What is Xterm and what do i do with it?

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at infracaninophile.co.uk
Sun Apr 4 15:38:36 PDT 2004

On Sun, Apr 04, 2004 at 02:38:36PM -0700, Steven Soria wrote:
> I installed FreeBSD and everything but now this thing called Xterm comes up. What do i do in this wndow?

xterm(1) is the standard terminal emulator provided by X Windows.  It
gives you access to the Unix shell prompt.  Sounds like you've managed
to bring up the default xinit(1) setup which gives you just a bare
xterm(1) -- which means you're starting X windows by using startx each
time you log in, rather than running xdm(1) and using the graphical
login.  Try running some X Windows programs.  xeyes(1) is vaguely
amusing the first time you run it:

    % xeyes &

and it will probably help you to run a windowmanager:

    % twm & 

(twm is not everybodies' idea of the greatest windowmanager ever, but
it does the job, and it is useful in this situation as it comes by
default with the basic X Windows installation.)

Once you get bored, just type 'exit' in the original xterm window, and
X will close down putting you back at the console prompt.

Probably what you want to do after that is configure yourself a nicely
customised ~/.xinitrc file: the first step should be to install and
run some sort of decent window manager -- there's several in the
x11-wm category in the ports.  I like windowmaker myself.  Or you can
go the whole hog and install the Gnome desktop or the KDE desktop --
either of which will require you to download quite a lot of stuff, and
spend hours watching it compile if that's the way you choose to do



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                       26 The Paddocks
                                                      Savill Way
PGP: http://www.infracaninophile.co.uk/pgpkey         Marlow
Tel: +44 1628 476614                                  Bucks., SL7 1TH UK
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