The X-11 Protocol

Long before the invention of WinFrame; Independent Computing Architecture (ICA); Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition; or RDP, there was the X terminal. MIT researchers developed the X terminal's X-11 protocol as a display protocol to let UNIX workstations and servers send their display to another machine (in much the same way that Terminal Server sends its display to other machines). Because X-11 has been around so long, developers have used it for many applications.

Terminal Server users can use the X-11 protocol through Network Computing Devices' (NCD's) WinCenter for MetaFrame application. WinCenter for MetaFrame is an add-on to Citrix MetaFrame, and in addition to providing the X-11 protocol, the software includes a variety of UNIX utilities, such as a UNIX keyboard mapper, a UNIX disk-drive mapper, and full multimedia sound from the terminal server to the UNIX client. UNIX users who connect to Terminal Server should consider using WinCenter for MetaFrame.

A significant advantage to using the X-11 protocol instead of an ICA client is that users need not install an ICA client on their UNIX workstations but can use the remote shell (rsh) command from any UNIX client. Because its developers created X-11 for high speed, rather than low-bandwidth use, X-11 requires more bandwidth than either ICA or RDP, but X-11 is also much faster than those protocols. Contact NCD at for more information about X-11.

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