Chapter 1: Introduction to Xlib

The X Window System is a network-transparent window system that was designed at MIT. X display servers run on computers with either monochrome or color bitmap display hardware. The server distributes user input to and accepts output requests from various client programs located either on the same machine or elsewhere in the network. Xlib is a C subroutine library that application programs (clients) use to interface with the window system by means of a stream connection. Although a client usually runs on the same machine as the X server it is talking to, this need not be the case.

Xlib --- C Language X Interface is a reference guide to the low-level C language interface to the X Window System protocol. It is neither a tutorial nor a user's guide to programming the X Window System. Rather, it provides a detailed description of each function in the library as well as a discussion of the related background information. Xlib --- C Language X Interface assumes a basic understanding of a graphics window system and of the C programming language. Other higher-level abstractions (for example, those provided by the toolkits for X) are built on top of the Xlib library. For further information about these higher-level libraries, see the appropriate toolkit documentation. The X Window System Protocol provides the definitive word on the behavior of X. Although additional information appears here, the protocol document is the ruling document.

To provide an introduction to X programming, this chapter discusses:

Next: Overview of the X Window System

Christophe Tronche,