My Google Activity Report typically shows access from "Windows", "Linux" and "Android" platforms. This month, it is also showing access from the "X11" platform. What would report as "X11"? A question here simply suggests that "X11" means "Linux". However, "Linux" has previously (and still) shows up as a separate entry.

  • I also have this issue. Can you clarify what devices you access google with? Also, having a different OS or version might affect it too so if you use multiple it might change. Feb 3, 2013 at 16:12
  • I've connected from a variety of different operating systems during the month -- hence the question :) I often connect from Debian/Debian-based system with Firefox/Iceweasel. I did connect with Firefox for Android, but I suspect that's not "X11". I also used a LinuxBBQ distribution (can't remember which); this is Debian sid-based IIRC.
    – SabreWolfy
    Feb 3, 2013 at 17:01

1 Answer 1


X11 is version 11 of the X Window System.

And the X Window System is that piece of software which talks to your video hardware and displays bitmapped graphics on your monitor. It underlies your UNIX/Linux desktop environment (e.g. GNOME, KDE, Xfce, etc.) and graphical applications, all of which talk to X at a very low level in order to display graphics on the screen.

As to why Google might identify you as "X11" instead of "Linux" that one is also fairly easy. Most web browsers, in their User-Agent strings, identify the operating system on which they're running, such as Windows, Mac OS X or Linux. But certain versions of Mozilla-based browsers (e.g. Firefox) list the operating system in the User-Agent string as "X11".

For instance, an example Iceweasel User-Agent string looks like:

Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:15.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/15.0.1 Iceweasel/15.0.1

If you used a browser where "Linux" was missing from the User-Agent string, or used a UNIX operating system which wasn't Linux, then Google might not have identified your operating system correctly and fallen back on the generic "X11".

  • Thanks. So I used a browser that (only) reported "X11" and/or Google explicitly started recording "X11" in user agent strings.
    – SabreWolfy
    Feb 3, 2013 at 20:27
  • 1
    Great :) I used IceWeasel on Debian so that would explain it. Feb 4, 2013 at 19:59

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