You are here: >

Linux and Unix X command

x commandAbout X
X syntax
Related commands
Linux and Unix main page

About X

X, typically located at /usr/bin/X, is the original X server executable of MIT's X Window System.

Typically, you do not need to run X manually.

If what you'd like to do is start a new X Window session, use the startx command instead.

History of X and Xorg

In 2009, due to changes in its license, the codebase of X was forked to a new version called Xorg, and is included on systems at the default location /usr/bin/Xorg.

The X executable is still included as a compatibility layer for programs which expect it to be there. So, for all intents and purposes, X simply passes commands to Xorg.

X syntax

X [:display] [option]


-a #

default pointer acceleration


disable access control restrictions

-audit int

set audit trail level

-auth file

select authorization file


create root window with black background


enable any backing store support


disable any backing store support


turns off key-click

c #

key-click volume (0-100)

-cc int

default color visual class


disable the cursor


generate core dump on fatal error

-dpi int

screen resolution in dots per inch


disables VESA DPMS (Energy Star) monitor control

-deferglyphs [none|all|16]

defer loading of [no|all|16-bit] glyphs

-f #

bell base (0-100)

-fc string

cursor font

-fn string

default font name

-fp string

default font path


prints message with these options


ignore all remaining arguments

-ld N

limit data space to N Kb

-lf N

limit number of open files to N

-ls N

limit stack space to N Kb


disable the locking mechanism

-nolisten string

don't listen on protocol string


don't reset after last client exists


create root window with no background


reset after last client exists

-p #

screen-saver pattern duration (minutes)


accept failure to listen on all ports.


reject failure to listen on all ports.


turns off auto-repeat


turns on auto-repeat

-render [default|mono|gray|color]

set render color alloc policy


start with classic stipple and cursor

-s #

screen-saver timeout (minutes)

-seat string

seat to run on

-t #

default pointer threshold (pixels/t)


terminate at server reset

-to #

connection time out


disable testing extensions


server started from init on /dev/ttyxx


video blanking for screen-saver


screen-saver without video blanking


WhenMapped default backing-store


create root window with white background


set maximal bigrequest size


Enable XINERAMA extension


Disable XINERAMA extension


Disable smart scheduling, enable old behavior

-schedInterval int

Set scheduler interval in milliseconds


Enable SIGSTOP based startup

+extension name

Enable extension

-extension name

Disable extension

-query host-name

contact named host for XDMCP


broadcast for XDMCP

-multicast [addr [hops]]

IPv6 multicast for XDMCP

-indirect host-name

contact named host for indirect XDMCP

-port port-num

UDP port number to send messages to

-from local-address

specify the local address to connect from


Terminate server after one session

-class display-class

specify display class to send in manage

-cookie xdm-auth-bits

specify the magic cookie for XDMCP

-displayID display-id

manufacturer display ID for request

[+-]accessx [ timeout [ timeout_mask [ feedback [ options_mask] ] ] ]

enable/disable accessx key sequences


set XKB autorepeat delay


set XKB autorepeat interval

Device-Dependent Options

-modulepath paths

specify the module search path

-logfile file

specify a log file name


probe for devices and write an xorg.conf


print available options for all installed drivers

-config file

Specify a configuration file, relative to the xorg.conf search path; only root can use absolute.

-configdir dir

Specify a configuration directory, relative to the xorg.conf.d search path; only root can use absolute.

-verbose [n]

verbose startup messages

-logverbose [n]

verbose log messages


minimal startup messages


use 24bpp pixmaps for depth 24


use 32bpp pixmaps for depth 24

-fbbpp n

set bpp for the framebuffer. Default: 8

-depth n

set colour depth. Default: 8

-gamma f

set gamma value (0.1 - 10.0) Default: 1.0

-rgamma f

set gamma value for red phase

-ggamma f

set gamma value for green phase

-bgamma f

set gamma value for blue phase

-weight nnn

set RGB weighting at 16 bpp. Default: 565

-layout name

specify the ServerLayout section name

-screen name

specify the Screen section name

-keyboard name

specify the core keyboard InputDevice name

-pointer name

specify the core pointer InputDevice name


disable Silken Mouse


swap default black/white pixel values


disable mode adjustments with xvidtune


allow xvidtune to be run as a non-local client


start server even if the mouse can't be initialized


make module ABI mismatches non-fatal

-isolateDevice bus_id

restrict device resets to bus_id (PCI only)


show the server version


show the server default module path


show the server default library path


don't automatically switch VT at reset & exit


share VTs with another X server

-mir MirID

run nested in a Mir compositor with app id MirID


use the specified VT number


don't detach controlling tty (for debugging purposes)

startx — Start an X Window System session.
Xorg — The executable of the X Window System server.