What applications to use with X11? Suggestions and reviews


Chmod 760
Staff member
Which applications should/could one run with X11 (on 10.3)?

What is interesting, on Apple.com site about the X11 there were no list of suggestions of what to use with X11. So suggest and review something here (and give the relative links please). :)

What do you use, and for doing what? How do you like the applications?

Which of the apps need Fink, and which work without? Have you had problems with Fink in 10.3, or does it work seamlessly?

I have right now only www.OpenOffice.org (1.0.3) installed, and I like it. I think I will install GIMP (www.gimp.org) soon, and was considering Bluefish (http://bluefish.openoffice.nl/) an interesting tool to play with as well.

OpenOffice is easy to install when you get the right version. It works without Fink, and seems to do fine what I need of Office applications. I have apart from OpenOffice also AppleWorks, but the main idea of OpenOffice is to keep the mac M$ free). ;)

I have used GIMP on Linuxes. On OS X it seems to require Fink. Anyone mind to post their GIMP (and any other X11 application) experiences, reviews, suggestions, annoyances, incompatibilites etc here? ::angel::


I've only tried running Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory Linux Version, it didn't work. If anybody made that work, please tell me how...


Digital Music Pimp
voice, you know you cant just run a Linux executable and expect it to run, right?


Of course I don't know that. I don't have a clue about what X11 is, I just figured it was something which would let me run any UNIX/Linux program in OS X without porting. Yes, I thought they had found a way to do that.
The way I tried running it was by drag/dropping the Linux executable on the X11 app.

Please, tell me what X11 is then, and how to use it...


Digital Music Pimp
X11 is an implementation of the X Windows System. For it work, it first has to be at the very least, re-compiled for the appropriate processor-type/OS.


I Think Different
I highly recomend setting up Fink if you want to play with X11. It may be a bit of work to get fink running (although good faqs exist) but once it is running, everything else is much easier. The only X11 program I didn't install with fink was OpenOffice.org.

I use GIMP regularly, and Abiword is a nice lightweight alternative to OpenOffice (although with .doc compatibility in TextEdit there isn't much reason to use that.) I use Dynagraph which is a 3D graphing calculator and xmms is a kickin' mp3 player.

I've used other programs (in the KDE and Gnome suites) but there weren't any show stoppers. I'm looking forward to a stable version of sodipodi, the vector art program.


wandering shadow
You don't have to use Fink to get the GIMP working, but there's a lot you have to compile yourself if you don't. I happen to enjoy compiling code myself, so I don't have Fink installed. :p

Hmm, I have the GIMP, GKrellM (it's a stat monitoring utility, there are plenty OS X native ones but I really like GKrellM.), xmms...hmm, that's all I have at the moment, though I'm sure I'll add to it.

I also compiled the newest gtk+, though that's not really an app.

I'm thinking of seeing if I can get KDE to compile, and then checking out Konquerer. I've heard it's a pretty dang good web browser. ;)

I had also compiled X11 myself, but I decided to go ahead and delete that and install Apple's X11. :)

Just to note, I had been using Linux for the 5 years previous to the release of OS X 10.0 (I skipped the public beta), so I'm very used to compiling code. Heck, I'm kinda missing compiling the kernel. :D


Notorious Olive Counter
I mostly use X11 for somewhat more obscure things, like nessus, the vulnerability scanner. I'm taking an info security course, though, so that's a bit of a special case...

The real killer though is if you have ssh access to a Linux computer (like I have access to a couple at school), then you can 'ssh -X me@the.linux.box' from an xterm window, then you can run graphical apps on the Linux machine and have the display on your own screen.


Marvelous Da Vinci
Staff member
GIMP and OpenOffice

GIMP is fun... but I'm used to Photoshop, interface and I still use it in an old Classic version.

OpenOffice is also quite good, but here I have an MS Office license and I tend to use it for normal work.

What is missing for me to use GIMP and OpenOffice as a regular basis ? A better integration in Panther.


I had installed OpenOffice on my clamshell, but it didn't make the migration to the new iBook.

My problem was with clipboard compatibility. Did they solve that yet?


Registered Bot

Wolf Linux won't work because it's an X86 binary executable, that is, a program created specifically to run on a Pentium/AMD processor. The Mac's PowerPC uses different instructions and won't run Intel programs.

It's just like when novice users will ask you if you can run Windows programs on your Mac. Impossible. Well, of course there's VirtualPC, but all that translation adds up to a huge speed hit.

"Open-source" Unix/Linux programs can rather easily be converted to different processors by sending the source code (what the programmer typed) through a compiler program. Obviously, Wolf is not open-source.

They would have to recompile Linux Wolf to run on the PowerPC.



When I get 'round to installing any X11 Apps, they would have to be Gnumeric, GIMP and maybe Dia and Sodipodi.

I'd still be hesitant about using X11 apps, though... they distrupt the Chi of my User Experience ;). They just don't belong there... I'm fussy like that, I'm pretty much a Cocoa Facist, I don't even like using Carbon Apps.


OpenOffice and GIMP are what I use most with X11. I also have M$ Office v.X (stop throwing rocks at me), so I don't really need OpenOffice. M$ office was $20 at the university I attended; it was cheap, so I bought it.

I would like to know how OpenOffice does linear regression in its spreadsheets. M$ "cheats" on some linear algebra calculations to speed things up, so it isn't as accurate and contains round-off error. This is why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration FORBIDS its use in pharmaceutical calculations.


Yeah, Androo.
i have a linux program running somehow called aMSN, and i can use display pics on it like in the windows MSN :p
i had to install Fink, X11, TCL/TK, TLS, and finally the aMSN program.
It took me like 2 days, and now i kno how to use X11 :)


Hey, i'm a new user here, and am pretty excited that there are people on here like me. So anyway, i've ran KDE (the popular window manager that runs on most Linux systems), and it's nice because you can use all your existing Filesystem (OS X), but run KDE specific applications. If you're interested, i can tell you how. just hit me back a reply.


Scratch & Sniff Committee
KDE and Gnome both run very nicely, as does Gimp, Abiword and so on.
I highly recommend that if you aren't a Unix power-user who can confidently compile software, you install Fink and FinkCommander. FinkCommander is a GUI front-end to installing Fink software.

I'd recommend the entire Gnome and KDE install with all the games and gadgets. There's some great stuff in those. SpaceDuel was always a favourite of mine. XMMS, though it isn't iTunes, is pretty neat too.

Incidentally, there is now a Gimp distribution as a .app file, though it requires Apple X11 installed. This means if all you want to do is run Gimp, then you only need to install X11 and double-click the Gimp.app file.