Skip to main content
Last updated March 12, 2013 01:02, by Alan Coopersmith

X Window System for Solaris Wiki

About the X Window System

The X Window System is the glue that holds together the desktop on Unix and Linux systems. It provides the layer between the hardware device drivers and the desktops such as GNOME and KDE. It has been developed by a variety of industry consortiums and open source projects over the last three decades. The current maintainer is the X.Org Foundation, a non-profit group organized to oversee the open source community of X developers.

X in Solaris

Solaris 10 and older Solaris Express releases include software from two implementations of the X Window System.

The older version was once part of Sun's OpenWindows software and is still installed into /usr/openwin. It has evolved along with the X open source releases over the years. The last full merge of an X open source release into this tree was for X11R6, though large portions of the later X11R6.4 and X11R6.6 releases, and selected portions of the XFree86 4.3 and X11R6.8 releases,were merged in later. This tree provided the Xsun server and most of the X client libraries and applications in Solaris 10 and early Solaris Express releases.

The newer tree is based on the X11R7.x modular releases from X.Org and is where Solaris gets the Xorg server and the libraries and clients that were delivered in /usr/X11, now in /usr/bin and /usr/lib. We've migrated all of the existing libraries and clients to build from the this source base as well for OpenSolaris and future Solaris releases, and have finished that as of Nevada build 129. Solaris 11 and later releases are entirely built from this tree now.

For shorthand, these are often referred to as the “Xsun” and “Xorg” trees, even though they are much more than just those X servers, but the X servers they build were the primary differentiator.

As explained in this "Opening Day" blog post, the initial phase of code release for OpenSolaris in June 2005 did not include either of the X source trees. Since then, we've now either removed or released the sources to all of the code in the X source tree - you can find the list of sources and the download links on our sources page.

There are multiple ways to build your own version and to submit changes to be incorporated into the code base. You can check out a copy of the current X Consolidation hg repository and build it following our Build Instructions, or if you'd prefer to work from the upstream sources, download either the X11R7.7 release to get the same base that ours is built on, or check out the X.Org git to get the base that will be used for future releases of Solaris. If you've got changes that are of general use, you can submit them to the X.Org community via the X.Org Patch Submission process. Once there they can be pulled into the Solaris builds either as part of the next X.Org full release, or individually on an earlier schedule by one of Oracle's X developers.

Please Confirm