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Official Course Outline


Temporary Course Webpage


Subject Description

This subject introduces the student to the X Window System. Students will learn how to plan, set up, troubleshoot, customize and use an X system. Particular attention will be paid to security and network issues with emphasis on the KDE and GNOME desktop environments.

Credit Status

1 credit in the LUX program


Meet admission requirements for LUX

Specific Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • Plan, implement, and administer an X System installation, taking into account network, security, and hardware issues
  • Understand display hardware issues and recommend a display hardware configuration to meet specified requirements
  • Identify the components of the X Window System and the purpose of each
  • Start an X server using the commands startx, xinit, X, and xdm/gdm/kdm
  • Start an X server with no session, local session management, and queried, broadcast, and indirect remote session management
  • Download, install, configure and use KDE (K Desktop Environment)
  • Download, install, configure and use the XFree86/Xouvert server software and utilities
  • Download, install, configure and use VNC (Virtual Network Computer)
  • Configure and use common X client applications
  • Download, install, configure and use the Gnome desktop environment

Topic Outline

  • Overview of X - 5%
         o What is X?
         o Client-Server Model
         o Terminology
         o History of X
  • Display and User Interface Hardware and Technology - 10%
         o Monitors - LCD, CRT - connection types, resolution, refresh rates
         o Video Cards - memory type and size, DACs, GPUs
         o Pointing devices - mice, touch screens, light pens, graphics tablets
         o Keyboards - connection types, scancodes, geometry, accessibility issues
         o Device standards and standard bodies, including VESA, DPMS, DDC, USB HID, and TCO99
         o Network transports: local (Unix domain sockets, STREAMS, named pipes, shared memory) and remote (TCP/IP and alternatives (IPX/SPX, DecNet))
  • Installing and Configuring the X Window Server - 15%
         o Installing XFree86/Xouvert - using tar files and rpm packages
         o Configuration - automatic, fully manual, and manual using GUI tools
         o Hardware Configuration - keyboard, pointer/mouse, monitor
         o The X Server - choosing the correct driver for your video card
         o Installing alternate (non-XFree86) X servers
         o Multi-head configuration
         o Xinerama
         o Fonts types and configuration
         o The X Font Server (xfs) and alternatives
  • Starting and Using the X Server - 10%
         o Starting X: startx, xinit, X
         o Display Managers: xdm/gdm/kdm/chooser
         o Query, Broadcast and Indirect methods of contacting display managers
  • Standard X Programs and Utilities - 5%
         o xset, xdpyinfo
         o xcalc, xclock, xeyes, xkill, xmag, xsetroot, xloadimage, xterm
         o xfd, xlsfonts, xfontsel, x11perf
         o KDE and Gnome equivalents of standard X utilities
  • Linux/X Toolkit Particulars - 5%
         o Xt, Gtk, Qt, Xforms, Motif/Lesstif
  • Runtime Application Configuration - 5%
         o X Resource Database
         o Common Resources and Command-Line Options
         o KDE and Gnome configuration systems
  • Runtime Environment Configuration - 5%
         o Window Managers
  • Integrated X Desktop Environments - 10%
         o KDE
         o GNOME
         o Others - CDE
  • X and Security - 15%
         o xhosts
         o xauth
         o ssh and X11 tunneling
  • X and Wide Area Networking - 15%
         o Low bandwidth X (LBX), Broadway
         o VNC

== Useful X-Windows Resources ==

Fill in as you wish...

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