What is the X Server equivalent on OSX? I am not looking for XQuartz. What component of the OSX is responsible for rendering graphics? Just as X11 does for *nix.

  • Do you want to know how windows and graphics in general are rendered in OSX or do you want to know how to access a Mac remotely? These are two different things, please edit your question to focus on one. You can always ask the other part in a separate question.
    – nohillside
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 19:42
  • @patrix Okay. I removed the part asking about the X11 forwarding. I want to know how graphics are handled on the OSX. In any case I thought that the answer to the "Is there a way to natively forward GUI elements" would be a "yes, <software name>" or "No." :-)
    – Lord Loh.
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 19:45

2 Answers 2


What I was looking for turns out to be the display server called The Quartz Compositor that along with Quartz 2D forms the Core Graphics framework of the OSX.

X Quartz seems to be the interface that routes requests from applications that use the X11 framework to the Quartz Compositor.


Quartz Compositor is the display server and compositing window manager. Along with Quartz 2D, it forms part of the macOS Core Graphics framework.

XQuartz is an Apple supported, aftermarket, open-source, Quartz-compatible implementation of the X.Org display server with support for integration with the Aqua GUI & desktop environnent.

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    What was serving by posting a repeat of the already accepted answer?
    – WGroleau
    Commented Aug 29, 2018 at 22:41
  • @WGroleau It was supposed to be an edit, so ostensibly not a repeat. Actually, it's correct. And accurate. What is served by maintaining factual accuracy & veracity of distributed information? Well, that should be obvious. I hope.
    – voices
    Commented Sep 6, 2018 at 16:51
  • Leaving the accepted answer there and posting a separate variation of it is not an edit. Nor does it change the fact that the original is still the accepted answer. If you feel an answer is incorrect, you can either click ‘edit’ and fix it, or comment on what is incorrect.
    – WGroleau
    Commented Sep 7, 2018 at 3:07

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