A common shell script on boxen with X servers that calls xinit, thus starting the X Window System. This is probably the most common way of starting an X session, the other major option being a display manager, and sometimes people (or at least I know I do sometimes) will call xinit or their X server by hand.

My script also configures xauth. But a lot of startx scripts don't. Mine didn't before I added that.

xdm/gdm/kdm-using weenies and idiots alike really love to whine that it is insecure. They are paranoid freaks and typically incapable of comprehending a "startx & logout".

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