Skip site navigation (1)Skip section navigation (2)

FreeBSD Manual Pages


home | help
Xdmx(1)			    General Commands Manual		       Xdmx(1)

       Xdmx - Distributed Multi-head X server

       Xdmx [:display] [option ...]

       Xdmx  is	 a proxy X server that uses one	or more	other X	servers	as its
       display devices.	 It provides multi-head	X functionality	 for  displays
       that  might  be	located	 on  different	machines.  Xdmx	functions as a
       front-end X server that acts as a proxy to a set	of back-end X servers.
       All  of	the  visible  rendering	 is  passed to the back-end X servers.
       Clients connect to the Xdmx front-end, and  everything  appears	as  it
       would  in  a  regular multi-head	configuration.	If Xinerama is enabled
       (e.g., with +xinerama on	the command line), the clients	see  a	single
       large screen.

       Xdmx communicates to the	back-end X servers using the standard X11 pro-
       tocol, and standard and/or commonly available X server extensions.

       In addition to the normal X server options described in the  Xserver(1)
       manual page, Xdmx accepts the following command line switches:

       -display	display-name
	       This  specifies the name(s) of the back-end X server display(s)
	       to connect to.  This option may be specified multiple times  to
	       connect	to  more than one back-end display.  The first is used
	       as screen 0, the	second as screen 1, etc.  If  this  option  is
	       omitted,	 the $DISPLAY environment variable is used as the sin-
	       gle back-end X server display.

       -xinput input-source
	       This specifies the source to use	for XInput extension  devices.
	       The  choices  are the same as for -input	, described below, ex-
	       cept that core devices on backend servers cannot	be treated  as
	       XInput extension	devices.  (Although extension devices on back-
	       end and console servers are supported as	extension devices  un-
	       der Xdmx).

       -input input-source
	       This  specifies	the  source to use for the core	input devices.
	       The choices are:

		   A set of dummy core input drivers are  used.	  These	 never
		   generate any	input events.

		   The	raw  keyboard  and pointer from	the local computer are
		   used.  A comma-separated list of driver names  can  be  ap-
		   pended.   The  following  drivers have been implemented for
		   Linux: usb-mou (a USB mouse driver),	usb-kbd	 (a  USB  key-
		   board  driver),  and	usb-oth	(a USB non-keyboard, non-mouse
		   driver).  Additional	drivers	may be implemented in the  fu-
		   ture.   Appropriate defaults	will be	used if	no comma-sepa-
		   rated list is provided.

		   If the display-name is a back-end server, then  core	 input
		   events  are	taken from the server specified.  Otherwise, a
		   console window will be opened on the	specified display.

		   If the display-name is followed by ",xi" then XInput	exten-
		   sion	devices	on the display will be used as Xdmx XInput ex-
		   tension  devices.   If  the	display-name  is  followed  by
		   ",noxi"  then  XInput extension devices on the display will
		   not be used as Xdmx XInput extension	 devices.   Currently,
		   the default is ",xi".

		   If  the display-name	is followed by ",console" and the dis-
		   play-name refers to a display that is  used	as  a  backend
		   display,  then a console window will	be opened on that dis-
		   play	and that display will be treated as a backend display.
		   Otherwise (or if ",noconsole" is used), the display will be
		   treated purely as a backend or a console  display,  as  de-
		   scribed above.

		   If  the  display-name  is followed by ",windows", then out-
		   lines of the	windows	on the backend will be	displayed  in-
		   side	 the console window.  Otherwise	(or if ",nowindows" is
		   used), the console window will not display the outlines  of
		   backend  windows.  (This option only	applies	to console in-

		   If the display-name is followed by ",xkb", then the next  1
		   to  3 comma-separated parameters will specify the keycodes,
		   symbols, and	geometry of the	keyboard for  this  input  de-
		   vice.   For example,	",xkb,xfree86,pc104" will specify that
		   the "xfree86" keycodes and the "pc104"  symbols  should  be
		   used	 to  initialize	 the  keyboard.	  For an SGI keyboard,
		   ",xkb,sgi/indy(pc102)" might	be useful.   A	list  of  key-
		   codes,  symbols,  and  geometries  can be found in /usr/lo-
		   cal/share/X11/xkb.  Use of keycodes,	symbols	and geometries
		   for	XKB configuration is deprecated	in favor of the	rules,
		   layout, model, variant and options settings	available  via
		   the	-param	command	 line  switch.	 If this option	is not
		   specified, the input	device will be queried,	perhaps	 using
		   the XKEYBOARD extension.

	       If this option isn't specified, the default input source	is the
	       first back-end server (the one used for screen 0).  The console
	       window  shows the layout	of the back-end	display(s) and pointer
	       movements and key presses within	the  console  window  will  be
	       used as core input devices.

	       Several	special	function keys are active, depending on the in-
	       put source:

		      Ctrl-Alt-q will terminate	the Xdmx server	in all modes.

		      Ctrl-Alt-g will toggle a server grab in console mode  (a
		      special  cursor, currently a spider, is used to indicate
		      an active	server grab).

		      Ctrl-Alt-f will toggle fine-grain	motion in console mode
		      (a  special  cursor,  currently a	cross hair, is used to
		      indicate this mode).  If this mode is  combined  with  a
		      server  grab,  then the cursor will have 4 lines instead
		      of only 2.

		      Ctrl-Alt-F1 through Ctrl-Alt-F12 will switch to  another
		      VC in local (raw)	mode.

	       This  option  turns off support for displaying multiple cursors
	       on overlapped back-end displays.	 This option is	available  for
	       testing and benchmarking	purposes.

	       This option sets	the Xdmx server's default font path.  This op-
	       tion can	be specified multiple times  to	 accommodate  multiple
	       font  paths.   See the FONT PATHS section below for very	impor-
	       tant information	regarding setting the default font path.

       -configfile filename
	       Specify the configuration file that should be read.  Note  that
	       if  the -display	command-line option is used, then the configu-
	       ration file will	be ignored.

       -config name
	       Specify a configuration to use.	The name will be the name fol-
	       lowing the virtual keyword in the configuration file.

       -stat interval screens
	       This option enables the display of performance statistics.  The
	       interval	is in seconds.	The screens is a count of  the	number
	       of  back-end  screens  for which	data is	printed	each interval.
	       Specifying 0 for	screens	will display data for all screens.

	       For each	screen,	the  following	information  is	 printed:  the
	       screen number, an absolute count	of the number of XSync() calls
	       made (SyncCount), the rate of these calls during	 the  previous
	       interval	 (Sync/s),  the	 average round-trip time (in microsec-
	       onds) of	the last 10 XSync() calls (avSync), the	maximum	round-
	       trip  time  (in	microseconds)  of  the	last  10  XSync	 calls
	       (mxSync), the average number  of	 XSync()  requests  that  were
	       pending but not yet processed for each of the last 10 processed
	       XSync() calls, the maximum number of XSync() requests that were
	       pending but not yet processed for each of the last 10 processed
	       XSync() calls, and a histogram showing the distribution of  the
	       times  of  all  of  the XSync() calls that were made during the
	       previous	interval.

	       (The length of the moving average and the number	and  value  of
	       histogram  bins	are  configurable at compile time in the dmxs-
	       tat.h header file.)

       -syncbatch interval
	       This option sets	 the  interval	in  milliseconds  for  XSync()
	       batching.   An  interval	 less  than or equal to	0 will disable
	       XSync() batching.  The default interval is 100 ms.

	       This option disables the	 offscreen  optimization.   Since  the
	       lazy  window creation optimization requires the offscreen opti-
	       mization	to be enabled, this option will	also disable the  lazy
	       window creation optimization.

	       This option disables the	lazy window creation optimization.

	       This option disables the	primitive subdivision optimization.

       -noxkb  Disable	use  of	 the  XKB extension for	communication with the
	       back end	displays.  (Combine with -kb to	 disable  all  use  of

       -depth int
	       This  option sets the root window's default depth.  When	choos-
	       ing a default visual from those available  on  the  back-end  X
	       server,	the first visual with that matches the depth specified
	       is used.

	       This option can be combined with	the -cc	option,	 which	speci-
	       fies the	default	color visual class, to force the use of	a spe-
	       cific depth and color class for the root	window.

	       This option disables the	RENDER extension.

	       This option disables GLX	proxy -- the  build-in	GLX  extension
	       implementation that is DMX aware.

	       This option disables the	swap group and swap barrier extensions
	       in GLX proxy.

	       This option enables synchronization after a swap	 buffers  call
	       by  waiting  until  all	X protocol has been processed.	When a
	       client issues a glXSwapBuffers request, Xdmx  relays  that  re-
	       quest  to  each	back-end  X  server,  and  those  requests are
	       buffered	along with all other protocol requests.	  However,  in
	       systems	that  have  large  network buffers, this buffering can
	       lead to the set of back-end X servers handling the swap buffers
	       request	asynchronously.	  With this option, an XSync() request
	       is issued to each back-end X server after sending the swap buf-
	       fers  request.	The  XSync()  requests will flush all buffered
	       protocol	(including the swap buffers requests) and  wait	 until
	       the  back-end  X	 servers  have processed those requests	before
	       continuing.  This option	does not wait until  all  GL  commands
	       have  been  processed  so there might be	previously issued com-
	       mands that are still being processed in the GL  pipe  when  the
	       XSync()	request	 returns.  See the -glxfinishswap option below
	       if Xdmx should wait until the GL	commands have been processed.

	       This option enables synchronization after a swap	 buffers  call
	       by  waiting  until  all GL commands have	been completed.	 It is
	       similar to the -glxsyncswap option above; however,  instead  of
	       issuing	an  XSync(),  it  issues  a glFinish() request to each
	       back-end	X server after sending the swap	buffers	requests.  The
	       glFinish()  request  will flush all buffered protocol requests,
	       process both X and GL requests, and wait	until  all  previously
	       called GL commands are complete before returning.

	       This  option  ignores  font paths that are not available	on all
	       back-end	servers	by removing the	bad font path(s) from the  de-
	       fault  font  path  list.	 If no valid font paths	are left after
	       removing	the bad	paths, an error	to that	effect is  printed  in
	       the log.

	       This  option  enables  the  dynamic  addition  and  removal  of
	       screens,	which is disabled by default.  Note that GLXProxy  and
	       Render  do  not	yet  support  dynamic  addition	and removal of
	       screens,	and must be disabled via the -noglxproxy and -norender
	       command line options described above.

       -param  This  option  specifies	parameters  on the command line.  Cur-
	       rently, only parameters dealing	with  XKEYBOARD	 configuration
	       are  supported.	 These	parameters apply only to the core key-
	       board.  Parameter values	 are  installation-dependent.	Please
	       see  /usr/local/share/X11/xkb  or  a similar directory for com-
	       plete information.

		       Defaults	to "base".  Other values may include "sgi" and

		       Defaults	 to  "pc105".	When  used  with "base"	rules,
		       other values may	include	"pc102", "pc104", "microsoft",
		       and  many  others.   When  used with "sun" rules, other
		       values may include "type4" and "type5".

		       Defaults	to "us".  Other	country	codes and "dvorak" are
		       usually available.

		       Defaults	to "".

		       Defaults	to "".

       The following words and tokens are reserved:
	      virtual display wall option param	{ } ; #

       Comments	 start	with a # mark and extend to the	end of the line.  They
       may appear anywhere.  If	a configuration	file is	read into  xdmxconfig,
       the comments in that file will be preserved, but	will not be editable.

       The grammar is as follows:
	      virtual-list ::= [ virtual-list ]	| virtual

	      virtual ::= virtual [ name ] [ dim ] { dw-list }

	      dw-list ::= [ dw-list ] |	dw

	      dw ::= display | wall | option

	      display  ::= display name	[ geometry ] [ / geometry ] [ origin ]

	      wall ::= wall [ dim ] [ dim ] name-list ;

	      option ::= option	name-list ;

	      param ::=	param name-list	;

	      param ::=	param {	param-list }

	      param-list ::= [ param-list ] | name-list	;

	      name-list	::= [ name-list	] | name

	      name ::= string |	double-quoted-string

	      dim ::= integer x	integer

	      geometry ::= [ integer x integer ] [ signed-integer signed-inte-
	      ger ]

	      origin ::= @ integer x integer

       The  name following virtual is used as an identifier for	the configura-
       tion, and may be	passed to Xdmx using the -config command line  option.
       The  name  of  a	display	should be standard X display name, although no
       checking	is performed (e.g., "machine:0").

       For names, double quotes	are optional unless the	name  is  reserved  or
       contains	spaces.

       The  first  dimension following wall is the dimension for tiling	(e.g.,
       2x4 or 4x4).  The second	dimension following wall is the	 dimension  of
       each display in the wall	(e.g., 1280x1024).

       The first geometry following display is the geometry of the screen win-
       dow on the backend server.  The second geometry,	which is  always  pre-
       ceeded by a slash, is the geometry of the root window.  By default, the
       root window has the same	geometry as the	screen window.

       The option line can be used to specify any command-line options	(e.g.,
       -input).	  (It cannot be	used to	specify	the name of the	front-end dis-
       play.)  The option line is processed once at server startup, just  line
       command line options.  This behavior may	be unexpected.

       Two  displays  being  used for a	desktop	may be specified in any	of the
       following formats:
	      virtual example0 {
		  display d0:0 1280x1024 @0x0;
		  display d1:0 1280x1024 @1280x0;

	      virtual example1 {
		  display d0:0 1280x1024;
		  display d1:0 @1280x0;

	      virtual example2 {
		  display "d0:0";
		  display "d1:0" @1280x0;

	      virtual example3 { wall 2x1 d0:0 d1:0; }
       A 4x4 wall of 16	total displays could be	specified as  follows  (if  no
       tiling dimension	is specified, an approximate square is used):
	      virtual example4 {
		  wall d0:0 d1:0 d2:0 d3:0
		       d4:0 d5:0 d6:0 d7:0
		       d8:0 d9:0 da:0 db:0
		       dc:0 dd:0 de:0 df:0;

       The  font  path used by the Xdmx	front-end server will be propagated to
       each back-end server,which requires that	each back-end server have  ac-
       cess to the exact same font paths as the	front-end server.  This	can be
       most easily handled by either using a font server (e.g.,	xfs) or	by re-
       motely  mounting	 the font paths	on each	back-end server, and then set-
       ting the	Xdmx server's default font path	with the -I  "-fontpath"  com-
       mand line option	described above.

       For  example,  if  you  specify	a font path with the following command
	      Xdmx :1  -display	 d0:0  -fontpath  /usr/fonts/75dpi/  -fontpath
	      /usr/fonts/Type1/	+xinerama
       Then,  /usr/fonts/75dpi/	and /usr/fonts/Type1/ must be valid font paths
       on the Xdmx server and all back-end server, which is d0 in  this	 exam-

       Font  servers can also be specified with	the -fontpath option.  For ex-
       ample, let's assume that	a properly configured font server  is  running
       on host d0.  Then, the following	command	line
	      Xdmx  :1 -display	d0:0 -display d1:0 -fontpath tcp/d0:7100 +xin-
       will initialize the front-end Xdmx server  and  each  of	 the  back-end
       servers to use the font server on d0.

       Some  fonts might not be	supported by either the	front-end or the back-
       end servers.  For example, let's	assume the front-end Xdmx  server  in-
       cludes  support	Type1 fonts, but one of	the back-end servers does not.
       Let's also assume that the default font path for	 Xdmx  includes	 Type1
       fonts  in  its font path.  Then,	when Xdmx initializes the default font
       path to load the	default	font, the font path that includes Type1	 fonts
       (along  with  the  other	 default  font paths that are used by the Xdmx
       server) is sent to the back-end server that cannot handle Type1	fonts.
       That back-end server then rejects the font path and sends an error back
       to the Xdmx server.  Xdmx then prints an	error message  and  exits  be-
       cause  it  failed  to set the default font path and was unable load the
       default font.

       To fix this error, the offending	font path must be removed from the de-
       fault font path by using	a different -fontpath command line option.

       The -fontpath option can	also be	added to the configuration file	as de-
       scribed above.

       The back-end machines are d0 and	d1, core input is from the pointer and
       keyboard	attached to d0,	clients	will refer to :1 when opening windows:
	      Xdmx :1 -display d0:0 -display d1:0 +xinerama

       As above, except	with core input	from d1:
	      Xdmx :1 -display d0:0 -display d1:0 -input d1:0 +xinerama

       As  above,  except  with	 core input from a console window on the local
	      Xdmx :1 -display d0:0 -display d1:0 -input :0 +xinerama

       As above, except	with core input	from the local keyboard	and mouse:
	      Xdmx :1 -display d0:0 -display d1:0 -input local,usb-kbd,usb-mou
       Note  that  local input can be used under Linux while another X session
       is running on :0	(assuming the user can access the  Linux  console  tty
       and mouse devices): a new (blank) VC will be used for keyboard input on
       the local machine and the Ctrl-Alt-F* sequence  will  be	 available  to
       change to another VC (possibly back to another X	session	running	on the
       local machine).	Using Ctrl-Alt-Backspace on the	blank VC  will	termi-
       nate the	Xdmx session and return	to the original	VC.

       This example uses the configuration file	shown in the previous section:
	      Xdmx  :1	-input :0 +xinerama -configfile	filename -config exam-
       With this configuration file line:
	      option -input :0 +xinerama;
       the command line	can be shortened to:
	      Xdmx :1 -configfile filename -config example2

       The USB	device	drivers	 use  the  devices  called  /dev/input/event0,
       /dev/input/event1,  etc.	  under	Linux.	These devices are driven using
       the evdev Linux kernel module, which is part of the hid suite.	Please
       note that if you	load the mousedev or kbddev Linux kernel modules, then
       USB devices will	appear as core Linux input devices and you will	not be
       able  to	select between using the device	only as	an Xdmx	core device or
       an Xdmx XInput extension	device.	 Further, you may be unable to	unload
       the  mousedev  Linux  kernel  module  if	 XFree86  is configured	to use
       /dev/input/mice as an input device (this	is quite  helpful  for	laptop
       users  and  is  set  up	by default under some Linux distributions, but
       should be changed if USB	devices	are to be used with Xdmx).

       The USB device drivers search through the Linux devices for  the	 first
       mouse,  keyboard,  or  non-mouse-non-keyboard Linux device and use that

       If Xdmx was invoked with	-xkb or	was not	compiled to use	the  XKEYBOARD
       extension,  then	a keyboard on a	backend	or console will	be initialized
       using the map that the host X server provides.

       If the XKEYBOARD	extension is used for both Xdmx	and the	host X	server
       for the keyboard	(i.e., the backend or console X	server), then the type
       of the keyboard will be obtained	from the host X	server	and  the  key-
       board under Xdmx	will be	initialized with that information.  Otherwise,
       the default type	of keyboard will be initialized.  In both  cases,  the
       map from	the host X server will not be used.  This means	that different
       initial behavior	may be noted with and without  XKEYBOARD.   Consistent
       and  expected  results  will  be	 obtained  by running XKEYBOARD	on all
       servers and by avoiding the use of xmodmap on the backend or console  X
       servers prior to	starting Xdmx.

       If  -xkbmap  is	specified on the Xdmx command line, then that map will
       currently be used for all keyboards.

       X was not designed to support multiple core keyboards.	However,  Xdmx
       provides	 some  support for multiple core keyboards.  Best results will
       be obtained if all of the keyboards are of the same type	and are	 using
       the same	keyboard map.  Because the X server passes raw key code	infor-
       mation to the X client, key symbols for keyboards  with	different  key
       maps  would  be	different  if  the key code for	each keyboard was sent
       without translation to the client.  Therefore,  Xdmx  will  attempt  to
       translate the key code from a core keyboard to the key code for the key
       with the	same key symbol	of the first core keyboard  that  was  loaded.
       If  the	key symbol appears in both maps, the results will be expected.
       Otherwise, the second core keyboard will	return a NoSymbol  key	symbol
       for  some keys that would have been translated if it was	the first core

       DMX(3), X(7),  Xserver(1),  xdmxconfig(1),  vdltodmx(1),	 xfs(1),  xkb-
       comp(1),	xkeyboard-config(7)

       Kevin  E.  Martin _kem@redhat.com_, David H. Dawes _dawes@xfree86.org_,
       and Rickard E. (Rik) Faith _faith@redhat.com_.

       Portions	 of  Xdmx  are	based  on  code	 from  The   XFree86   Project
       (	and X.Org (

X Version 11		      xorg-server 1.20.9		       Xdmx(1)


Want to link to this manual page? Use this URL:

home | help