Problem with $DISPLAY

Brandon Allbery allbery.b at
Mon Oct 13 06:42:41 PDT 2014

On Mon, Oct 13, 2014 at 9:34 AM, Chris Jones <jonesc at>

> My argument is not based on what some standard says about what DISPLAY
> should or should look like, but the basic premise that extracting
> information from $DISPLAY is just a bad idea and should be avoided.

Note that p5-x11-protocol has legitimate reason to do so: it is not a
binding to a C library, but a native "XPB" (compare XCB, XHB among others)
so must indeed determine transport information from $DISPLAY itself.

That said, I will note that the X11 handbook is completely ignoring things
like unix/hostname:dispno (i.e. the original AF_UNIX transport description,
plus an indication of *how you explicitly identify a transport mechanism*),
does not mention legacy transports like DECnet, etc. It is not
comprehensive, it implies that historical usages were never valid, etc. Do
not read too much into it, most certainly do not treat it as a standards

brandon s allbery kf8nh                               sine nomine associates
allbery.b at                                  ballbery at
unix, openafs, kerberos, infrastructure, xmonad
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