I'm wondering if that is possible, so that I can use some X11 window manager for everything.

  • 1
    Why don't you want to run XQuartz rootless? You can have X11 Windows next to OSX windows that way. Apr 1, 2016 at 21:59
  • 1
    A couple of nice things would be to have focus follow the mouse, unified window treatment, extensibility and skinning the UI elements, keyboard navigation. There's lots to like about X11 window managers.
    – bmike
    Apr 2, 2016 at 0:46
  • @AndrewWolfe That's the way I do it, but I was curious about doing it the opposite way. :D
    – trusktr
    Apr 2, 2016 at 0:48

2 Answers 2


No. Native OS X apps don't call down to X11 protocol and no one (Apple or other) has implemented any sort of shim/translation layer/conversion tool to port over the API.

It would surely involve slowdown, reduced acceleration, possibly loss of fidelity and loss of functionality.


You could have an alternate login to X11, but use a non- Apple X11 VNC client to call Apple screen sharing.

  • Got an example of that?
    – trusktr
    Apr 2, 2016 at 21:59
  • No, sorry. I have used screen sharing from non-Apple VNC clients so that part is feasible. Apr 3, 2016 at 14:02

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