man pages section 1: User Commands

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Updated: July 2014

Xserver (1)


Xserver - X Window System display server


/usr/bin/X [option ...]

/usr/bin/Xserver  [-c  class] :displaynumber [X server argu-


User Commands                                          XSERVER(1)

     Xserver - X Window System display server

     /usr/bin/X [option ...]

     /usr/bin/Xserver  [-c  class] :displaynumber [X server argu-

     X is the generic  name  for  the  X  Window  System  display
     server.   It is frequently a link or a copy of the appropri-
     ate server binary  for  driving  the  most  frequently  used
     server  on  a  given  machine.   In  this  release of Oracle
     Solaris, /usr/bin/X is a link to the Xserver  program  which
     starts  the appropriate X server based on properties set for
     the service management facility, under the  service  identi-
     fier  svc:/application/x11/x11-server.   The  properties are
     described in the SMF PROPERTIES section below.

     On Oracle Solaris, the X server is usually started from  the
     GNOME  Display Manager program gdm(1m).   This role may also
     be performed by the X Display  Manager  program  xdm(1),  or
     another  display manager.  This utility is run from the sys-
     tem boot files and takes care of keeping the server running,
     prompting  for  usernames and passwords, and starting up the
     user sessions.

     Installations that run more than one window system may  need
     to  use  the  xinit(1) utility instead of a display manager.
     However, xinit is to  be  considered  a  tool  for  building
     startup  scripts  and  is not intended for use by end users.
     Site administrators are strongly urged to use a display man-
     ager, or build other interfaces for novice users.

     The  X  server  may  also  be  started directly by the user,
     though this method is usually reserved for  testing  and  is
     not  recommended  for  normal operation.  On some platforms,
     the user must have special permission to start the X server,
     often because access to certain devices (e.g. /dev/mouse) is

     When the X server starts up, it  typically  takes  over  the
     display.   If you are running on a workstation whose console
     is the display, you may not be able to log into the  console
     while the server is running.

     Many  X  servers  have device-specific command line options.
     See the manual pages for the  individual  servers  for  more
     details;  a list of server-specific manual pages is provided

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     in the SEE ALSO section below.

     All of  the  X  servers  accept  the  command  line  options
     described  below.   Some X servers may have alternative ways
     of providing the parameters described here, but  the  values
     provided via the command line options should override values
     specified via other mechanisms.

             The X server runs as the given displaynumber,  which
             by  default  is 0.  If multiple X servers are to run
             simultaneously on a host, each must  have  a  unique
             display  number.   See  the DISPLAY NAMES section of
             the X(5) manual page to learn how to  specify  which
             display number clients should try to use.

     -a number
             sets  pointer  acceleration  (i.e.  the ratio of how
             much is reported to how much the user actually moved
             the pointer).

     -ac     disables   host-based   access  control  mechanisms.
             Enables access by any host, and permits any host  to
             modify  the  access  control list.  Use with extreme
             caution.  This option exists primarily  for  running
             test suites remotely.

     -audit level
             sets the audit trail level.  The default level is 1,
             meaning only  connection  rejections  are  reported.
             Level  2 additionally reports all successful connec-
             tions and disconnects.   Level  4  enables  messages
             from  the  SECURITY extension, if present, including
             generation and revocation of authorizations and vio-
             lations  of  the security policy.  Level 0 turns off
             the audit trail.  Audit lines are sent  as  standard
             error output.

     -auth authorization-file
             specifies  a  file  which  contains  a collection of
             authorization records used to  authenticate  access.
             See also the xdm(1) and Xsecurity(5) manual pages.

     -background none
             Asks  the  driver  not  to  clear  the background on
             startup, if the driver supports that.  May be useful
             for  smooth  transition  with eg. fbdev driver.  For
             security reasons this is  not  the  default  as  the
             screen  contents might show a previous user session.

     -br     sets the default root window to solid black  instead
             of  the  standard  root weave pattern.   This is the

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             default unless -retro or -wr is specified.

     -bs     disables backing store support on all screens.

     -c      turns off key-click.

     c volume
             sets key-click volume (allowable range: 0-100).

     -cc class
             sets the visual class for the root window  of  color
             screens.   The class numbers are as specified in the
             X protocol.  Not obeyed by all servers.

     -core   causes the server to generate a core dump  on  fatal

     -displayfd fd
             specifies   a   file  descriptor  in  the  launching
             process.  Rather than specify a display number,  the
             X  server  will  attempt  to  listen on successively
             higher display numbers, and upon finding a free one,
             will  write  the  display  number  back on this file
             descriptor as a newline-terminated string.  The  -pn
             option is ignored when using -displayfd.

     -deferglyphs whichfonts
             specifies  the  types  of fonts for which the server
             should  attempt  to  use  deferred  glyph   loading.
             whichfonts  can be all (all fonts), none (no fonts),
             or 16 (16 bit fonts only).

     -dpi resolution
             sets the resolution for all  screens,  in  dots  per
             inch.   To  be used when the server cannot determine
             the screen size(s) from the hardware.

     dpms    enables DPMS (display  power  management  services),
             where  supported.  The default state is platform and
             configuration specific.

     -dpms   disables DPMS (display power  management  services).
             The default state is platform and configuration spe-

             disables named extension.   If an unknown  extension
             name  is  specified,  a  list  of accepted extension
             names is printed.

             enables named extension.   If an  unknown  extension

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             name  is  specified,  a  list  of accepted extension
             names is printed.

     -f volume
             sets beep (bell) volume (allowable range: 0-100).

     -fc cursorFont
             sets default cursor font.

     -fn font
             sets the default font.

     -fp fontPath
             sets the search path for  fonts.   This  path  is  a
             comma  separated  list  of  directories  which the X
             server searches for font databases.  See  the  FONTS
             section of this manual page for more information and
             the default list.

     -help   prints a usage message.

     -I      causes all remaining command line  arguments  to  be

     -maxbigreqsize size
             sets the maximum big request to size MB.

             disable the display of the pointer cursor.

     -nolisten trans-type
             disables a transport type.  For example, TCP/IP con-
             nections can be disabled with -nolisten  tcp.   This
             option  may be issued multiple times to disable lis-
             tening to different transport  types.   The  current
             transport  names  supported on Oracle Solaris are as

             tcp     TCP over IPv4 or IPv6
             unix    UNIX Domain Sockets (/tmp/.X11-unix/Xn)
             pipe    Named pipes (/tmp/.X11-pipe/Xn)

             prevents a server reset when the last client connec-
             tion  is  closed.  This overrides a previous -termi-
             nate command line option.

     -p minutes
             sets screen-saver pattern cycle time in minutes.

     -pn     permits the server to continue running if  it  fails
             to   establish   all   of   its  well-known  sockets

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             (connection points for clients), but establishes  at
             least one.  This option is set by default.

     -nopn   causes  the  server to exit if it fails to establish
             all of its well-known sockets (connection points for

     -r      turns off auto-repeat.

     r       turns on auto-repeat.

     -retro  starts the stipple with the classic stipple and cur-
             sor visible.  The default is to start with  a  black
             root  window,  and to suppress display of the cursor
             until the  first  time  an  application  calls  XDe-
             fineCursor().   For  the Xorg server, this also sets
             the default for the DontZap option  to  FALSE.   For
             kdrive servers, this implies -zap.

     -s minutes
             sets screen-saver timeout time in minutes.

     -su     disables save under support on all screens.

     -seat seat
             seat to run on. Takes a string identifying a seat in
             a platform specific syntax. On platforms which  sup-
             port  this  feature  this  may  be used to limit the
             server to expose only a specific subset  of  devices
             connected to the system.

     -t number
             sets  pointer acceleration threshold in pixels (i.e.
             after how many pixels  pointer  acceleration  should
             take effect).

             causes  the  server  to  terminate  at server reset,
             instead of continuing to run.  This overrides a pre-
             vious -noreset command line option.

     -to seconds
             sets default connection timeout in seconds.

     -tst    disables all testing extensions (e.g., XTEST, XTrap,
             XTestExtension1, RECORD).

     ttyxx   ignored, for servers started the ancient  way  (from

     v       sets video-off screen-saver preference.

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     -v      sets video-on screen-saver preference.

     -wm     forces  the  default backing-store of all windows to
             be WhenMapped.  This is a backdoor  way  of  getting
             backing-store to apply to all windows.  Although all
             mapped windows will have backing store, the  backing
             store  attribute  value reported by the server for a
             window will be  the  last  value  established  by  a
             client.   If  it has never been set by a client, the
             server will report  the  default  value,  NotUseful.
             This  behavior  is required by the X protocol, which
             allows the server to  exceed  the  client's  backing
             store  expectations  but  does  not provide a way to
             tell the client that it is doing so.

     -wr     sets the default root window to solid white  instead
             of the standard root weave pattern.

     -x extension
             loads  the  specified  extension at init.  This is a
             no-op for most implementations.

             enables(+) or disables(-)  the  XINERAMA  extension.
             The default state is platform and configuration spe-

     Some X servers accept the following options:

     -ld kilobytes
             sets the data space limit of the server to the spec-
             ified  number  of  kilobytes.  A value of zero makes
             the data size as large  as  possible.   The  default
             value of -1 leaves the data space limit unchanged.

     -lf files
             sets the number-of-open-files limit of the server to
             the specified number.  A value  of  zero  makes  the
             limit as large as possible.  The default value of -1
             leaves the limit unchanged.

     -ls kilobytes
             sets the stack space limit  of  the  server  to  the
             specified  number  of  kilobytes.   A  value of zero
             makes the stack size  as  large  as  possible.   The
             default  value  of  -1  leaves the stack space limit

     -render default|mono|gray| sets the color allocation  policy
             that will be used by the render extension.

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             default selects  the  default policy defined for the
                     display depth of the X server.

             mono    don't use any color cell.

             gray    use a gray map of 13 color cells for  the  X
                     render extension.

             color   use  a  color  cube  of at most 4*4*4 colors
                     (that is 64 color cells).

             disables smart scheduling on platforms that  support
             the smart scheduler.

     -schedInterval interval
             sets  the  smart  scheduler's scheduling interval to
             interval milliseconds.

     X servers that support XDMCP  have  the  following  options.
     See the X Display Manager Control Protocol specification for
     more information.

     -query hostname
             enables XDMCP and sends Query packets to the  speci-
             fied hostname.

             enable  XDMCP  and broadcasts BroadcastQuery packets
             to the network.  The first responding  display  man-
             ager will be chosen for the session.

     -multicast [address [hop count]]
             Enable XDMCP and multicast BroadcastQuery packets to
             the  network.  The first responding display  manager
             is  chosen for the session.  If an address is speci-
             fied, the multicast is sent to that address.  If  no
             address  is  specified, the multicast is sent to the
             default XDMCP IPv6 multicast group.  If a hop  count
             is  specified,  it  is used as the maximum hop count
             for the multicast.  If no hop  count  is  specified,
             the  multicast is set to a maximum of 1 hop, to pre-
             vent the multicast  from  being  routed  beyond  the
             local network.

     -indirect hostname
             enables  XDMCP and send IndirectQuery packets to the
             specified hostname.

     -port port-number
             uses the specified port-number  for  XDMCP  packets,

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             instead  of the default.  This option must be speci-
             fied before any -query, -broadcast,  -multicast,  or
             -indirect options.

     -from local-address
             specifies  the local address to connect from (useful
             if the connecting host has multiple  network  inter-
             faces).   The  local-address may be expressed in any
             form acceptable to the  host  platform's  gethostby-
             name(3) implementation.

     -once   causes  the  server to terminate (rather than reset)
             when the XDMCP session ends.

     -class display-class
             XDMCP has an additional display  qualifier  used  in
             resource  lookup for display-specific options.  This
             option sets that  value,  by  default  it  is  "MIT-
             Unspecified" (not a very useful value).

     -cookie xdm-auth-bits
             When  testing XDM-AUTHENTICATION-1, a private key is
             shared between the server  and  the  manager.   This
             option sets the value of that private data (not that
             it is very private, being on the command line!).

     -displayID display-id
             Yet another XDMCP specific value,  this  one  allows
             the display manager to identify each display so that
             it can locate the shared key.

     X servers that support the XKEYBOARD (a.k.a.  "XKB")  exten-
     sion  accept the following options.  All layout files speci-
     fied on the command line must be located  in  the  XKB  base
     directory  or  a subdirectory, and specified as the relative
     path from the XKB base  directory.   The  default  XKB  base
     directory is /usr/lib/X11/xkb.

     [+-]accessx [timeout[timeout_mask[feedback[options_mask]]]]
             enables(+) or disables(-) AccessX key sequences.

     -xkbdir directory
             base  directory  for  keyboard  layout  files.  This
             option is not available for setuid X servers  (i.e.,
             when the X server's real and effective uids are dif-

     -ardelay milliseconds
             sets the autorepeat delay (length of  time  in  mil-
             liseconds  that  a  key  must  be  depressed  before
             autorepeat starts).

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     -arinterval milliseconds
             sets the autorepeat interval (length of time in mil-
             liseconds that should elapse between autorepeat-gen-
             erated keystrokes).

     -xkbmap filename
             loads keyboard description  in  filename  on  server

     The  X  server  supports  client connections via a platform-
     dependent subset of the following  transport  types:  TCPIP,
     Unix  Domain  sockets, DECnet, and several varieties of SVR4
     local connections.  See the DISPLAY  NAMES  section  of  the
     X(5)  manual  page  to  learn how to specify which transport
     type clients should try to use.

     The X server implements a platform-dependent subset  of  the
     following  authorization protocols: MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1, XDM-
     KERBEROS-5.   See  the Xsecurity(5) manual page for informa-
     tion on the operation of these protocols.

     Authorization data required by the above protocols is passed
     to the server in a private file named with the -auth command
     line option.  Each time the server is about  to  accept  the
     first connection after a reset (or when the server is start-
     ing), it reads this file.  If this file contains any  autho-
     rization  records,  the  local  host  is  not  automatically
     allowed access to the server, and only  clients  which  send
     one  of  the  authorization records contained in the file in
     the connection setup information  will  be  allowed  access.
     See the Xau manual page for a description of the binary for-
     mat of this file.  See  xauth(1)  for  maintenance  of  this
     file, and distribution of its contents to remote hosts.

     The  X server also uses a host-based access control list for
     deciding whether or not to accept connections  from  clients
     on  a  particular machine.  If no other authorization mecha-
     nism is being used, this list initially consists of the host
     on  which  the  server  is  running  as well as any machines
     listed in the file /etc/Xn.hosts, where  n  is  the  display
     number  of the server.  Each line of the file should contain
     either an Internet hostname  (e.g.  or  a
     DECnet  hostname  in double colon format (e.g. hydra::) or a
     complete name in the format family:name as described in  the
     xhost(1)  manual page.  There should be no leading or trail-
     ing spaces on any lines.  For example:


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     Users can add or remove hosts from this list and  enable  or
     disable access control using the xhost command from the same
     machine as the server.

     If the X FireWall Proxy  (xfwp)  is  being  used  without  a
     sitepolicy,  host-based  authorization must be turned on for
     clients to be able to connect to the X server via the  xfwp.
     If  xfwp  is  run  without  a configuration file and thus no
     sitepolicy is defined, if xfwp is using an  X  server  where
     xhost  +  has  been run to turn off host-based authorization
     checks, when a client tries to connect to this X server  via
     xfwp,  the  X  server will deny the connection.  See xfwp(1)
     for more information about this proxy.

     The X protocol intrinsically does not  have  any  notion  of
     window  operation  permissions  or place any restrictions on
     what a client can do; if a program can connect to a display,
     it  has  full run of the screen.  X servers that support the
     SECURITY extension fare better because clients can be desig-
     nated  untrusted  via the authorization they use to connect;
     see the xauth(1) manual page for details.  Restrictions  are
     imposed  on untrusted clients that curtail the mischief they
     can do.  See the SECURITY extension specification for a com-
     plete list of these restrictions.

     Sites that have better authentication and authorization sys-
     tems might wish to make use of the hooks  in  the  libraries
     and the server to provide additional security models.

     The  X server attaches special meaning to the following sig-

     SIGHUP  This signal causes the server to close all  existing
             connections,  free  all  resources,  and restore all
             defaults.  It is sent by the display  manager  when-
             ever  the  main  user's main application (usually an
             xterm or window manager) exits to force  the  server
             to clean up and prepare for the next user.

     SIGTERM This signal causes the server to exit cleanly.

     SIGUSR1 This signal is used quite differently from either of
             the above.  When the server starts, it checks to see
             if  it  has  inherited SIGUSR1 as SIG_IGN instead of
             the usual SIG_DFL.  In this case, the server sends a
             SIGUSR1  to  its  parent process after it has set up
             the  various  connection  schemes.   Xdm  uses  this

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             feature  to  recognize when connecting to the server
             is possible.

     The X server can obtain fonts from directories  and/or  from
     font  servers.  The list of directories and font servers the
     X server uses when trying to open a font  is  controlled  by
     the font path.

     The default font path is catalogue:/etc/X11/fontpath.d .

     A special kind of directory can be specified using the cata-
     logue: prefix. Directories specified this  way  can  contain
     symlinks  pointing  to  the  real  font directories. See the
     FONTPATH.D section for details.

     The font path can be set with the -fp option or  by  xset(1)
     after the server has started.

     You can specify a special kind of font path in the form cat-
     alogue:<dir>.  The directory specified after the  catalogue:
     prefix  will be scanned for symlinks and each symlink desti-
     nation will be added as a local fontfile FPE.

     The  symlink  can  be  suffixed  by   attributes   such   as
     'unscaled',  which  will be passed through to the underlying
     fontfile FPE. The only exception  is  the  newly  introduced
     'pri'  attribute,  which  will be used for ordering the font
     paths specified by the symlinks.

     An example configuration:

         75dpi:unscaled:pri=20 -> /usr/share/X11/fonts/75dpi
         ghostscript:pri=60 -> /usr/share/fonts/default/ghostscript
         misc:unscaled:pri=10 -> /usr/share/X11/fonts/misc
         type1:pri=40 -> /usr/share/X11/fonts/Type1
         type1:pri=50 -> /usr/share/fonts/default/Type1

     This will add /usr/share/X11/fonts/misc  as  the  first  FPE
     with   the   attribute   'unscaled',   second  FPE  will  be
     /usr/share/X11/fonts/75dpi,   also   with   the    attribute
     'unscaled'  etc.  This is functionally equivalent to setting
     the following font path:


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     Configuration properties for  the  /usr/bin/Xserver  program
     are  managed  by  the  service  management facility, smf(5),
     under the service identifier:

     Use svccfg(1M) to make configuration  changes  and  to  view
     configuration information for this service.

     /usr/bin/Xserver  will look for configuration options in the
     instances in this order, stopping at the first match for the
     given property:

     1.   :displayN  (where  N  is  the  display  number of the X
          server, i.e. :display0 for :0)

     2.   Any  class  names  provided  via  the  -c  options   to
          /usr/bin/Xserver.  Multiple -c options may be provided,
          if so, they are searched in the order found on the com-
          mand line.

     3.   If any XDMCP options are provided to open a remote dis-
          play connection, :remote, otherwise :local

     4.   The default properties for the service

     Class names may be  any  valid  FMRI  instance  name.    Sun
     reserves  all  class  names beginning with lowercase letters
     for its own use - customers  wishing  to  create  their  own
     class  names  may use names beginning with an uppercase let-

     These properties may be set in any instance of x11-server or
     for the service itself:

          (Type astring) The absolute path to the X server binary
          to run, currently must be one of:


          (Type string) Setting this to a  filename  causes  this
          file  to  be  used  as the configuration file for the X
          server.   Currently this  property  is  only  available
          when  used  with  the  Xorg  server.  The value of this
          property must be a relative path from one of the direc-
          tories  in the Xorg config file search path, and not an

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          absolute path.

          (Type boolean) Setting this to false disables listening
          for  incoming  TCP/IP  connections  (see  -nolisten tcp
          option above).

          (Type int) Sets the depth of the default visual of  the
          X server started.

          (Type astring) Sets additional arguments to pass to the
          X server started.  Care must be used when using options
          specific  to a particular X server as then it may cause
          failure to start the X  server  if  the  server  to  be
          started  is  later changed to one that does not support
          those options.

          (Type boolean) Setting this to true starts the X server
          with a DISPLAY ":0.0" on "/dev/console" rather than the
          first available "/dev/vt/#", see vt(7i), this preserves
          backward compatibility with programs such as "xterm -C"
          that expect have access to "/dev/console".   X  servers
          with any other DISPLAY are not affected. The default is

  Example: Allow remote access
     The following command allows access from remote clients.

     svccfg -s svc:/application/x11/x11-server setprop options/tcp_listen = true

     Restart the Xserver by either logging out and  logging  back
     in,  or manually if the Xserver was started from the command

  Example: Use of VESA driver
     The following command  overrides  the  default  Xorg  driver
     selection  to use the /usr/lib/X11/xorg.conf.vesa configura-
     tion file to select the "vesa" driver.

     svccfg -s svc:/application/x11/x11-server setprop options/config_file=xorg.conf.vesa

  Example: Enabling the XINERAMA extension
     The following command enables the XINERAMA extension.

     svccfg -s svc:/application/x11/x11-server setprop options/server_args=+xinerama

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     /etc/Xn.hosts                 Initial  access  control  list
                                   for display number n

                                   Bitmap font directories

                                   Outline font directories

     /tmp/.X11-unix/Xn             Unix domain socket for display
                                   number n

     /tmp/.X11-pipe/Xn             Named pipe (FIFO) for  display
                                   number n

     /var/log/gdm/:n.log           Default  error  log  file  for
                                   display number n if the server
                                   is run from gdm(1m)

     /usr/lib/X11/xdm/xdm-errors   Default  error log file if the
                                   server is run from xdm(1)

     General information: X(5)

     Protocols: X Window System Protocol, The X Font Service Pro-
     tocol, X Display Manager Control Protocol

     Fonts:  bdftopcf(1),  mkfontdir(1),  mkfontscale(1), xfs(1),
     xlsfonts(1), xfontsel(1), xfd(1), X Logical Font Description

     Keyboards: xkeyboard-config(5)

     Security:  Xsecurity(5), xauth(1), Xau(1), xdm(1), xhost(1),
     xfwp(1), Security Extension Specification

     Starting the server: gdm(1m), startx(1), xdm(1), xinit(1)

     Controlling the server once started:  xset(1),  xsetroot(1),
     xhost(1), xinput(1), xrandr(1)

     Server-specific  man  pages:  Xorg(1),  Xdmx(1),  Xephyr(1),
     Xvfb(1), Xvnc(1), Xnewt(1M).

     Service management framework: smf(5), svcadm(1M), svccfg(1M)

     Dtrace  probes:  /usr/share/doc/Xserver/Xserver-DTrace.html,

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User Commands                                          XSERVER(1)

     Server internal documentation:  Definition  of  the  Porting
     Layer for the X v11 Sample Server

     The  sample server was originally written by Susan Angebran-
     ndt, Raymond Drewry, Philip Karlton, and Todd  Newman,  from
     Digital  Equipment  Corporation,  with  support from a large
     cast.  It has since  been  extensively  rewritten  by  Keith
     Packard and Bob Scheifler, from MIT.  Dave Wiggins took over
     post-R5 and made substantial improvements.

     See  attributes(5)  for  descriptions   of   the   following

     |      ATTRIBUTE TYPE         |      ATTRIBUTE VALUE        |
     |Availability                 |x11/server/xserver-common    |
     |Interface Stability          |Volatile                     |

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