SUMMARY: Setting DISPLAY variable for MacX users

From: John D Schneider (
Date: Mon Jun 06 1994 - 20:44:23 CDT

        Thanks for the overwhelming response. You can stop whelming me now!

My original question is appended below.

Many people responded to tell me that there was a MacX feature to do what we
wanted to do. Rodney Campbell ( summed it up nicely:

> MacX has an internal variable which has the DISPLAY variable set.
> See the section "Chapter 3: Using Remote Commands - SubSection "Remote
> Command" of the MacX manual (in mine it is page 54). This section tellys
> you that you can use the macro "[RegisteredMark]display" to automatically
> set the display variable from a remote command. The [RegisteredMark] looks
> like a Capital "R" in a Circle and is generated by holding down the Option
> Key and then pressing the "r" key.
> In a Remote Comand you can use this like:
> /usr/bin/X11/xterm -display "[RegisteredMark]display"
> Rodney...

Others with the same suggestion were:

Dallas N Antley <>
wallen@cogsci.UCSD.EDU (Mark R. Wallen)
John Valdes
Christopher Davis <>
seanw@usops (Sean Ward) (Leslie_B_Dreyer Kalra) (Maria A. Barnum) (Eric William Burger)
James J Dempsey <> (Tom Leach)

Some folks sent me other suggestions and scripts, which I will try out when
I have time (probably no time real soon):

swatson@Kodak.COM (Steve Watson) (Andy Kumeda) (John Justin Hough) (Perry Hutchison)
David Lawrence Oppenheimer <davido@phoenix.Princeton.EDU>
Tim Pointing
grevemes@VTC.TACOM.Army.Mil (Steven Grevemeyer) (Ayrton Sargusingh)
Dan Stromberg - OAC-DCS <>

Thanks for all the contributions. My mailtool runneth over!


* John D. Schneider Internet: *
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Original question:

> Sun-Managers,
> I asked this question a while back, but from the responses I got I
> apparently didn't explain my problem thoroughly.
> We have MacX users that access Xwindows apps running on our Sparcs
> (running SunOS 4.1.3 now, but Solaris in the near future). In order for them
> to launch the Xwindow apps, they need to have the DISPLAY environmental
> variable set to the Mac they are connecting as. The way we do it today, the
> users have to code the command:
> setenv DISPLAY mymac:0.0; xapp_name_here
> into their MacX configuration file, so the variable is set properly when the
> user's Mac connects to the Sparc, before the X app is launched. The problem
> with this approach is that user's Mac addresses change frequently when they
> go from group to group. Another problem is that some of our Mac users connect
> to our system via MacPPP through a Centrum server that assigns a different
> TCP/IP address based on what port the user happens to get. This makes them
> have to change their MacX configuration each time they connect.
> We would like to have a program that could be called from the .cshrc
> that would correctly return the TCP/IP address initiating the connection.
> The last time I asked this question, several people responded and said to just
> issue 'who am i' and parse the result. I'm sorry, folks, but that doesn't
> work. The response from 'who am i' does not contain the node or address field
> when you connect via MacPPP. At least it doesn't on our systems. If this
> is something we have configured wrong on our Sparcs please let me know.
> Otherwise, does anyone have a program that will issue a system call to
> find out where the connection is coming from? Surely I am not the first
> person to want to do this. Where do I go looking?
> John

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