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1. Some concepts

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In the Linux world, graphical programs can run on one machine and display on another one. From the other side, we can say that the user executes programs on remote computer but they appear as they run locally, using the keyboard, the mouse and displaying on the screen.

The program managing the screen, the keyboard and the mouse is called the X server. It is called this way because it allows several programs to share a single resource set which is the display, the mouse and the keyboard. On a lighter note, one can say that the X server allows several programs to share the most expensive part of the network, the user :-)

This client server relation is very flexible. One can execute programs on many remote computers at once and they will all show on his screen, generally in rectangles called windows. Further, he will be able to cut & paste seemlessly between them.

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