Matchbox and the X question

Bas Wijnen wijnen at
Sat Dec 3 01:53:03 EST 2011

On 02-12-11 23:21, cenobyte at wrote:
> Firstly, does the Matchbox Window manager require X?

I don't know, but it probably does. Without X all programs must be full 
screen, so a window manager doesn't make sense.

> Secondly, there seem to be 2 paths to go with the Nanonote- with Xserver
> and without. Am I right?

It doesn't have to be the one or the other. There's no problem with 
doing both. But for the official image, you're probably right.

> Thirdly, what does it mean to have an Xserver? Is having the X libraries
> installed enough to be "x" or are there other programs involved? Is it a
> single thing, or a group?

It's lots of executables and libraries, but in the end it's just a 
single package. You'll want some libraries as well (gtk+/gtkmm/pygtk and 
sdl, most notably).

> and how is it possible to have graphics without an xserver?

Through the framebuffer. Both gtk+ and sdl have a framebuffer driver, so 
they can be used without X. Because most programs use one of those, the 
added value of running X isn't so big. All these programs can be run 
without X as well. With X, they can be run in a window. But with our 
screen size, that's not really usable anyway.


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