Linux Magazine: What does startx really do?

[ Thanks to Robert
for this link. ]

“Don’t worry if you use a graphical login screen and never issue
startx — I’ll get to you before the end of this column. But for
now it’s probably a good idea for everyone to read through at least
this much of the labyrinth that is X initialization, to get a
flavor for what’s going on and how you can tweak it.”

“I will revisit this topic in the future and talk about
different distributions and components, but for this installment
I’ll be focusing on Red Hat 6.1, KDE, and GNOME. If any details of
what I mention here are different from your system, chances are
that it’s just a minor difference between distributions. But if you
run into anything with significant consequences, please feel free
to drop me a line about it, and I’ll be sure to cover it in a
future column.”

Just to make sure we’re on the same page, let me get the
terminology straight. As you may know, the X Window System uses a
client/server architecture to provide a graphical interface. This
can be a little confusing, though, since the part you actually see
is the server, and the clients are your individual programs.

This is counterintuitive, since people are used to thinking of the
client as being nearer to them, and the server as being invisible
because it’s off in a closet.”