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I am using Solaris, and I want to test if the I can use the X server after setting the DISPLAY environment variable.

On Linux, I usually use xeyes, xclock or xterm. But none of these seem to available on Solaris.

Note that I am using the GA release of Oracle Solaris 11.

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Is there some particular attribute that makes it "good" for testing? I would say "any X application you have installed" -- presumably you have one, or you wouldn't be bothering with X in the first place – Michael Mrozek Nov 17 '11 at 16:28
All of those are available on Solaris 11 if you install the packages - use pkg search xeyes for instance to find the right package. Whether they're installed by default or not depends on whether you used the text or gui installer. – alanc Nov 17 '11 at 23:23
@alanc Interesting; both xterm and xeyes are included in the compatibility/packages/SUNWxwplt package, whose name leads me to believe it will be dropped by Oracle in the future. – NullUser Nov 17 '11 at 23:57
@NullUserException: you should have found xeyes is in pkg:/x11/demo and xterm is in pkg:/terminal/xterm. The compatibility/packages/SUNWxwplt depends on those as it installs everything that was in the Solaris 10 SUNWxwplt package, for compatibility with old SVR4 packages that depend on SUNWxwplt and while it may go away, the actual packages should not. – alanc Nov 18 '11 at 2:26
@alanc Would you have any clues on this one: dba.stackexchange.com/questions/8204 ? – NullUser Nov 21 '11 at 23:28
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I am sorry, I failed to mention that I was using Oracle Solaris 11.

In this release, none of these come installed by default (used the text installer). You have to install them using the package manager. To find which package contains the application you want use pkg search:

pkg search xeyes 

I used the compatibility/packages/SUNWxwplt package and it installed xterm and xeyes to /usr/bin.

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I alway used xeyes when I was still a Solaris-admin. I am quite sure that it was a standard with Versions 2.5, 2.6, 7 and 8. – Nils Nov 17 '11 at 21:01

You may want to expand your environment variable PATH to directory /usr/openwin/bin:


That's (for historic reasons) where X11 applications reside on Solaris. There you may find xterm, xclock and many other base clients for X11.

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That's where they reside on releases up through (and including) Solaris 10. On Solaris 11 they're now in /usr/bin, though compatibility symlinks remain for /usr/openwin & /usr/X11 paths. – alanc Aug 5 '12 at 16:37
xset -q > /dev/null

I found this over at http://stackoverflow.com/questions/637005/x-server-running (in response to a somewhat misleadingly worded question).

  • quick
  • usable in scripts
  • quiet if OK; diagnostic for problem on stderr
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I just use xclock. It's available on Solaris, but in a weird place; you can find it with:

find / -name xclock 2>/dev/null
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On Solaris 10 and older, it's in /usr/openwin/bin - on Solaris 11 it's in /usr/bin. – alanc Nov 17 '11 at 23:21

personally I copy a basic Graphic application in Java, like this one http://beginwithjava.blogspot.ch/2008/07/very-basic-java-graphics-3-examples.html (BasicFrame.java) , compile it and run it... of course you should have a JDK installed...

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