XMX Version 1

Version 1 of XMX is no longer developed, maintained or even used here at Brown. More recent versions of XMX should be better in most every way, but I include this information here because many people have used it over the years, and perhaps it is still of use to someone somewhere.


XMX version 1 multicasts a complete X session (as opposed to individual windows) to any number of X servers. The X server which provides input to the shared X client applications (the "master") is established at setup time and remains fixed throughout the session. Similarly, the "slave" servers which participate in the multicast are established at the start. There is no facility for adding or removing a server to or from the session.

Version 1 does not tolerate private work, and expects to be the only X client on each of the X servers to which it connects. It can be thought of as "taking over" each X server.


Version 1 was developed in 1987 and 1988 as a utility for doing in-class demonstrations. It was released to the Internet community as freeware in 1990. Work on it ceased at that time. The final version was version 1.1, which differs from 1.0 primarily in that it can be compiled under Solaris 2.x.

Version 1 remains available and useful today, as it relies only on the X11 Protocol, which has not changed and is not likely to.

Getting It

XMX version 1 is available via anonymous ftp. The URL is



XMX version 1 is not a standard, well-behaved, X client application. It does things that X clients shouldn't do, and it expects to be run in a very specific way. Casual users frequently run into problems. I've assembled a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help with these problems.


I've written nothing about version 1, but a good description of the system appears in
Oliver Jones, "Multidisplay Software in X: A Survey of Architectures", The X Resource, Issue 6, O'Reilly & Associates, 1993.

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John Bazik