In a Plan 9 network, there are cpu servers (which provide necessary services like network booting and allow remote execution of programs) and terminals, which take advantage of these services.

Drawterm is a UNIX/X or Windows program which acts as a Plan 9 terminal. This is similar to allowing exported display under the X Window system.

Combined with other UNIX/Plan 9 interoperability tools (like exporting the Plan 9 filesystem using NFS or exporting the UNIX filesystem using u9fs), this makes for a near-seamless integration of Plan 9 tools (like acme and sam) into one's development toolbox; the only necessary hardware is a single PC (to serve as the CPU server)--it doesn't even require a dedicated display.

I can personally vouch for the usability of this toolset--I open a drawterm to my cpu server to browse my POP3 e-mail, edit my linux box's documents and source code, and do my mandatory Usenet browsing in Plan 9's convenient acme interface, while still having the requisite X Window tools (like a web browser and ICQ client).

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