IUBio

GCG Package!

Tim Cutts timc at chiark.greenend.org.uk
Thu Mar 18 11:15:12 EST 1999


In article <7cp3fu$1u4$1 at nnrp1.dejanews.com>,  <jfryan at my-dejanews.com> wrote:
>There is a nice Free X server runs on Mac and PC from
>http://tnt.microimages.com/www/html/freestuf/mix/mix.htm

I'm sorry, but in my opinion MI/X is far from being a nice X server.
Here are my reasons:

1)  It has extremely poor security;  by default it is set up so that
anyone on the entire Internet can snoop what is on your screen, and
gather any passwords you type, etc etc.  Unless you're behind a
firewall I wouldn't even consider using it.
If you set theserver to refuse unauthorised connections, by using
xhost -, and then start a client from somewhere else, rather than
giving an authorization failure, as it should, it just kills the X
connection crudely.

2)  It has no support for XDMCP (X server management by a UNIX host,
which makes logging in much easier, especially for novice users that
might not understand how X works)

3)  It doesn't support clicking both mouse buttons to simulate the
middle mouse button.  I haven't tested whether it supports the middle
button on three button mice.  If it does not, that's a real problem.

4)  The default set of supplied fonts is very limited.

5)  Compared to XFree86 or eXceed, the speed of the server is very
slow indeed.

6)  It frequently makes mistakes refreshing windows (perhaps it
doesn't manage saveunders correctly?)

7)  The Windows version is only X11R5, which can cause problems with
some molecular biology programs that require X11R6 (ACeDB, for example)

Most of these things I can live with except for the security issue.
Unfortunately this is not a problem limited to the makers of MI/X.
Both eXodus and MacX have a similarly lax attitude to security.  Why
can't commercial software manufacturers take security seriously?  Even
eXceed defaults to letting the entire Internet access your screen,
although at least in that case you can configure the program to be a
bit more sane.

Tim.




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