Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I compiled my own X11 Server for Mac OS X and want it to replace the original outdated supplied by Lion. How do I do that?

share|improve this question
How did you compile the server - ie where is its documentation? – Mark Nov 8 '11 at 9:48
Actually I installed the MacPorts xorg-server-devel package. – Max Ried Nov 8 '11 at 17:05
  1. cd to /usr/X11/bin
  2. rename the existing X symlink to Xquartz (to X_orig for example) in case you need to revert in the future to the "vanilla" config
  3. symlink X to your compiled binary.
share|improve this answer
I'd like to replace the original with my own build. – Max Ried Nov 27 '11 at 11:35
By symlinking X from /usr/X11/bin/X to your compiled binary, you're already using your compiled binary. Not sure if I'd recommend rm instead of mv the original X. – Global nomad Nov 27 '11 at 11:52

The XQuartz install docs have an alternate approach for installing their X11 binary. They use launchctl and set the DISPLAY to point to the socket for their server. I believe the program it runs (launchd_startx) listens on the socket and starts the X server when a connection is made. The nice thing about this approach is it leaves the original unmodified.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.