Linux Journal: Gratuitous Window Dressing, Part 2Dec 02, 2000, 13:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Marcel Gagné)
[ Thanks to 2more0 for this link. ]
"If you have run X-Windows in any way shape or form, you'll have accumulated a number of interesting files in your home directory. They have names like ".Xclients", ".Xauthority", and ".xinitrc" to name a few. What are these mysterious (dare I say it again) ".X" files? Well, before I go into that, let's start by looking at the program that invariably makes use of these files, a little something called xinit."
"xinit is the master program for starting your graphical desktop. Using various ".X" files, xinit will create, build and otherwise start up your X-Windows session. But wait? Isn't that the idea behind startx? Well, in a sense, yes...and no. You see, the problem with using xinit to start your X-Windows session is that it is so darn complicated (or at the very least, wordy)."
"startx is actually just a Bourne shell front end to xinit. In fact, if you take a look through the file more /path_to/startx, you'll find that after setting a number of variable, paths and so on, xinit is finally called to start X-Windows."