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Location: GUIs > Linux / Unix > DECWindows


I was poking around on the old VAX mainframe at the office and I stumbled across its windowing system. I was a little surprised, because all I had ever seen the VAX used with was character cell dumb terminals and telnet clients. Additionally, the VAX  itself has no monitor or display connected directly to it that I know of.

DECWindows is a suite of applications including the Motif window manager, the Session Manager shell, and a number of accessories that run using the X11 protocol to talk to an X server over TCPIP or DECNet. In this case I used both an old copy of MicroImages MIXServer and Linux XFree86 to view the programs. It is possible that because of this the images might look slightly different than they would running on a genuine DEC graphical workstation. (It's kind of like looking at a web page with different browsers, or even the same browser on different computers - they are rarely pixel-for pixel identical).

(Click the above image for a larger version)
This is the logon screen that you would see when you first activate a DECWindows system. In this case it is actually a Linux computer pretending to be an x-terminal.

The Session Manager is a simple shell program. It appears as a customizable menu bar that launches a number of utilities and accessories.

When displaying on a remote X-server, normally the X-server would run its own window manager (The program that is responsible for handling borders, resizing, minimizing / maximizing, titilebars, etc) , but in this case I am allowing DECwindows to run the Motif Windows Manager remotely, so I can get the complete look and feel of the DECWindows environment.

This is the session manager's menu customization screen. You can add items from a pre-defined list, or specify the location of your own programs.