[R-SIG-Mac]Re: Apple's X11

John Maindonald john.maindonald@anu.edu.au
Sun, 16 Feb 2003 12:00:05 +1100

As others may hit the same issues, I am posting a few comments
on points re Apple's X11, which is indeed a great piece of
software, even as currently advertised in beta mode.
I am using the public beta (0.2.1) that became available on Feb 12,
with SDK installed also.

In part, I am posting this in the hope that others will have light
to shed on these setup issues.

(1) Fink users may find that, before installing Apple's X11, it may pay
to read an up-to-date version of Section 3.2 of the document at
Currently, this advises users to delete existing xfree86 packages
before proceeding.  I am not sure how necessary this is;  Apple's
X11 will work even if this is not done, but some fink-based
software may not?

(2) There are useful hints in


Anyone who uses a beta version is a developer, right?
Well, this was a point that dawned on me only after a fair
amount of searching in less appropriate places for help.

(3) Apple's X11 ignores /etc/csh.login
Source /sw/bin/init.sh (not /sw/bin/init.csh, even though you get,
finally, a tcsh shell).  I used my .tcshrc for this purpose.
(probably .cshrc is also ok)
[Under the fink XFree86 implementation of X11, /etc/csh.login
was a good place to source /sw/bin/init.sh, and a good place
(on a single user machine) in which to set paths.  Setting them
in a .cshrc or .tcshrc under  had the slightly disastrous effect of
duplicating relevant bits of the path every time that a new xterm
window was opened!]

(4) [Actually, when I sourced /sw/bin/init.sh, I had an error:
Bad : modifier in $ (/).
I backed up /sw/bin/init.sh and copied /sw/bin/init.csh to
/sw/bin/init.csh, and all was well.  It may just have been that my
/sw/bin/init.sh was corrupt.]

(5) For setting up a .xinitrc file, copy the version that it at
/etc/X11R6/xinit/xinitrc to .xinitrc into the home directory and
modify that.  At all events, I found that, on my system, this is
what I had to do.  Such an .xinitrc can be used to start additional
xterms, or to invoke a different window manager.
[Document qa1232.html noted above says /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc,
but that is surely a mistake.]

(6) qa1232.html describes how to activate the selection
proxying features (copy & paste) of quartz-wm, while using another
window manager.  I have yet to experiment with this.  [I rather
like icewm, because it is simple, and gives up to 4 desktops.]

(7) After attending to these other matters, getting emacs, ess and
R set up is a breeze!

John Maindonald             email: john.maindonald@anu.edu.au
phone : +61 2 (6125)3473    fax  : +61 2(6125)5549
Centre for Bioinformation Science, Room 1194,
John Dedman Mathematical Sciences Building (Building 27)
Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200.