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Part I. Getting Started
Chapter 5. The X Window System
The X Window System
An installation of FreeBSD using bsdinstall does not automatically install a graphical user interface. This chapter describes how to install and configure Xorg, which provides the open source X Window System used to provide a graphical environment. It then describes how to find and install a desktop environment or window manager.
Users who prefer an installation method that automatically configures the Xorg should refer to https://ghostbsd.org[GhostBSD], https://www.midnightbsd.org[MidnightBSD] or https://www.nomad.org[NomadBSD].
For more information on the video hardware that Xorg supports, refer to the http://www.x.org/[x.org] website.
After reading this chapter, you will know:
The various components of the X Window System, and how they interoperate.
How to install and configure Xorg.
How to install and configure several window managers and desktop environments.
How to use TrueType(R) fonts in Xorg.
How to set up your system for graphical logins (XDM).
Before reading this chapter, you should:
Know how to install additional third-party software as described in crossref:ports[ports,Installing Applications: Packages and Ports].
While it is not necessary to understand all of the details of the various components in the X Window System and how they interact, some basic knowledge of these components can be useful.
X server
X was designed from the beginning to be network-centric, and adopts a "client-server" model. In this model, the "X server" runs on the computer that has the keyboard, monitor, and mouse attached. The server's responsibility includes tasks such as managing the display, handling input from the keyboard and mouse, and handling input or output from other devices such as a tablet or a video projector. This confuses some people, because the X terminology is exactly backward to what they expect. They expect the "X server" to be the big powerful machine down the hall, and the "X client" to be the machine on their desk.
X client