Matchbox and the X question

Andrea Bolognani eof at
Sat Dec 3 05:13:14 EST 2011

On Sat, Dec 03, 2011 at 07:53:03AM +0100, Bas Wijnen wrote:

> >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.

I think the main issues with X are memory/CPU usage and packaging effort.

I’ve tried running Jlime on my Ben a while ago, but I didn’t look
carefully at resource usage, so I can’t tell for sure how big the
overhead is.

However, I disagree that there is no benefit in having X on the Ben:
having X enables seamless multitasking (which is currently not possible
on the Ben unless you know UNIX well enough to manually switch to a
different VT and launch an application from there) and adding some sort
of information panel for things like the clock and the battery level.

Plus, X window managers usually provide an unified window handling
interface, including a keyboard shortcut that is capable of closing any
window, which would partially solve the problem we’re facing with the
current software image due to the fact that different applications often
require different closing procedures, and once you’re into an application
is not always clear how to get out of it.

Andrea Bolognani <eof at>
Resistance is futile, you will be garbage collected.
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