XFree86 fixed to run alongside MacOS X's Aqua

The Joy of X

MacOS X users keen to run X Window applications under the next-generation Apple OS' own GUI, Aqua, are now a major step closer to being able to do so.

A version of the open source X Window server XFree86 was released for Apple's open source OS core, Darwin, just last month. Essentially, it gives Darwin a free GUI of its own.

However, since Darwin forms the basis for MacOS X, XFree86 4.0.2 should install and run under this commercial OS. The new modifications, released earlier this week, allows XFree86 to interoperate with Aqua and run in parallel with the latter's own window server. Earlier versions required users log out of Aqua before running X.

The modification includes an application called Xmaster, which allows MacOS X users to hot-swap between their Aqua and X Window desktops, in turn letting them run apps for either environment in parallel.

That's still some way from allowing Aqua to host X applications transparently, but it's clearly a big move in the right direction, and should provide MacOS X users will access to plenty of GUI applications until native Aqua versions appear. ®

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