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Xwindow emulator for DOS platform

Tim Cutts tjrc1 at mole.bio.cam.ac.uk
Tue Mar 14 04:13:29 EST 1995

vittalk at physics.iisc.ernet.in (Vittal Krishnamurthy) writes:

>Does anyone know of Xwindow emulator software for DOS platform

>Actually I work on a DOS system(Pentium) from which I telnet to
> Silicon Graphics system (Iris,Indigo). To exploit the full features of
>SGI(Xwindow), I need to maake my DOS machine an Xclient to the Xwindow

On a pedantic note, actually, your PC will be the X server and the SGI
will run the X clients.  It's the other way around from most things!
The SGI X client program requests services from your PC's X server in
order to display things!

>Thanx in advance,

There are two solutions you can go for.  I have tried both, and so can
give you my opinions.  First of all, let me set out the alternatives:

1) A commercial X server for DOS or Windows.  Examples are eXceed for
Windows, and Micro/X.  The former is quite good, but I've had some
problems with Micro/X not supporting some X requests.

2) Run a minimal Linux system on your DOS partition, and use genuine
Unix X.

Windows servers:


1) You can copy data back and forth between Windows programs and X clients.
2) You don't have to reboot the machine.
3) Easy to set up.
4) Good hardware support (anything supported by Windows is supported by eXceed)


1) Costs $$$
2) Most are limited to only a few clients simultaneously (eXceed on
our PCs is limited to 16, I think)
3) DOS/Windows servers are very slow.
4) Most are X11R5 servers.

Linux and XFree86:


1) Free; costs nothing.
2) Proper Unix X server.
3) Gives you the latest X11R6.
4) No client number limitations.
5) Very fast, especially on accelerated graphics cards.
6) Much improved TCP/IP in general - you'll get blindingly fast ftp
and telnet under Linux too.  I have a 486/33 and have regularly
achieved transfer speeds of around 350K/s between Cambridge and London.


1) Harder to set up.
2) You need to reboot the machine to run Linux (it's a fully fledged
OS in its own right)
3) At the moment, you can't run Windows programs at the same time,
although you *can* access files on your DOS drives.


If you need to run DOS/Windows programs at the same time as your X
session, use eXceed for Windows or something similar.  If you don't
go for Linux/XFree86.  I have used both on my computer, and
XFree86 is much more pleasant to use.  No memory problems (I often run
out of Resources in eXceed), and it's much faster and achieves better
resolution and clarity on my monitor.

My local machine is also an SGI, and I find Linux to be a far better
solutiion overall, but I use eXceed when I have to access Windows
programs at the same time.

If you want to know more about Linux, you might want to read the
"Linux Installation and Getting Started" guide.  This is available on
the WWW.  I keep a copy on my machine:


Hope this helps.  Please mail me for more information, if you're



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