WeirdX is a Java-based, open source X Window server that happens to run successfully under Mac OS and Mac OS X. While I don't generally list Java applications on the Orchard (they're a different breed entirely, and many fine sites track Java-based software), when the program in question provides a service that Mac users find themselves wanting, I happily make an exception. Free X server software is such a beast; MI/X is good but it hasn't been updated since 1998, and XFree86 only runs on Mac OS X. Commercial alternatives exist, to be sure, but for many Mac users who need only occasional access, the pricing of these products makes them impractical. WeirdX is free (and distributed under the GNU GPL) and has a bunch of truly nice features:
Version 1.0.32 adds/changes the following:
WeirdX supports core protocols of X11R6.3 partially, and I haven't been able to fully test it just yet. WeirdX will not be suitable to execute "heavy" X clients, but you may find that twm, xterm, etc. will run fine on it. The WeirdX home page has links to ready-to-run (double-clickable) applications for Mac OS and Mac OS X, but they may be a release or two behind the current version; if you really want the latest release, you'll have to work a bit harder. If you're running "Classic" Mac OS (i.e., not Mac OS X), begin by downloading the following files:
Once you have the two Apple MRJ products installed, you'll need to:
(Mac OS X users have it much easier: download the WeirdX Java archive, open up a terminal window, navigate to the directory where the .jar file resides, and type "java -jar weirdx-1.0.32.jar".). Paul Schaap has provided an unofficial installer for the uninitiated (1.0.31).
By the way: you'll never have to do this again; now, you'll be able to double-click on the applet whenever you want to use WeirdX. Once you have this ready, you'll need to have access to a machine that has X client applications available for running, and you'll need to use the "export" or "setenv" commands to tell this machine to use your Mac as the X Server (talk to your local sysadmin for more info.)
"Works for simple X-connections only. To configure without having to edit the source Java files, create a file named props in a folder named config and place this folder in the same place as your application. Here are possible entries to make in your props file to alter the defaults: weirdx.windowmode=RootlessWM (and on another line) weirdx.display.acl=+ (can't type carriage returns according to the review guidelines here!!). For more info, see the FAQ link in the developer's product info page. Don't forget that the default window number is 2 (configurable also via the props file)!"
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Can't find what you're looking for? Try a search:
Also, if you have an older Mac, be sure to check out the "Classic" applications page for more options.
Finally, take a look at ALEMIA if you think you know that name of an application, but aren't quite sure.
Mac OS X has a huge amount of TCP/IP-based server software built into it that I don't specifically cover here. Your "Sharing" Preference Pane allows you to enable and disable these services with a click of the mouse. The software running behind the scenes to provide many of these services is generally of the open source variety. The standard release of Mac OS X includes, among many others:
Of course, Mac OS X Server includes many more, in addition to offering more recent versions of many of the above servers.
Graham Orndorff has written a superb collection of articles on setting up email servers and secure email clients on Mac OS X.
These are applications that are newer and of potential interest, but which I haven't yet selected for permanent inclusion. Have a look, and let me know if you think they deserve to be part of the permanent collection!