The Full Wiki

More info on X terminal

X terminal: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Network Computing Devices NCD-88k X terminal.
An X server runs on the X terminal, connecting to a central computer running an X display manager. In this example, client programs (xterm and xedit) are running on the same computer.

In computing, an X terminal is a display/input terminal for X Window System client applications. X terminals enjoyed a period of popularity in the early 1990s when they offered a lower total cost of ownership alternative to a full Unix workstation.

An X terminal runs an X server. (In X, the usage of "client" and "server" is from the viewpoint of the programs: the X server supplies a screen, keyboard, mouse and touchscreen to client applications.) This connects to an X display manager (introduced in X11R3) running on a central machine, using XDMCP (X Display Manager Control Protocol, introduced in X11R4).[1]

Thin clients have somewhat supplanted X terminals in that they are 'fattened' with added flash memory which contains software that duplicates much of the various Microsoft operating systems, thus acquiring the ability to "speak" a range of remote desktop protocols. Due to the existence of free software implementations of multiple protocols X terminals which do not have this extra flash memory have been commercially obsoleted by more general-purpose thin clients and by low cost PCs running an X server.


In the early 1990s, several vendors introduced X terminals including Network Computing Devices (NCD), Hewlett Packard (HP), Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC, later absorbed by HP), IBM and Tektronix.[2]


  1. ^ Linda Mui and Eric Pearce, X Window System Volume 8: X Window System Administrator's Guide for X11 Release 4 and Release 5, 3rd edition (O'Reilly and Associates, July 1993; softcover ISBN 0-937175-83-8)
  2. ^ Corcoran, Cate (1992). "Study shows 115 percent increase in X terminal sales for 1991". InfoWorld 14 (3): 26. "Network Computing Devices dominated the market... NCD, HP, Digital Equipment Corporation, IBM and Tektronix - the top five X terminal vendors - accounted for 74 percent of shipments...".  


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address