Tuesday, November 29, 2005

X11 update: BadWindow, eh?

Since installing X Windows on my PowerBook the other day, I haven't looked back—it's been GNU Emacs on the OS X desktop like I was born doing it. (As an aside, I've been running Aquamacs, a native OS X build of GNU Emacs, for a while now. The issue that gets me excited about X11, though, is doing it all tunneled over SSH. This means that I can do all the shell-related activity I need to do anyway, and seamlessly launch into a GUI-mode editor for editing. I was previously editing in text-mode within the shell. If I had more than a barely functioning NFS setup between the PowerBook and bigbird, I could do the editing with Aquamacs, but then there would still be the disconnect between working in the shell and firing up the editor. But I digress.)

I have identified two problems with X Windows on the PowerBook:
  • When using Alt-Tab to bring the X11 application to the foreground, none of the actual X Windows windows come to the front. That is, the menu bar reads "X11" after the Alt-Tab, but the windows then need to be selected using the Windows submenu or the appropriate keyboard shortcuts. I've read in various places that this was a known bug, and that it had been fixed in some previous OS X update. Running "Software Update" gives me nothing, though. Have I "missed" this update because I only recently installed X11?
  • GNU Emacs seems to be randomly exiting with the following error message:
    X protocol error: BadWindow (invalid Window parameter)
    on protocol request 38
    That doesn't mean a lot to me, though I don't recall ever seeing Emacs quit unexpectedly like this in any other setting. I haven't been able to identify what (if anything) triggers it. Anyone?


  1. Set:

    ForwardX11Trusted yes

    in your .ssh/config file, or at least search for that for a better explanation

  2. I have the same problem. I don't think it is an ssh config issue (is it). Did you ever resolve this?