In computing, an X terminal is a display/input terminal for X Window System client applications. X terminals enjoyed a period of popularity in the early 1990s when they offered a lower total cost of ownership alternative to a full Unix workstation.
An X terminal runs an X server. (In X, the usage of "client" and "server" is from the viewpoint of the programs: the X server supplies a screen, keyboard, mouse and touchscreen to client applications.) This connects to an X display manager (introduced in X11R3) running on a central machine, using XDMCP (X Display Manager Control Protocol, introduced in X11R4).
Thin clients have somewhat supplanted X terminals in that they are equipped with added flash memory and software for communication with remote desktop protocols. Due to the existence of free software implementations of multiple protocols, X terminals which do not have this extra flash memory have been made commercially obsolete by more general-purpose thin clients and by low cost PCs running an X server.[clarification needed][dubious ]
In the early 1990s, several vendors introduced X terminals including Network Computing Devices (NCD), Gipsi, Hewlett Packard (HP), Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC, later absorbed by HP), IBM, Samsung and Tektronix.
- Linda Mui and Eric Pearce, X Window System Volume 8: X Window System Administrator's Guide for X11 Release 4 and Release 5, 3rd edition (O'Reilly and Associates, July 1993; softcover ISBN 0-937175-83-8)
- InfoWorld 05-28-1990
- Corcoran, Cate (1992). "Study shows 115 percent increase in X terminal sales for 1991". InfoWorld 14 (3): 26. "Network Computing Devices dominated the market... NCD, HP, Digital Equipment Corporation, IBM and Tektronix - the top five X terminal vendors - accounted for 74 percent of shipments..."
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