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It is a window system called X, not a system called X Windows

We use the terms X Window (System) and X11


XmetaX maps arbitrary large virtual display areas — so-called meta screens — on one or more real screens of one or multiple X Window servers or even on X11 windows. The dimensions of the screens do not matter. Screens may overlap or leave gaps. The visible areas may be arbitrarily positioned on the virtual area by moving the mouse pointer. This base functionality can be enhanced by options, each implementing a certain functionality like zooming, rotating, beaming or recording an X11 session or even providing a failsafe X Window server.

The Pose technology is used for exactly and totally recording (capture) and later or simultaneous playback of X11 sessions or individual applications, optionally together with audio, video, or arbitrary binary data streams. The recording may be converted to video formats, too.

XmetaX provides a virtual X Window server for establishing a virtual, invisible X11 session, which can be transferred to a real X Window server.


The functionality of the XmetaX base product may be enhanced by additional options. Throughout this document these enhancements are highlighted by color.

The option Channel increases the maximum number of output channels — screens or Pose connections supported by the XmetaX proxy by one channel each. Without option the proxy supports not more than three channels.

The option Vario allows to define horizontal and vertical zoom factors for each individual screen. All X11 requests like fonts are scaled automatically. In addition this option allows to rotate a screen by multiples of 90 degrees.

The option InWindow allows to use X11 windows instead of real screens. Thus, a meta screen can be integrated into a running X11 session.

The option DynamicServer provides for connecting and disconnecting X Window servers during runtime.

The option Failsafe provides a highly available X Window server: XmetaX detects the breakdown of one, multiple or even all X Window servers and does not interrupt the X Window clients. A failed X Window server may be substituted by a new one during runtime.

The option VisEmu allows to display X Window clients designed for older graphics systems of depths of 4 and 8 on modern hardware often supporting 24 bits depth only (Emulation of visuals).

The option GLXplus allows X Window clients to use the full OpenGL acceleration provided by modern graphics cards as well as new technologies like shaders and vertex programs (Option GLXplus: Tunneling OpenGL through GLX).

The option Pose integrates the functionality of the product XposeXrecord and allows to totally and exactly record an X11 session or individual X Window clients. For playback and video conversion the separate product XposeXplay is used.

The option Multimedia allows to capture, transport, store, and replay audio, video, or arbitrary binary data streams simultaneously and synchronously to the Pose data stream.

The option Keymap allows to assign different keyboard mappings to single or groups of X Window applications. Thus, multilingual applications can be used with one X Window server and one keyboard simultaneously.

The option Translucent allows to make a single or a group of X11 windows transparent. This transparency is effective for output as well as for input (so you can click through the transparent background of a window). Windows rendered by OpenGL cannot be made transparent. The used X Window server must support the SHAPE protocol extension.

The XmetaX base product already implements all options. An individual option is enabled by a suitable license key and activated by the configuration.

X Window proxy

XmetaX proxyXmetaX is neither a stand-alone X Window server nor a specialized window manager. The XmetaX proxy is stacked between the X Window server(s) of the workstation(s) and the X Window clients via inter-process communication. It is executed instead of the X Window server and calls the local server.

At this central position between servers and clients, XmetaX breaks the fixed relation between display area and communication port of one or multiple X Window servers simultaneously. Furthermore here the X11 protocol stream can be recorded for later or simultaneous playback by means of XposeXplay.

This is totally transparent for any X Window server. XmetaX flawlessly cooperates with workstation or terminal vendor supplied servers, with Xorg and Xfree86 servers as well as with many specialized servers. Furthermore, clients cannot detect any differences to the standard X Window server. Thus, you may use the usual window managers.

XmetaX can combine rather different screens and X Window servers. To the clients, however, XmetaX offers only the subset of common features of the controlled screens of each meta screen.

X11 protocol and protocol extensions

XmetaX is based on the Meta technology for decoding, encoding and transport of the X11 protocol. The software supports the complete X11R7 protocol.

XmetaX supports the protocol extensions BIG-REQUESTS 2.0, DOUBLE-BUFFER 1.0, DPMS 1.1, FBPM 1.1, Generic Event Extension 1.0, GLX 1.4 (plus about 15 extensions, OpenGL 2.1 plus about 125 extensions, please contact for a up-to-date list), MIT-SCREEN-SAVER 1.0, MIT-SHM 1.1, Multi-Buffering 1.1, RENDER 0.9, SCREEN-SAVER 1.0, SHAPE 1.0, SUN_ALLPLANES 1.0, SYNC 3.0, X-SOFTWARE KEYMAP 6.1, X-SOFTWARE META 7.0, X-SOFTWARE POSE 8.3, X-SOFTWARE TRANSLUCENT 6.3, XC-MISC 1.1, XIE 5.0, XINERAMA 1.1, XInputExtension 1.3, XpExtension 1.0, XTEST 2.2, and XVideo 2.2. The protocol extensions MIT-SHM and XINERAMA are always offered to the X Window clients, even if one or all of the controlled X Window servers do not support them. In the case of MIT-SHM the extension requests are translated into the corresponding X11 core protocol requests automatically. The protocol extension XTEST is offered to the X Window clients provided that the controlled X Window servers support at least one of the extensions DEC-XTRAP, XTEST, and XTestExtension1.

The software implements the additional protocol extensions X-SOFTWARE META, X-SOFTWARE POSE, X-SOFTWARE KEYMAP, and X-SOFTWARE TRANSLUCENT, which are used for runtime configuration.

XmetaX supports the X Display Manager Control Protocol (XDMCP) as well as the authorization methods host access control, MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1, SUN-DES-1, and XDM-AUTHORIZATION-1.


XmetaX is highly configurable from the command line and through configuration files. In spite of the great number of configuration statements the software is configured very easily, starting with reasonable default values.

XmetaX includes the configuration tool XmetaXtool, which is used to create configuration files or to configure the XmetaX proxy during runtime — through the graphical user interface or scriptable from the command line.

XmetaXtool dialog box

XmetaX includes the configuration tool XposeXtool, which is used to create configuration files or to configure and control recording, playback, and conversion — through the graphical user interface or scriptable from the command line.

XposeXtool dialog box

Improvements and enhancements of version 8.0

Following are the most important modifications of the version 8.0 of XmetaX.

The installation directories (Installation directories) were unified for all architectures.

Messages (Miscellaneous statements) are now written into the directory /var/opt/XSOXmetaX/logs by default.

The number of supported protocol extensions were increased and the version levels were updated (X11 protocol and protocol extensions).

The configuration language now unifies concepts like lists, points of time and periods of time (Configuration language).

A new configuration statement allows to transfer cut&paste data between the controlled X Window servers (Selections).

Spatial arragements of meta screens (Position of a meta screen) and screens (Position of a screen) is now simplified through the use of a compass analogy.

In certain simple cases there is no need for a screen border (Border width of a screen).

The XmetaX proxy may now synchronize the screen savers of the controlled X Window servers or disable unused input devices (Miscellaneous statements).

The new option VisEmu allows to display X Window clients designed for older graphics systems of depths of 4 and 8 on modern hardware often supporting 24 bits depth only (Emulation of visuals).

The new option GLXplus allows X Window clients to use the full OpenGL acceleration provided by modern graphics cards as well as new technologies like shaders and vertex programs (Option GLXplus: GLX-Tunnel für OpenGL).

For better utilizing modern multi-core or multi-processor architectures the XmetaX proxy gets more and more multi-threaded. The number of used threads can be configured (Miscellaneous statements).

You find further improvements and enhancements related to recording and playback in another chapter (Improvements and enhancements of version 8.0).

Supported architectures

XmetaX is available for the following operating systems:

Hewlett-Packard HP-UX (PA-RISC and Itanium) 11,

IBM AIX (PowerPC) from 5 on,

Linux (x86_32: iA-32 from Pentium Pro on, x86_64/x64/AMD64),

Linux (x86_64: iA-32 from Pentium Pro on, iA-64, x86_64/x64/AMD64),

Oracle/Sun Solaris 8, 9, 10, 11 (SPARC from V7+ on),

Oracle/Sun Solaris 8, 9, 10, 11 (x86: iA-32 from Pentium Pro on, x86_64/x64/AMD64).

If you need the software for another Unix platform please feel free to contact

Order information

You can download the XmetaX software in form of an installation package from the X-Software Internet server (Downloading).

Without a license key the software runs in evaluation mode with full functionality (Execution without license key).

A license key allows to use the software either on one individual computer (node-locked) or overall in a local network (floating) (Execution with a license key). The separate, free of charge, product Xlicense is used for licensing of all X-Software products.

There are two ways for updating to the current version. With the update product you get the license key for the current version once, whereas the maintenance plan entitles you to receive the license keys for the then current versions during one year.

For ordering please refer to the price list and contact

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