X11) was released. X11 has evolved a long way since then, but this 25-year-old technology out of MIT remains at the heart of every Linux desktop.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=17889

  • satoshi
    replied
    The X server architecture, designed long time ago by some happy hippies who just thought all the apps are good and non-malicious, simply allows any GUI application to control any other one. No bugs, no exploits, no tricks, are required. This is all by design. One application can sniff or inject keystrokes to another one, can take snapshots of the screen occupied by windows belonging to another one, etc.
    Source : The Linux Security Circus: On GUI isolation

    Is Wayland more secure than X11? If so, where can I find information about Wayland's supposed GUI isolation mechanism?

    Leave a comment:


  • satoshi
    replied
    The X server architecture, designed long time ago by some happy hippies who just thought all the people apps are good and non-malicious, simply allows any GUI application to control any other one.
    From: The Linux Security Circus: On GUI isolation

    How secure is the newer "Wayland" compared with X11?

    Leave a comment:


  • daniels
    replied
    Originally posted by KellyClowers View Post
    >But remote access ive never ONCE used. I've always gone for a full desktop via an RDP-like protocol. Just seems like a better solution to me because you do get the full desktop available to you.
    I haven't yet happened to use a single app remote connection... I have used the whole desktop over X11/NX. Lately I have not had 2 computers running X...

    >Also, isnt X11's remote protocol REALLY inefficient for modern applications?
    It has its inefficiencies unfortunately, yes. Thus NX. I wouldn't be opposed to X12 or something that kept the good ideas but made things more efficient.
    And you're 100% dead certain that Wayland's remoting is inherently less efficient than X? And definitely won't actually be quite a bit more efficient, especially over slower links?

    Originally posted by KellyClowers View Post
    >if they are taking the time TO write their own UI, let them do it.
    That's a negative. If I wanted that, I would use Chrome and all those windows apps like RealPlayer that do that. But I don't!
    If you only run apps with a totally consistent UI, then you don't have to worry about inconsistent app UIs - no problem.

    Leave a comment:


  • daniels
    replied
    Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
    I still don't understand how we haven't reached something like x15 by now. considering the immense changes in X even within the past 5 years, I highly doubt the very first release of x11 can operate modern desktop environments or GPUs within 10 years old. compatibility must have broken well over a decade ago yet they keep using the same name. at this point, going to x12 seems like it won't break compatibility any more or less than another major release of x11. where do they draw the line between what makes a new version and what doesn't? the Linux kernel was the same way, but that's a topic for another day.
    Compatibility didn't break, the core X11 protocol still works as well now as 25 years ago. That's why we keep using the same name, and makes it pretty easy to know where to draw the line.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ardje
    replied
    X11 is a protocol

    My Dec Imagestation 2000 would probably still run fine running X11R5 with todays applications like chrome or firefox.
    The essence of X11 is that it's more a network protocol. It doesn't really matter what hardware you are using, just as long as you adhere to the standard.
    Of course, gnome and kde have been designed to break the standard, doing inter application communication in a horrible non-standardised way, while enlightenment still would work on the X11R5 imagestation. (X11R5 misses the shape extension, but enlightenment can corretly handle that).
    So what is X11:
    0) a network protocol doing:
    1) a set of primitives to draw
    2) a set of higher level primitives for windowing and blitting
    3) an event model, and an object oriented windowing model.
    4) having a lot of meta information on windowing, especially useful for:
    5) most important: allow client-applications running on whatever server talk to other client-applications on whatever server.

    We can see more about that here: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...tem&px=MTE4NzE
    where E17 just starts to adhere to a protocol.

    When somebody talks about trying to run the latest Xorg on the older X-terminals has completely missed the point about X11.
    Xorg is an implementation of the X11 specification. If you have old hardware running X11, you don't have to upgrade anything, just log into your new server as you would do with any X-terminal. Even better: You would probably be able to get a black-and-white NCD X-terminal, configure your NAS (network audio, which was normal on an NCD) as part of a pulse-audio, and you can run your new mp3 player application on your server, with the display and audio output on your 20 year old X-terminal.

    (Probably some of the techniques used in X11 have been patented by Apple because they invented it for the iphone)

    Leave a comment:


  • KellyClowers
    replied
    Originally posted by RealNC View Post
    Here, the screen just blinked a few times, then I got a message that the driver had stopped working and that it was reset. That was all.


    Not in my experience. The Windows 7 kernel doesn't seem to affected by a graphics driver crash.

    Weird, I have not seen that at all on 7. Our Win 7/Quadro machines have had some gfx driver crashes with our CAD apps, it is always just a regular BSoD.

    Leave a comment:


  • Veerappan
    replied
    Originally posted by KellyClowers View Post
    >But remote access ive never ONCE used. I've always gone for a full desktop via an RDP-like protocol. Just seems like a better solution to me because you do get the full desktop available to you.
    I haven't yet happened to use a single app remote connection... I have used the whole desktop over X11/NX. Lately I have not had 2 computers running X...
    In a shared environment, per-App network sharing is a god-send. Especially when you've only got network access to a single machine on a secure network that you have to run things on, and that machine is the machine that EVERYONE has to run them on. If you've got the possibility of multiple users logging into a single server, none of them should run the risk of someone else seeing what they're working on.

    Leave a comment:


  • RealNC
    replied
    Originally posted by KellyClowers View Post
    >How exactly can you "assure" it?
    *boggle* Have you seen a Windows graphics driver crash?! It is a BSoD. Apps don't survive that.
    Here, the screen just blinked a few times, then I got a message that the driver had stopped working and that it was reset. That was all.

    >And note that a driver crash in Linux means a kernel panic or at least an X server crash.
    No shit. Happens to mean a kernel panic in Windows as well!
    Not in my experience. The Windows 7 kernel doesn't seem to affected by a graphics driver crash.

    Leave a comment:


  • Thatguy
    replied
    Originally posted by garegin View Post
    with vista they moved part of the stack into userland and made it more resilient to crashes. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/wind...re/gg487368#E2 also as i mentioned earlier, when x.org crashes it takes all the app to its grave. in windows a misbehaving window does not usually crash all other windows.
    BeOS implemented many of these ideas in the 1990's. They were good ideas then, and they are good ideas now.

    Leave a comment:

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