1. General
  2. Install
  3. Configuration
  4. Using MI/X
  5. Support

1.1 Q: What good is an X-server? What can I use it for?

A: Using MI/X, you can run a UNIX program remotely on the UNIX machine itself, sending the display output to MI/X on your local PC.

1.2 Q: Can I use MI/X to run programs remotely on my PC and display the output on a UNIX machine?

A: No. An X server goes the other way around.

1.3 Q: Can I run the X11R6 executables that have been ported to Windows NT?

A: Yes. Make sure that your DISPLAY environment variable points to the machine running MI/X, i.e. set DISPLAY=hostname:0.0 You can then run xclock, oclock, etc. on a PC running NT or 95 instead of using a remote UNIX host.

1.4 Q: Are there any plans to support the LBX (low band width) extension?

A: No.

1.5 Q: Is MI/X available for the Windows NT running on a DEC Alpha?

A: No.

1.6 Q: Does MI/X support openGL?

A: No.

1.7 Q: Is MI/X implementing X11R5 or X11R6?

A: The Windows version of MI/X 3.0 is X11R6.

2.1 Q: I'm having problems downloading MI/X. Can you send it to me somehow?

A: No.  We get 1000 to 2000 downloads of MI/X per week, so our server is very busy.  Please try again at a different time.

2.2 Q: How do I setup a multi-user license?

A: A multi-user license uses a server to issue licenses to remote MIX 3.0 installations.  The requirements for the license server is it needs to be installed on a Windows NT based system (either NT Workstation or Server).  Start the installation of MIX 3.0 on the server platform and select "Custom" for the type of installation.  If this selection does not appear, that means that the platform is not an Windows NT based system.  Select "Custom" for the install type and a list of components appears, select the default, which will install the license manager.  Copy the attached license.dat file from the e-mail sent by MicroImages to the installation directory.  You must edit this license.dat file with a simple text editor (notepad) to match your machine name and installation directory.  Comments in the license.dat file will explain what needs to be changed.  To start the license server open the Control Panel and open the Services applet.  Highlight the "MIX License Server" entry and press start.  If it is already running press stop and then press start.

To install clients on other platforms that access the license server, install MIX 3.0 on that platform (if Windows NT based select "Typical" as the installation type).  Run MIX 3.0 from the Start Menu and the authorization dialog comes up.  To have the client get the license from the server turn on the check box and enter the following in the text line below:

ServerName 1234 5678 9ABC DE

Where "ServerName" is the name of the server and "1234 5678 9ABC DE" is the machine ID of the server as it appears in the "order.txt" file in the installation directory.  The client will then connect to the server to obtain the license.

2.3 Q: How do I uninstall MI/X?

A: Run the uninstall program that is found through Start / Program Files / MicroImages / Uninstall MI/X.

3.1 Q: Can I use a window manager other than twm with MI/X?

A: Yes, however twm is the window manager we support. We can't tell you how to configure other window managers, or even guarantee that they'll work.  If you choose to do this, you must specify that you are using another manager than twm in the MI/X Preferences.

3.2 Q: How do I configure twm?

A: The MI/X distribution comes with a file named tntserv.twm. This is twm's configuration file. To learn the format of tntserv.twm, consult the documentation, man page, etc. for twm. If you wish to create a custom format for twm, you can make a configuration file with any name, and direct twm to use it instead of its default configurations. This is done by using the -f option, i.e. twm -f myconfigfile.twm

Note, that for reasons to complicated to explain, the twm executable that is distributed with MI/X is named mixwm.exe.

3.3 Q: Why can't I use the ALT-GR key sequences (for European characters) with MI/X?

A: MI/X doesn't support the ALT-GR key sequences. Some clients have reported success using the ALT-GR key sequences after using the xmodmap utility to remap their keyboard once the remote connection has been made. The following was submitted by a client, and was reported to work rather well.

   Activation with 'xmodmap .xmodmaprc'.

   ! Key Mapping for MicroImages X-Server (MI/X)
   ! Oliver Breuninger
   ! ob@seicom.NET
   !Jim Fulton's xev (X Event Tester) was very helpful.
   keycode 65=at     at     at     at     at     at
   keycode 92=bracketleft bracketleft bracketleft bracketleft bracketleft bracketleft
   keycode 93=backslash backslash backslash backslash backslash backslash
   keycode 94=bracketright bracketright bracketright bracketright bracketright bracketright
   keycode 124=braceleft  braceleft  braceleft  braceleft  braceleft  braceleft
   keycode 125=bar  bar  bar  bar  bar  bar  
   keycode 126=braceright  braceright  braceright  braceright  braceright  braceright
   keycode 36 = numbersign numbersign numbersign numbersign numbersign numbersign
   keycode 127=asciitilde  asciitilde  asciitilde  asciitilde  asciitilde  asciitilde  
   keycode 179=twosuperior  twosuperior  twosuperior  twosuperior  twosuperior  twosuperior
   keycode 180=threesuperior threesuperior threesuperior threesuperior threesuperior threesuperior
   keycode 182= mu  mu  mu  mu  mu  mu  

   clear mod5

   add mod5=Super_L

3.4 Q: I don't have a three-button mouse, but I need three buttons for my X clients. How do I do this?

A: Currently, if you want to have three buttons for your X clients, you need to have a three button mouse on your PC.

If you want to use the paste/insert text function in X which is by default mapped to the middle button which is unavailable on the PC, then there may be a workaround: You can use the xmodmap program to modify how the mouse events from the server (MI/X) are interpreted by the X client (i.e. xterm). For instance you can swap the middle and right mouse button with this command:

   xmodmap -display -e "pointer = 1 3 2"
That will make the right mouse button act like the "middle" button of a three-button mouse, thereby allowing selecting and copying text with the left button, and pasting/inserting with the right button. Note that on a two-button mouse you will still be missing a button (the button that was the right button, or button 3): you just switched around what button does what using the xmodmap program. So if you need true three-button functionality, the best solution is still to get a three button mouse.

If you have a three-button mouse and can't get the buttons to work properly, make sure that you have drivers properly installed and configured for the three-button mouse so that Windows can handle three buttons instead of the default two. Specifically, you will need to tell the driver that the middle button of the mouse is to be mapped to a "Middle Button" function, and not to some other nifty (and tempting) Windows shortcut. Note that if you do this, the "Middle Button" function will not used under Windows itself, but will be accessible to MI/X and clients running in it. Logitech provides three-button mice and drivers that work and have been tested with MI/X. Also, the Intellipoint mouse sold by Microsoft offers a rolling wheel that acts as a scroller controller on the mouse when turned while in Windows applications, and when clicked, it can be set to function as a "middle" mouse button which works in MI/X.

3.5 Q: Is MI/X capable of XDM queries?

A: Yes. See: XDM Settings

3.6 Q: Is it possible to run MI/X on my Windows machine to access the binaries on a Linux box using a serial (nullmodem) cable?

A: Yes, if you are using the null modem cable to establish a TCP/IP network between the machines. However it will be limited to the speed of the communications. This is really no different than using serial to talk to a modem to talk to another machine to establish TCP/IP.

3.7 Q: Is there a way for me to determine what my IP address is when I'm connecting to a UNIX machine through a modem?

A: Yes, you can specify that your local IP be displayed at the top of the MI/X windows through the MI/X Preferences.

3.8.1 Q: When I start MI/X, a warning message comes up saying I need 256 colors, what do I do?

A: If you are running your computer/monitor in a color mode with less than 256 colors, MI/X will not work. If you want to run MI/X, you will have to change the color mode to 256 or more colors.

3.8.2 Q: It seems that MI/X always takes up the full screen when it is launched. Is there a way I can set the screen size for MI/X?

A: Yes. This can be specified through the MI/X Preferences, which is found by left clicking on the MI/X icon in the upper left corner of the MI/X window or in the system tray.

3.8.3 Q: When running a graphics intensive application through MI/X, I get error messages or the graphics don't display correctly. Is there a way to correct this?

A: Try setting your local display to 256 colors (8 bit).

3.8.4 Q: Does MI/X support psuedocolor?

A: Yes, if your local display is set to 256 colors (8 bit).

3.8.5 Q: Does MI/X support DirectColor?

A: No.

3.8.6 Q: Does MI/X support True Color?

A: Yes. You can obtain this by setting your local color bit depth to 16, 24 or 32 bit. Note that MI/X will have s 32-bit visual in this case.

3.8.7 Q: Can I change the bit depth that MI/X is running at to something other than what my local machine is running?

A: No. There is a work around, if you have Microsoft's Power Toys installed. You can use quickres to set your display to one bit depth, launch MI/X, minimize MI/X and then use quickres to change the bit depth of your display to something else. This isn't something we recommend, but some users have tried it with success.

4.1 Q: How do I start the MI/X program after installing it?

A: You can start MI/X from the "Start" Menu (Start / Programs / MicroImages / MI/X ) which runs MI/X, or you can change to the directory where MI/X is located and type 'MIX'.  In some rare cases using the shortcut  to launch MI/X does not work. In those cases issue the following commands from a DOS prompt (you cd to the directory where you installed MI/X):

This will start the server and its window manager manually.

4.2 Q: I login to my remote UNIX host. Then I start MI/X and it comes up okay. Then when I try to start an X session, or send a remote X client to the machine running MI/X, MI/X quits. It does this every time. What am I doing wrong?

A: Try changing your MI/X Preferences (found by left clicking on the MI/X icon in the upper left corner) so that "Exit When All Windows Closed" is not checked.

4.3 Q: Is there a way to start my xterm with a white font color and a black background?

A: Yes. Start the xterm as follows:

   xterm -fg white -bg black

4.4 Q: Can I cut and paste with MI/X?

A: MI/X will support cut and paste of text to other X applications, but not graphics. See: Windows Clipboard Support

4.5 Q: I get a Bad Length error message when I'm trying to run a program through MI/X. What can I do to correct this?

A: This error occurs when the UNIX box that MI/X is running against attempts to pass an image that is at a greater bit depth than the display of the local machine is set to. For example, if you are running MI/X on a Windows machine set to display 256 colors (8-bit) and the program you are running tries to pass a 16 bit image, you'll get this error. To correct this, set the parameters of the program you are running to match the resolution of the local machine, or change the resolution of the local machine to match the bit depth of the images that the UNIX box is trying to pass.

4.6 Q: Does MI/X support xauth, or is there some other means of limiting what users can use it or what applications they can open?

A: It doesn't support xauth, but xhost works with MI/X 3.0.

4.7.1 Q: When I start MI/X, all I get is a big blue screen. How do I make my remote connection?

A: You have to establish your remote connection outside of MI/X. Windows comes with a telnet utility that works well for this purpose. In MI/X 3.0, you can also use XDM to login to a remote Unix machine.

4.7.2 Q: How do I use MI/X to start an X session with a remote host?

A: Start MI/X. Telnet to the remote host. Set the DISPLAY environment variable on the remote host to the machine you are running MI/X on. For example on Solaris (running csh):

   setenv DISPLAY mymachine:0.0
or failing that:
   setenv DISPLAY my.machine's.ip.number:0.0
(and if you're running BASH):
   export DISPLAY=mymachine:0.0
or failing that:
   export DISPLAY=my.machine's.ip.number:0.0
replacing "my.machines's.ip.number" with the actual IP number of the local machine running MI/X.

After this, you can launch whatever X applications you wish on your remote host and they will display on the machine running MI/X. To invoke a command shell try:

When the xterm comes up you can close the telnet session. The commands may differ on various flavors of UNIX.

4.7.3 Q: Is there a way to use MIX to do a rsh or rexec directly to the station I want to login to?

A: No. The MI/X distribution does not include an rsh or rexec client. You can obtain rsh or rexec clients from other sources.

4.7.4 Q: I've set my display correctly and I know I'm using the correct IP number because I know it or I used winipcfg.exe to find it when it is dynamically assigned, but I am still getting a "can't open display" error message. What now?

A: If you are following the procedure outlined in this FAQ and you are still getting this error, contact the sysadmin of the remote host, the sysadmin of the system you are using or tech support for your ISP and ask if the systems that you are going through allow x-traffic to pass through. Some of them don't.  You can also specify to have your local IP displayed at the top of the MI/X windows through the MI/X Preferences.

4.7.5 Q: How can I connect via a secure connection

A: You need to use SSH. There are several SSH implementations available for Windows. One such implementation is TTSSH, which is an extension to TeraTerm Pro . TeraTerm Pro is a telnet client for windows. If you install the TTSSH extension for it, you can make it transfer X traffic through the secure connection.

You will also want to tell MI/X to only listen on the address. This may not seem logical, since that would prevent any remote clients from connecting. However, SSH acts as a proxy, making it look like all the clients are local.

Tera Term Pro can be found at: and the links to TTSSH are on that page as well.

4.8.1 Q: What fonts can I use with MI/X?

A: BDF, PCF, and Speedo fonts. MI/X 3.0 will also make all the TrueType fonts in your Windows fonts directory available.

4.8.2 Q: There are a lot of fonts included in the distribution that I won't use and are taking up space on my hard drive (such as Chinese and Japanese character fonts.) Can I get rid of some of these fonts and still use MI/X?

A: Yes, you can get rid of some of the extra fonts. Of course, you will still need to keep some of them. Here are some examples of fonts to keep:

   7x13b.bdf       -misc-fixed-bold-r-normal--13-120-75-75-c-70-iso8859-1
   ascii.bdf       -mi-fixed-medium-r-normal--16-160-72-72-c-160-ascii-1
   olcursor.bdf    -sun-open look cursor-----12-120-75-75-p-160-sunolcursor-1
   olgl10.bdf      -sun-open look glyph-----10-100-75-75-p-101-sunolglyph-1
   cursor.bdf      cursor
   deccurs.bdf     decw$cursor
   decsess.bdf     decw$session
The last part of the font is the language encoding. Chances are that if it isn't "iso8859-1", then you don't need it. Exceptions are the other files above. "cursor.bdf" is especially important as it contains the cursors used by the X Windows System.

4.8.3 Q: The fonts that I need to run my program aren't included in with MI/X. Where can I get more fonts?

A: Check with your sysadmin, or take a look on the web. Here are some sites to try:

4.8.4 Q: I've got all the standard X fonts here, but in the PCF format. Are these compatible with MI/X, or do they need to be in the BDF format? And how do I tell MI/X to add them?

A: Yes, you can use the PCF format. Find the bdf/misc directory (it should be in the directory into which you install MI/X), there should be a file called "fonts.dir" which contains examples of how to add BDF and PCF fonts. The "fonts.dir" file for MI/X corresponds to the file with the same name on a UNIX X server.

4.8.5 Q: Okay, I understand that to add a font, it has to be in a *.bdf or *.pcf format and that they have to be added to the fonts.dir, but how do I do that?

A: First, open the font in a text editor. The first few lines will look like this:

   FONT -Misc-Fixed-Medium-R-Normal--10-100-75-75-C-60-ISO8859-1
   SIZE 10 75 75
Copy the line that appears after FONT. Next, open the fonts.dir file with a text editor. It will look like this:
   gb16.pcf       -cclib-fixed-medium-r-normal--16-150-78-78-c-160-gb2312.1980-0
   ascii.bdf       -mi-fixed-medium-r-normal--16-160-72-72-c-160-ascii-1
   7x13b.bdf       -misc-fixed-bold-r-normal--13-120-75-75-c-70-iso8859-1
Note that there is a number at the top of the file. This has to match the number of fonts in the file. (I've only included the first three in this example. The actual file would have 84 more entries.) Once the fonts.dir is open, go to the bottom of the file and add the name of the font you are adding and paste in the information you copied from the font. Then change the number at the top of the file to reflect the new number of fonts in the file. In my example, I would change 87 to 88.

4.8.6 Q: How can I delete fonts?

A: Follow the steps mentioned above for opening the fonts.dir file, delete the entry for the font you are deleting, change the number at the top of the fonts.dir file to reflect the correct number of fonts listed in the file. Save the fonts.dir file and delete the *.bdf or *.pcf file.

4.8.7 Q: Can I use a fontserver for MI/X?

A: No. Fonts have to copied to the machine running MI/X.

4.8.8 Q: Java programs on SGI, Sun, and DEC machines crash when trying to use MI/X as their X server. Is there a way to correct this?

A: The problem occurs because the Motif AWT libraries use the Font "plain Dialog 12 point" as a fall-back default font. Unfortunately, when using a remote X server sometimes this font isn't available.
The problem is common enough to be included in the Java Programmers's FAQ

4.2 Why do I get this when using JDK 1.1 under X Windows? A. There's a missing font on your system. Move from the "lib" subdirectory aside to Then it won't look for the font and fail to find it. Once this fix is in place, MI/X works well with Java clients running on Sun and SGI.

Note that as of version 3.0, MI/X will has a few fallbacks of its own so that it will be able to handle many problems of this type automatically. For example, if you don't have a Helvetica bdf font, it automatically substitutes the Arial TrueType font. For missing Lucida fonts, it automatically substitutes Lucida Sans Unicode if you have it. And yes, we have plans to make this user configurable.

5.1 Q: Are there any manuals or documentation available for MI/X?

A: The help is available from the MI/X icon in the system tray. It contains help for the various dialogs plus a copy of this FAQ. The current version of the FAQ can be found at

5.2 Q: Is it possible to submit reports of possible errors or ask for new features for MI/X?

A: Yes, you can do so by contacting Software Support.  If you contact us with errors, please be very specific about what you were trying to do when you experienced the problem, and what your results were.  If you send us feature requests, please keep in mind that all feature implementations are a management decision.  To report errors and to request new features, please send email to

5.3 Q: Do you make the source code for MI/X available?

A: No.

This document maintained by:
Questions to: mi

Last updated: 21-Aug-2001