Mailing List FAQs

Don’t like launchd automatically setting up DISPLAY for you?

Run the following to prevent launchd from setting $DISPLAY and creating its socket.

(XQuartz.app) launchctl unload -w /Library/LaunchAgents/org.macosforge.xquartz.startx.plist
(Apple's X11.app) launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchAgents/org.x.startx.plist
(MacPorts' X11.app) launchctl unload -w /Library/LaunchAgents/org.macports.startx.plist

ssh X forwarding debugging

The XQuartz installer should automatically setup xauth for by editing ssh_config and sshd_config during its post-install script. If you are sshing to another system, be sure that remote server allows ssh forwarding. You may need to have an administrator edit that system’s sshd_config file.

Try these SSH troubleshooting steps. This list shows the expected behavior of the system.

local $ — refers to commands run on your local Mac running Leopard

remote $ — refers to commands run on a remote Unix machine, of any type

[1] local $ echo $DISPLAY
/tmp/launch-Bh0fLm/:0
[2] local $ grep DISPLAY ~/.*rc ~/.login ~/.*profile ~/.MacOSX/environment.plist 2>/dev/null
[3] local $ grep -r DISPLAY /opt/local/etc /sw/etc /etc 2>/dev/null
[4] local $ ssh -Y remote
Warning: No xauth data; using fake authentication data for X11 forwarding.
[5] remote $ echo $DISPLAY
localhost:10.0
[6] remote $ grep X11 /etc/ssh/sshd_config ~/.ssh/*
X11Forwarding yes
X11DisplayOffset 10

Notes:

If step 1 returns :0, localhost:0 or anything similar, you have a configuration file that is overriding launchd’s $DISPLAY.

If step 2 outputs anything, it indicates that a configuration file in your home directory may be the culprit; try creating a new user and repeating the steps with that user.

If step 3 outputs anything, it indicates that a system-wide change was made that is overriding your environment. If it begins with /opt/local, it is MacPorts; if it begins with /sw, it is Fink. Otherwise, it is probably a commercial program that uses X11; contact your vendor for an updated version.

The warning message in step 4 is harmless.

If step 5 does not output anything, then step 6’s results probably include X11Forwarding no. In this case, you must fix the configuration on the remote side.

If step 5 outputs anything other than localhost:xx.0, then your remote configuration is overriding the DISPLAY environment variable set by sshd on the remote side.

Suppressing xterm launching by default

You can change the initial application launched by XQuartz.app to something else by doing the following:

(XQuartz.app) defaults write org.macosforge.xquartz.X11 app_to_run <whatever you want to run>
(Apple's X11.app) defaults write org.x.X11 app_to_run <whatever you want to run>
(MacPorts' X11.app) defaults write org.macports.X11 app_to_run <whatever you want to run>

So if you want nothing to run, you can accomplish this by:

defaults write org.macosforge.xquartz.X11 app_to_run /usr/bin/true

If you launch XQuartz.app from the dock or run “open -a XQuartz” it will run app_to_run.

Note: For versions prior to the X11-2.1.1 package, use the following instead:

defaults write org.x.X11_launcher app_to_run /usr/X11/bin/xdpyinfo

Messed it up, got confused, want to start over? (Leopard)

Before you start deleting anything, make sure you have a Leopard’s installation DVD available and downloaded the latest update of X11 from this site.

  • Delete pretty much all X11 from you system, and let it forget its receipts
    sudo rm -rf /usr/X11* /System/Library/Launch*/org.x.* /Applications/Utilities/X11.app /etc/*paths.d/X11
    sudo pkgutil --forget com.apple.pkg.X11DocumentationLeo
    sudo pkgutil --forget com.apple.pkg.X11User
    sudo pkgutil --forget com.apple.pkg.X11SDKLeo
    sudo pkgutil --forget org.x.X11.pkg
  • If you want Apple’s X11
    • Install X11User.pkg from Leopard’s installation DVD, which is in /Volumes/Mac OS X Install DVD/Optional Install/Optional Installs.mpkg
    • Install X11SDK.pkg from Leopard’s installation DVD, which is in /Volumes/Mac OS X Install DVD/Optional Installs/Xcode Tools/Packages/
    • Install the OS X 10.5.8 Combo Update (make sure you get the “Combo Update” and not the “Update”)
  • If you want the latest release

Uninstall (Snow Leopard or Later)

XQuartz does not replace the system X11 on Snow Leopard, so you can go back to the Apple-provided X11.app rather easily. Just launch X11.app rather than XQuartz.app to get the older server. If you want to make Apple’s X11.app the default server (owning the launchd $DISPLAY socket), then you should disable the org.macosforge.xquartz.startx.plist as described in the first question. After logging out and back in, Apple’s X11.app will be default. If you still want to remove XQuartz.app from your system, you can do that with these two steps:

launchctl unload /Library/LaunchAgents/org.macosforge.xquartz.startx.plist
sudo launchctl unload /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.macosforge.xquartz.privileged_startx.plist
sudo rm -rf /opt/X11* /Library/Launch*/org.macosforge.xquartz.* /Applications/Utilities/XQuartz.app /etc/*paths.d/*XQuartz
sudo pkgutil --forget org.macosforge.xquartz.pkg

How can my launched applications inherit my tcsh environment? (Old)

By default, X11-2.3.2 inherits your bash environment. 2.3.3 and later should inherit your login shell’s environment. We do this by starting X11.app from a login shell using the script below. This should work for the most common (and some less common) shells.

$ cat /Applications/Utilities/X11.app/Contents/MacOS/X11
#!/bin/bash

set "$(dirname "$0")"/X11.bin "${@}"

if [ -x ~/.x11run ]; then
    exec ~/.x11run "${@}"
fi

case $(basename "${SHELL}") in
    bash)          exec -l "${SHELL}" --login -c 'exec "${@}"' - "${@}" ;;
    ksh|sh|zsh)    exec -l "${SHELL}" -c 'exec "${@}"' - "${@}" ;;
    csh|tcsh)      exec -l "${SHELL}" -c 'exec $argv:q' "${@}" ;;
    es|rc)         exec -l "${SHELL}" -l -c 'exec $*' "${@}" ;;
    *)             exec    "${@}" ;;
esac

If this script does not satisfy your login shell, please let us know on the xquartz-dev mailing list. You can also create a ~/.x11run script to handle your unique shell.

Will XQuartz be released for Tiger?

XQuartz is available for Tiger via MacPorts. After installing MacPorts, run this command:

sudo port -N -v install xorg-server

This will create /Applications/MacPorts/X11.app

Default resolution too low? Fonts too small?

Do your fonts come out too small in programs like Gimp? This and related problems are especially noticeable on the MacBook Pro with high-definition screen. The problem is that older versions of X11 use a resolution setting of 75dpi (dots per inch), and even newer ones use 96dpi by default. Since X11 2.3.2rc4, you can override this default and put in a value that suits your display. For example, for the MacBook Pro, the appropriate value is 133dpi. To do this, enter the following in the Terminal, and restart X11:

defaults write org.macosforge.xquartz.X11 dpi -int 133

You should replace 133 by some other number appropriate to your display if it is not 133dpi. How do you tell what the appropriate dpi setting is? One way (there may be simpler ones!) is to fire up Acrobat or Acrobat Reader, and look at Preferences -> Page Display, which will tell you what the System Setting for your resolution is in dpi.

Want another X11.app server?

If you want to run multiple X11.app servers, you can do that by just copying the X11.app bundle to another name (like X11256.app) and editing the Info.plist to change the CFBundleIdentifier to a different value (like org.x.X11.256color). This will let you launch a different X11 server with different options. The launchd DISPLAY socket will always correspond to the original X11.app. Do not change the CFBundleIdentifier of the original X11.app or you will run into problems. Your xinitrc inherits the CFBundleIdentifier as the X11_PREFS_DOMAIN environment variable, so you can use this in your xinitrc to start up differently.

Example: A dedicated server for The Gimp:

1) Copy X11.app to X11Gimp.app

2) edit X11Gimp.app/Contents/Info.plist and change the CFBundleIdentifier from “org.x.X11” to “org.x.X11.gimp”

3) Create a xinitrc.d script to handle starting gimp:

$ cat /usr/X11/lib/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d/95-gimp.sh
if [ "$X11_PREFS_DOMAIN" = "org.x.X11.gimp" ] ; then
       quartz-wm &
       exec gimp
fi

4) Make that script executable:

$ sudo chmod 755 /usr/X11/lib/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d/95-gimp.sh

Note: If you are a standard user and don’t have administrative privileges, you can put X11Gimp.app in ~/Applications and use ~/.xinitrc.d/95-gimp.sh instead.

Web site based on a design by Kyle J. McKay for the XQuartz project.
Web site content distribution services provided by CloudFlare.
Software distribution services provided by JFrog Bintray.