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What Is It ?
Xephyr is a a kdrive server that outputs to a window on a pre-existing
'host' X display. Think Xnest but with support for modern extensions
like composite, damage and randr.
Unlike Xnest which is an X proxy, i.e. limited to the
capabilities of the host X server, Xephyr is a real X server which
uses the host X server window as "framebuffer" via fast SHM XImages.
It also has support for 'visually' debugging what the server is
How To Use
You probably want to run like;
Xephyr :1 -ac -screen 800x600 &
Then set DISPLAY=:1 and run whatever X apps you like.
Use 'xrandr' to change to orientation/size.
There is a '-parent' switch which works just like Xnest's ( for use
with things like matchbox-nest - http://matchbox.handhelds.org ).
There is also a '-host-cursor' switch to set 'cursor acceleration' -
The host's cursor is reused. This is only really there to aid
debugging by avoiding server paints for the cursor. Performance
improvement is negligible.
Send a SIGUSR1 to the server ( eg kill -USR1 `pidof Xephyr` ) to
toggle the debugging mode. In this mode red rectangles are painted to
screen areas getting painted before painting the actual content. The
delay between this can be altered by setting a XEPHYR_PAUSE env var to
a value in microseconds.
- Depth is limited to being the same as the host.
*Update* As of 8/11/2004. Xephyr can now do 8bpp & 16bpp
on 24bpp host.
- Rotated displays are currently updated via full blits. This
is slower than a normal oprientated display. Debug mode will
therefore not be of much use rotated.
- The '-host-cursor' cursor is static in its appearance.
- The build gets a warning about 'nanosleep'. I think the various '-D'
build flags are causing this. I haven't figured as yet how to work
around it. It doesn't appear to break anything however.
- Keyboard handling is basic but works.
- Mouse button 5 probably won't work.
Matthew Allum <firstname.lastname@example.org> 2004