BIRCH - X terminal emulation

An X-terminal is a computer that can display windows from a remote Unix server onto the local desktop. Th idea is that when programs with a graphic interface run on a Unix server, the commands necessary to draw the windows are sent to the terminal, and the terminal does the work of drawing the windows.

Many people have made large recent investments in PC hardware. As well, most departments are full of older PCs that can no longer run the latest software (eg. P400s  that can't run Windows XP). Finally, it is usually not financially feasable to purchase a large number of NCs at one time. For all these reasons, a number of MS-Windows and/or Mac-based programs allow a PC to act as an X-terminal.

Some of the plusses of X11 emulation software include:
There are some very good reasons why X emulation software is an interim fix, rather than a permanent solution: The strategy should, therefore, be to upgrade existing PCs to X-terminals in the short term, and in the long term, buy new X-terminals, rather than new PCs.
Sources of PC X-emulation software:
Many of these vendors offer free downloads of a trial copy of the program.

Return to BIRCH home page

SUGGESTIONS for topics to be added to this list are welcome! Send email to