Chapter 17: Accessing UNIX from a PC
Logging onto a UNIX system from a PC using XDMCP.

On Solaris and IRIX the xdm daemon is permanently running, unlike the situation on SunOS. If there are X-terminals on site the xdm daemon will be configured to run on SunOS as well. This allows a flexible method of login using XDMCP from a PC running eXceed to a local UNIX system. It has also been discovered that logins to Solaris 2.5 ( running CDE) need some system tweaks, so we use this as an example.

How to log on to a Solaris 2.5 system from a PC using Vista eXceed.

  • Increase your TCP/IP sockets up to something like 24
  • Using Novell V4 add the following lines to a file C:\nwclient\net.cfg in the TCP/IP section
    • tcp_sockets 24
      udp_sockets 24
  • CDE requires a minimum of 10 sockets just to start and subsequent activity may well require even more - the default for Novell LAN Workplace seems to be less than this.
  • In the eXceed5 windows group, start up 'Xsession' - the icon with the multiple green Xs.
  • In the lower 'Session' box, ensure that the checkbox 'Run X Server' check box is checked (has an 'x') in it.
  • Click on Options just below the above box.
  • Set window mode to 'Single'
  • Set Startup mode to 'XDMCP-query'
  • Set connect host to 'wiub' or whatever it takes to identify the host on your PC setup
  • The 'Prompt for Server Restart' box should be unchecked (ie white - no x).
  • Click on OK
  • Optionally, save the configuration (it will save it as a .ses file).
  • Click on Run from the menu bar at the top of the X Session Start window.
  • It will take a minute or so, but it should display the hummingbird, clear the screen and display the SOLARIS X login window in the middle.
  • Optionally click on options, then session, then select CDE - the pretty picture should change to CDE.
  • Log in and away you go.

  • Once you get back to the SOLARIS X login window, halt eXceed to terminate (The big red circle in the floating eXceed tool menu).

Visual Incompatibilities encountered by eXceed

This fearsome title refers to problems which arise when a clever new PC
screen with 24-plane TrueColor offers itself as an X server to a normal
8-plane PseudoColor UNIX host. For example, the FileManager on IRIX
cannot display on such a screen, and gives errors about No Matching Visual
To make this work, you need to make the PC pretend to be what the UNIX
host wants:
in Vista eXceed, choose Xconfig/Video/ServerVisual and
    select PseudoColor
reduce the  number of colours on the PC display using
This can oviously be put back after the eXceed session has finished.

Accessing UNIX files from a PC

Samba can be used to access files in your own home directory, and any areas linked to this by symbolic links.

The Samba server on site should be visible in Network Neighbourhood on a Windows 95 or NT host, and clicking on this should allow you to log in using your UNIX password.

The UNIX files are then accessible for copying to the PC and vice versa.

Keyboard settings

Under certain circumstances the keyboard settings need to be changed, as for example in this plea from a user:

' At present the keys " and @ are reversed, and there is no hash, which we need for ARC/INFO dummy arguments, etc.'

  • For most modern keyboards the uk102 keyboard is appropriate. This can be selected as follows:
  • Select Xconfig
  • Double-click on the keyboard icon
  • The top section of the resulting window will allow you to select a keyboard file
  • To make this effective the server has to be restarted.
  • This has no effect on anything outside Vista eXceed. It will persist through reboots once set.

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    This page last updated August 19th 1998 by