Running X11 in MacOS-window-as-X11-display mode?

David Herron david at
Mon Dec 7 19:31:40 UTC 2020

I'd done some exploring of that question about a year ago.  A couple
results I came up with was a method of running an Linux X11 application
inside either Docker or Multipass/Ubuntu and display on X11 on the Mac
screen, or else in a VNC viewer.  See the links below.

The direct answer to your question is to suggest looking at XQuartz.  In
its preferences panel, on the Output pane, is a preference marked *Full
Screen Mode* that I think does what you're asking.

On Mon, Dec 7, 2020 at 10:37 AM Justin Vallon <justinvallon at>

> Does anybody have any configuration that would allow for running X11 in
> a window-as-display?  That is, a single Mac window would display an X11
> session: window manager, multiple windows, etc.
> Ie: can do windowed mode where each X-window is a Mac-window, or
> root where the entire display is owned by X11 (full screen), but cannot
> have root-in-a-window, where a single MacOS window would contain an X11
> session (window manager, windows, etc).
> Alternately, I could start a VNC server, and connect to localhost via a
> VNC client.
> I have tried:
> - does not have window-as-screen mode
> - Xnest does not appear to have a port (ie: tell to run Xnest
> and let it then run a window manager)
> - Couldn't find any Xnest-equivalent ports
> - packages category:vnc:
>    - tightvnc fails to build
>    - tigervnc is viewer only
>    - vnc fails to build
>    - cotvnc is viewer
>    - vineserver appears to be a vnc server to allow access to the Mac
> --
> -Justin
> JustinVallon at
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