MirBSD manpage: Xserver(1)

XSERVER(1)          UNIX Programmer's Manual           XSERVER(1)


     Xserver - X Window System display server


     X [option ...]


     X is the generic name for the X Window System display
     server.  It is frequently a link or a copy of the appropri-
     ate server binary for driving the most frequently used
     server on a given machine.


     The X server is usually started from the X Display Manager
     program xdm(1) or a similar display manager program. This
     utility is run from the system boot files and takes care of
     keeping the server running, prompting for usernames and
     passwords, and starting up the user sessions.

     Installations that run more than one window system may need
     to use the xinit(1) utility instead of a display manager.
     However, xinit is to be considered a tool for building
     startup scripts and is not intended for use by end users.
     Site administrators are strongly urged to use a display
     manager, or build other interfaces for novice users.

     The X server may also be started directly by the user,
     though this method is usually reserved for testing and is
     not recommended for normal operation.  On some platforms,
     the user must have special permission to start the X server,
     often because access to certain devices (e.g. /dev/mouse) is

     When the X server starts up, it typically takes over the
     display.  If you are running on a workstation whose console
     is the display, you may not be able to log into the console
     while the server is running.


     Many X servers have device-specific command line options.
     See the manual pages for the individual servers for more
     details; a list of server-specific manual pages is provided
     in the SEE ALSO section below.

     All of the X servers accept the command line options
     described below. Some X servers may have alternative ways of
     providing the parameters described here, but the values pro-
     vided via the command line options should override values
     specified via other mechanisms.

             The X server runs as the given displaynumber, which

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             by default is 0. If multiple X servers are to run
             simultaneously on a host, each must have a unique
             display number.  See the DISPLAY NAMES section of
             the X(7) manual page to learn how to specify which
             display number clients should try to use.

     -a number
             sets pointer acceleration (i.e. the ratio of how
             much is reported to how much the user actually moved
             the pointer).

     -ac     disables host-based access control mechanisms.
             Enables access by any host, and permits any host to
             modify the access control list. Use with extreme
             caution. This option exists primarily for running
             test suites remotely.

     -audit level
             sets the audit trail level.  The default level is 1,
             meaning only connection rejections are reported.
             Level 2 additionally reports all successful connec-
             tions and disconnects.  Level 4 enables messages
             from the SECURITY extension, if present, including
             generation and revocation of authorizations and vio-
             lations of the security policy. Level 0 turns off
             the audit trail. Audit lines are sent as standard
             error output.

     -auth authorization-file
             specifies a file which contains a collection of
             authorization records used to authenticate access.
             See also the xdm(1) and Xsecurity(7) manual pages.

     bc      disables certain kinds of error checking, for bug
             compatibility with previous releases (e.g., to work
             around bugs in R2 and R3 xterms and toolkits).

     -bs     disables backing store support on all screens.

     -br     sets the default root window to solid black instead
             of the standard root weave pattern.

     -c      turns off key-click.

     c volume
             sets key-click volume (allowable range: 0-100).

     -cc class
             sets the visual class for the root window of color
             screens. The class numbers are as specified in the X
             protocol. Not obeyed by all servers.

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     -co filename
             sets name of RGB color database.  The default is

     -core   causes the server to generate a core dump on fatal

     -deferglyphs whichfonts
             specifies the types of fonts for which the server
             should attempt to use deferred glyph loading.  whi-
             chfonts can be all (all fonts), none (no fonts), or
             16 (16 bit fonts only).

     -dpi resolution
             sets the resolution for all screens, in dots per
             inch. To be used when the server cannot determine
             the screen size(s) from the hardware.

     dpms    enables DPMS (display power management services),
             where supported.  The default state is platform and
             configuration specific.

     -dpms   disables DPMS (display power management services).
             The default state is platform and configuration

     -f volume
             sets feep (bell) volume (allowable range: 0-100).

     -fc cursorFont
             sets default cursor font.

     -fn font
             sets the default font.

     -fp fontPath
             sets the search path for fonts.  This path is a
             comma separated list of directories which the X
             server searches for font databases. See the FONTS
             section of this manual page for more information and
             the default list.

     -help   prints a usage message.

     -I      causes all remaining command line arguments to be

     -maxbigreqsize size
             sets the maxmium big request to size MB.

     -nolisten trans-type
             disables a transport type.  For example, TCP/IP

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             connections can be disabled with -nolisten tcp. This
             option may be issued multiple times to disable
             listening to different transport types.

             prevents a server reset when the last client connec-
             tion is closed.  This overrides a previous -ter-
             minate command line option.

     -p minutes
             sets screen-saver pattern cycle time in minutes.

     -pn     permits the server to continue running if it fails
             to establish all of its well-known sockets (connec-
             tion points for clients), but establishes at least
             one.  This option is set by default.

     -nopn   causes the server to exit if it fails to establish
             all of its well-known sockets (connection points for

     -r      turns off auto-repeat.

     r       turns on auto-repeat.

     -s minutes
             sets screen-saver timeout time in minutes.

     -su     disables save under support on all screens.

     -t number
             sets pointer acceleration threshold in pixels (i.e.
             after how many pixels pointer acceleration should
             take effect).

             causes the server to terminate at server reset,
             instead of continuing to run. This overrides a pre-
             vious -noreset command line option.

     -to seconds
             sets default connection timeout in seconds.

     -tst    disables all testing extensions (e.g., XTEST, XTrap,
             XTestExtension1, RECORD).

     ttyxx   ignored, for servers started the ancient way (from

     v       sets video-off screen-saver preference.

     -v      sets video-on screen-saver preference.

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     -wm     forces the default backing-store of all windows to
             be WhenMapped.  This is a backdoor way of getting
             backing-store to apply to all windows. Although all
             mapped windows will have backing store, the backing
             store attribute value reported by the server for a
             window will be the last value established by a
             client.  If it has never been set by a client, the
             server will report the default value, NotUseful.
             This behavior is required by the X protocol, which
             allows the server to exceed the client's backing
             store expectations but does not provide a way to
             tell the client that it is doing so.

     -x extension
             loads the specified extension at init. This is a
             no-op for most implementations.

             enables(+) or disables(-) the XINERAMA extension.
             The default state is platform and configuration


     Some X servers accept the following options:

     -ld kilobytes
             sets the data space limit of the server to the
             specified number of kilobytes. A value of zero makes
             the data size as large as possible.  The default
             value of -1 leaves the data space limit unchanged.

     -lf files
             sets the number-of-open-files limit of the server to
             the specified number. A value of zero makes the
             limit as large as possible.  The default value of -1
             leaves the limit unchanged.

     -ls kilobytes
             sets the stack space limit of the server to the
             specified number of kilobytes. A value of zero makes
             the stack size as large as possible.  The default
             value of -1 leaves the stack space limit unchanged.

     -logo   turns on the X Window System logo display in the
             screen-saver. There is currently no way to change
             this from a client.

     nologo  turns off the X Window System logo display in the
             screen-saver. There is currently no way to change
             this from a client.

     -render default|mono|gray| sets the color allocation policy

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             that will be used by the render extension.

             default selects the default policy defined for the
                     display depth of the X server.

             mono    don't use any color cell.

             gray    use a gray map of 13 color cells for the X
                     render extension.

             color   use a color cube of at most 4*4*4 colors
                     (that is 64 color cells).

             disables smart scheduling on platforms that support
             the smart scheduler.

     -schedInterval interval
             sets the smart scheduler's scheduling interval to
             interval milliseconds.


     X servers that support XDMCP have the following options. See
     the X Display Manager Control Protocol specification for
     more information.

     -query hostname
             enables XDMCP and sends Query packets to the speci-
             fied hostname.

             enable XDMCP and broadcasts BroadcastQuery packets
             to the network.  The first responding display
             manager will be chosen for the session.

     -multicast [address [hop count]]
             Enable XDMCP and multicast BroadcastQuery packets to
             the  network. The first responding display manager
             is chosen for the session.  If an address is speci-
             fied, the multicast is sent to that address.  If no
             address is specified, the multicast is sent to the
             default XDMCP IPv6 multicast group.  If a hop count
             is specified, it is used as the maximum hop count
             for the multicast.  If no hop count is specified,
             the multicast is set to a maximum of 1 hop, to
             prevent the multicast from being routed beyond the
             local network.

     -indirect hostname
             enables XDMCP and send IndirectQuery packets to the
             specified hostname.

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     -port port-number
             uses the specified port-number for XDMCP packets,
             instead of the default.  This option must be speci-
             fied before any -query, -broadcast, -multicast, or
             -indirect options.

     -from local-address
             specifies the local address to connect from (useful
             if the connecting host has multiple network inter-
             faces).  The local-address may be expressed in any
             form acceptable to the host platform's gethost-
             byname(3) implementation.

     -once   causes the server to terminate (rather than reset)
             when the XDMCP session ends.

     -class display-class
             XDMCP has an additional display qualifier used in
             resource lookup for display-specific options.  This
             option sets that value, by default it is "MIT-
             Unspecified" (not a very useful value).

     -cookie xdm-auth-bits
             When testing XDM-AUTHENTICATION-1, a private key is
             shared between the server and the manager.  This
             option sets the value of that private data (not that
             it is very private, being on the command line!).

     -displayID display-id
             Yet another XDMCP specific value, this one allows
             the display manager to identify each display so that
             it can locate the shared key.


     X servers that support the XKEYBOARD (a.k.a. "XKB") exten-
     sion accept the following options.  All layout files speci-
     fied on the command line must be located in the XKB base
     directory or a subdirectory, and specified as the relative
     path from the XKB base directory.  The default XKB base
     directory is /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xkb.

     [+-]kb  enables(+) or disables(-) the XKEYBOARD extension.

      ]accessx [ timeout [ timeout_mask [ feedback [ options_mask ]
      ] ] ]
             enables(+) or disables(-) AccessX key sequences.

     -xkbdir directory
             base directory for keyboard layout files.  This
             option is not available for setuid X servers (i.e.,
             when the X server's real and effective uids are

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     -ar1 milliseconds
             sets the autorepeat delay (length of time in mil-
             liseconds that a key must be depressed before
             autorepeat starts).

     -ar2 milliseconds
             sets the autorepeat interval (length of time in mil-
             liseconds that should elapse between autorepeat-
             generated keystrokes).

             disables loading of an XKB keymap description on
             server startup.

     -xkbdb filename
             uses filename for default keyboard keymaps.

     -xkbmap filename
             loads keyboard description in filename on server


     X servers that support the SECURITY extension accept the
     following option:

     -sp filename
             causes the server to attempt to read and interpret
             filename as a security policy file with the format
             described below.  The file is read at server startup
             and reread at each server reset.

     The syntax of the security policy file is as follows. Nota-
     tion: "*" means zero or more occurrences of the preceding
     element, and "+" means one or more occurrences.  To inter-
     pret <foo/bar>, ignore the text after the /; it is used to
     distinguish between instances of <foo> in the next section.

     <policy file> ::= <version line> <other line>*

     <version line> ::= <string/v> '\n'

     <other line > ::= <comment> | <access rule> | <site policy> | <blank line>

     <comment> ::= # <not newline>* '\n'

     <blank line> ::= <space> '\n'

     <site policy> ::= sitepolicy <string/sp> '\n'

     <access rule> ::= property <property/ar> <window> <perms> '\n'

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     <property> ::= <string>

     <window> ::= any | root | <required property>

     <required property> ::= <property/rp> | <property with value>

     <property with value> ::= <property/rpv> = <string/rv>

     <perms> ::= [ <operation> | <action> | <space> ]*

     <operation> ::= r | w | d

     <action> ::= a | i | e

     <string> ::= <dbl quoted string> | <single quoted string> | <unqouted string>

     <dbl quoted string> ::= <space> " <not dqoute>* " <space>

     <single quoted string> ::= <space> ' <not squote>* ' <space>

     <unquoted string> ::= <space> <not space>+ <space>

     <space> ::= [ ' ' | '\t' ]*

     Character sets:

     <not newline> ::= any character except '\n'
     <not dqoute>  ::= any character except "
     <not squote>  ::= any character except '
     <not space>   ::= any character except those in <space>

     The semantics associated with the above syntax are as fol-

     <version line>, the first line in the file, specifies the
     file format version.  If the server does not recognize the
     version <string/v>, it ignores the rest of the file.  The
     version string for the file format described here is
     "version-1" .

     Once past the <version line>, lines that do not match the
     above syntax are ignored.

     <comment> lines are ignored.

     <sitepolicy> lines are currently ignored.  They are intended
     to specify the site policies used by the XC-QUERY-SECURITY-1
     authorization method.

     <access rule> lines specify how the server should react to
     untrusted client requests that affect the X Window property
     named <property/ar>. The rest of this section describes the

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     interpretation of an <access rule>.

     For an <access rule> to apply to a given instance of
     <property/ar>, <property/ar> must be on a window that is in
     the set of windows specified by <window>.  If <window> is
     any, the rule applies to <property/ar> on any window.  If
     <window> is root, the rule applies to <property/ar> only on
     root windows.

     If <window> is <required property>, the following apply.  If
     <required property> is a <property/rp>, the rule applies
     when the window also has that <property/rp>, regardless of
     its value.  If <required property> is a <property with
     value>, <property/rpv> must also have the value specified by
     <string/rv>.  In this case, the property must have type
     STRING and format 8, and should contain one or more null-
     terminated strings.  If any of the strings match
     <string/rv>, the rule applies.

     The definition of string matching is simple case-sensitive
     string comparison with one elaboration: the occurrence of
     the character '*' in <string/rv> is a wildcard meaning "any
     string."  A <string/rv> can contain multiple wildcards any-
     where in the string.  For example, "x*" matches strings that
     begin with x, "*x" matches strings that end with x, "*x*"
     matches strings containing x, and "x*y*" matches strings
     that start with x and subsequently contain y.

     There may be multiple <access rule> lines for a given
     <property/ar>. The rules are tested in the order that they
     appear in the file.  The first rule that applies is used.

     <perms> specify operations that untrusted clients may
     attempt, and the actions that the server should take in
     response to those operations.

     <operation> can be r (read), w (write), or d (delete).  The
     following table shows how X Protocol property requests map
     to these operations in The Open Group server implementation.

     GetProperty    r, or r and d if delete = True
     ChangeProperty w
     RotateProperties    r and w
     DeleteProperty d
     ListProperties none, untrusted clients can always list all properties

     <action> can be a (allow), i (ignore), or e (error).  Allow
     means execute the request as if it had been issued by a
     trusted client. Ignore means treat the request as a no-op.
     In the case of GetProperty, ignore means return an empty
     property value if the property exists, regardless of its
     actual value.  Error means do not execute the request and

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     return a BadAtom error with the atom set to the property
     name.  Error is the default action for all properties,
     including those not listed in the security policy file.

     An <action> applies to all <operation>s that follow it,
     until the next <action> is encountered.  Thus, irwad  means
     ignore read and write, allow delete.

     GetProperty and RotateProperties may do multiple operations
     (r and d, or r and w).  If different actions apply to the
     operations, the most severe action is applied to the whole
     request; there is no partial request execution.  The sever-
     ity ordering is: allow < ignore < error. Thus, if the
     <perms> for a property are ired (ignore read, error delete),
     and an untrusted client attempts GetProperty on that pro-
     perty with delete = True, an error is returned, but the pro-
     perty value is not.  Similarly, if any of the properties in
     a RotateProperties do not allow both read and write, an
     error is returned without changing any property values.

     Here is an example security policy file.


     # Allow reading of application resources, but not writing.
     property RESOURCE_MANAGER     root      ar iw
     property SCREEN_RESOURCES     root      ar iw

     # Ignore attempts to use cut buffers.  Giving errors causes apps to crash,
     # and allowing access may give away too much information.
     property CUT_BUFFER0          root      irw
     property CUT_BUFFER1          root      irw
     property CUT_BUFFER2          root      irw
     property CUT_BUFFER3          root      irw
     property CUT_BUFFER4          root      irw
     property CUT_BUFFER5          root      irw
     property CUT_BUFFER6          root      irw
     property CUT_BUFFER7          root      irw

     # If you are using Motif, you probably want these.
     property _MOTIF_DEFAULT_BINDINGS        rootar iw
     property _MOTIF_DRAG_WINDOW   root      ar iw
     property _MOTIF_DRAG_TARGETS  any       ar iw
     property _MOTIF_DRAG_ATOMS    any       ar iw
     property _MOTIF_DRAG_ATOM_PAIRS         any ar iw

     # The next two rules let xwininfo -tree work when untrusted.
     property WM_NAME              any       ar

     # Allow read of WM_CLASS, but only for windows with WM_NAME.
     # This might be more restrictive than necessary, but demonstrates
     # the <required property> facility, and is also an attempt to

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     # say "top level windows only."
     property WM_CLASS             WM_NAME   ar

     # These next three let xlsclients work untrusted.  Think carefully
     # before including these; giving away the client machine name and command
     # may be exposing too much.
     property WM_STATE             WM_NAME   ar
     property WM_CLIENT_MACHINE    WM_NAME   ar
     property WM_COMMAND           WM_NAME   ar

     # To let untrusted clients use the standard colormaps created by
     # xstdcmap, include these lines.
     property RGB_DEFAULT_MAP      root      ar
     property RGB_BEST_MAP         root      ar
     property RGB_RED_MAP          root      ar
     property RGB_GREEN_MAP        root      ar
     property RGB_BLUE_MAP         root      ar
     property RGB_GRAY_MAP         root      ar

     # To let untrusted clients use the color management database created
     # by xcmsdb, include these lines.
     property XDCCC_LINEAR_RGB_CORRECTION    rootar
     property XDCCC_LINEAR_RGB_MATRICES      rootar
     property XDCCC_GRAY_SCREENWHITEPOINT    rootar
     property XDCCC_GRAY_CORRECTION          rootar

     # To let untrusted clients use the overlay visuals that many vendors
     # support, include this line.
     property SERVER_OVERLAY_VISUALS         rootar

     # Dumb examples to show other capabilities.

     # oddball property names and explicit specification of error conditions
     property "property with spaces"         'property with "'aw er ed

     # Allow deletion of Woo-Hoo if window also has property OhBoy with value
     # ending in "son".  Reads and writes will cause an error.
     property Woo-Hoo              OhBoy = "*son"ad


     The X server supports client connections via a platform-
     dependent subset of the following transport types: TCPIP,
     Unix Domain sockets, DECnet, and several varieties of SVR4
     local connections.  See the DISPLAY NAMES section of the
     X(7) manual page to learn how to specify which transport
     type clients should try to use.


     The X server implements a platform-dependent subset of the
     following authorization protocols: MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1, XDM-

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     KERBEROS-5.  See the Xsecurity(7) manual page for informa-
     tion on the operation of these protocols.

     Authorization data required by the above protocols is passed
     to the server in a private file named with the -auth command
     line option.  Each time the server is about to accept the
     first connection after a reset (or when the server is start-
     ing), it reads this file. If this file contains any authori-
     zation records, the local host is not automatically allowed
     access to the server, and only clients which send one of the
     authorization records contained in the file in the connec-
     tion setup information will be allowed access.  See the Xau
     manual page for a description of the binary format of this
     file.  See xauth(1) for maintenance of this file, and dis-
     tribution of its contents to remote hosts.

     The X server also uses a host-based access control list for
     deciding whether or not to accept connections from clients
     on a particular machine. If no other authorization mechanism
     is being used, this list initially consists of the host on
     which the server is running as well as any machines listed
     in the file /etc/Xn.hosts, where n is the display number of
     the server.  Each line of the file should contain either an
     Internet hostname (e.g. expo.lcs.mit.edu) or a DECnet host-
     name in double colon format (e.g. hydra::) or a complete
     name in the format family:name as described in the xhost(1)
     manual page. There should be no leading or trailing spaces
     on any lines.  For example:


     Users can add or remove hosts from this list and enable or
     disable access control using the xhost command from the same
     machine as the server.

     If the X FireWall Proxy (xfwp) is being used without a
     sitepolicy, host-based authorization must be turned on for
     clients to be able to connect to the X server via the xfwp.
     If xfwp is run without a configuration file and thus no
     sitepolicy is defined, if xfwp is using an X server where
     xhost + has been run to turn off host-based authorization
     checks, when a client tries to connect to this X server via
     xfwp, the X server will deny the connection.  See xfwp(1)
     for more information about this proxy.

     The X protocol intrinsically does not have any notion of
     window operation permissions or place any restrictions on
     what a client can do; if a program can connect to a display,

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     it has full run of the screen. X servers that support the
     SECURITY extension fare better because clients can be desig-
     nated untrusted via the authorization they use to connect;
     see the xauth(1) manual page for details.  Restrictions are
     imposed on untrusted clients that curtail the mischief they
     can do.  See the SECURITY extension specification for a com-
     plete list of these restrictions.

     Sites that have better authentication and authorization sys-
     tems might wish to make use of the hooks in the libraries
     and the server to provide additional security models.


     The X server attaches special meaning to the following sig-

     SIGHUP  This signal causes the server to close all existing
             connections, free all resources, and restore all
             defaults.  It is sent by the display manager when-
             ever the main user's main application (usually an
             xterm or window manager) exits to force the server
             to clean up and prepare for the next user.

     SIGTERM This signal causes the server to exit cleanly.

     SIGUSR1 This signal is used quite differently from either of
             the above.  When the server starts, it checks to see
             if it has inherited SIGUSR1 as SIG_IGN instead of
             the usual SIG_DFL.  In this case, the server sends a
             SIGUSR1 to its parent process after it has set up
             the various connection schemes. Xdm uses this
             feature to recognize when connecting to the server
             is possible.


     The X server can obtain fonts from directories and/or from
     font servers. The list of directories and font servers the X
     server uses when trying to open a font is controlled by the
     font path.

     The default font path is /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/misc/,
     /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi/ .

     The font path can be set with the -fp option or by xset(1)
     after the server has started.

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     /etc/Xn.hosts                 Initial access control list
                                   for display number n

                                   Bitmap font directories

                                   Outline font directories

     /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/rgb.txt    Color database

     /tmp/.X11-unix/Xn             Unix domain socket for display
                                   number n

     /tmp/rcXn                     Kerberos 5 replay cache for
                                   display number n

     /usr/adm/Xnmsgs               Error log file for display
                                   number n if run from init(8)

                                   Default error log file if the
                                   server is run from xdm(1)


     General information: X(7)

     Protocols: X Window System Protocol, The X Font Service Pro-
     tocol, X Display Manager Control Protocol

     Fonts: bdftopcf(1), mkfontdir(1), mkfontscale(1), xfs(1),
     xlsfonts(1), xfontsel(1), xfd(1), X Logical Font Description

     Security: Xsecurity(7), xauth(1), Xau(1), xdm(1), xhost(1),
     xfwp(1), Security Extension Specification

     Starting the server: xdm(1), xinit(1)

     Controlling the server once started: xset(1), xsetroot(1),

     Server-specific man pages: Xdec(1), XmacII(1), Xsun(1),
     Xnest(1), Xvfb(1), XFree86(1), XDarwin(1).

     Server internal documentation: Definition of the Porting
     Layer for the X v11 Sample Server


     The sample server was originally written by Susan Ange-
     branndt, Raymond Drewry, Philip Karlton, and Todd Newman,

XFree86                   Version 4.5.0                        15

XSERVER(1)          UNIX Programmer's Manual           XSERVER(1)

     from Digital Equipment Corporation, with support from a
     large cast.  It has since been extensively rewritten by
     Keith Packard and Bob Scheifler, from MIT. Dave Wiggins took
     over post-R5 and made substantial improvements.

XFree86                   Version 4.5.0                        16

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