Solaris X Window System Developer's Guide


The Solaris X Window System Developer's Guide provides detailed information on the SolarisTM X server. The guide provides an overview of the server architecture and tells you where to look for more information.

This guide provides detailed information for software developers interested in interfacing with the Solaris X server.

Who Should Use This Book

Programming in this environment primarily involves using a toolkit and possibly interfacing with the server and its protocols. The protocols and toolkits are documented elsewhere, see Related Books. Read this manual if you need detailed information on the:

Before You Read This Book

This manual assumes that the reader has a programming background and familiarity with, or access to, appropriate documentation for:

How This Book Is Organized

Although you can read this book in sequence, it is designed for you to read only those chapters of interest. This book serves both as an overview and as a reference document.

Chapter 1, Introduction to the Solaris X Server describes the architecture of the Solaris X server, the X and DPS extensions, Sun's enhancements to the X Consortium libraries and extensions, notes on color-related issues, and a list of applications you can run with the server.

Chapter 2, DPS Features and Enhancements describes the DPS features specific to Solaris and includes information on compositing operators provided as an extension to standard DPS.

Chapter 3, Visuals on the Solaris X Server describes visuals in the Solaris environment. It also provides hints for window programming with visuals.

Chapter 4, Font Support describes the set of fonts provided and how to manage fonts.

Chapter 5, Server Overlay Windows describes server overlays and contrasts them with transparent overlays.

Chapter 6, Transparent Overlay Windows describes the Solaris Transparent Overlay Extension application programming interface (API) for transparent overlay windows.

Chapter 7, Security Issues describes the security features of the Solaris environment.

Appendix A, Reference Display Devices describes the graphics devices provided as reference devices with the Solaris environment.

Related Books

For information on how to write applications in the Solaris environment, consult the following manuals:

The following X-related manuals are available through SunExpress or your local bookstore. Contact your Sun Microsystems representative for information on ordering any of these books.

The following PostScript and DPS-related manuals are available through SunExpress or your local bookstore. Contact your Sun Microsystems representative for information on ordering.

What Is Intel Architecture (IA)?

Note –

In this document the term “IA” refers to the Intel 32–bit processor architecture, which includes the Pentium, Pentium Pro, Pentium II, Pentium II Xeon, Celeron, Pentium III, and Pentium III Xeon processors and compatible microprocessor chips made by AMD and Cyrix.

Accessing Sun Documentation Online

The docs.sun.comSM Web site enables you to access Sun technical documentation online. You can browse the archive or search for a specific book title or subject. The URL is

Typographic Conventions

The following table describes the typographic changes used in this book.

Table P–1 Typographic Conventions

Typeface or Symbol 




 The names of commands, files, and directories; on-screen computer output

Edit your .login file.

Use ls -a to list all files.

machine_name% you have mail.


 What you type, contrasted with on-screen computer output

machine_name% su



 Command-line placeholder: replace with a real name or value

To delete a file, type rm filename.


Book titles, new words, or terms, or words to be emphasized. 

Read Chapter 6 in User's Guide.

These are called class options.

You must be root to do this.

Shell Prompts in Command Examples

The following table shows the default system prompt and superuser prompt for the C shell, Bourne shell, and Korn shell.

Table P–2 Shell Prompts



 C shell promptmachine_name%
 C shell superuser promptmachine_name#
 Bourne shell and Korn shell prompt$
 Bourne shell and Korn shell superuser prompt#