xhost - server access control program for X
program is used to add and delete host names or user names to
the list allowed to make connections to the X server. In the case of hosts,
this provides a rudimentary form of privacy control and security. It is only
sufficient for a workstation (single user) environment, although it does limit
the worst abuses. Environments which require more sophisticated measures
should implement the user-based mechanism or use the hooks in the protocol for
passing other authentication data to the server.
accepts the following command line options described below. For
security, the options that affect access control may only be run from the
"controlling host". For workstations, this is the same machine as
the server. For X terminals, it is the login host.
- Prints a usage message.
- The given name (the plus sign is optional) is added to the list
allowed to connect to the X server. The name can be a host name or a
complete name (See NAMES for more details).
- The given name is removed from the list of allowed to connect to
the server. The name can be a host name or a complete name (See
NAMES for more details). Existing connections are not broken, but
new connection attempts will be denied. Note that the current machine is
allowed to be removed; however, further connections (including attempts to
add it back) will not be permitted. Resetting the server (thereby breaking
all connections) is the only way to allow local connections again.
- Access is granted to everyone, even if they aren't on the list (i.e.,
access control is turned off).
- Access is restricted to only those on the list (i.e., access control is
- If no command line arguments are given, a message indicating whether or
not access control is currently enabled is printed, followed by the list
of those allowed to connect. This is the only option that may be used from
machines other than the controlling host.
A complete name has the syntax ``family:name'' where the families are as
inet Internet host (IPv4)
inet6 Internet host (IPv6)
dnet DECnet host
nis Secure RPC network name
krb Kerberos V5 principal
local contains only one name, the empty string
si Server Interpreted
The family is case insensitive. The format of the name varies with the family.
When Secure RPC is being used, the network independent netname (e.g.,
") can be specified, or a
local user can be specified with just the username and a trailing at-sign
For backward compatibility with pre-R6 xhost
, names that contain an
at-sign (@) are assumed to be in the nis family. Otherwise they are assumed to
be Internet addresses. If compiled to support IPv6, then all IPv4 and IPv6
addresses returned by getaddrinfo(3) are added to the access list in the
appropriate inet or inet6 family.
The local family specifies all the local connections at once. However, the
server interpreted address "si:localuser: username
" can be
used to specify a single local user. (See the Xsecurity(7)
for more details.)
Server interpreted addresses consist of a case-sensitive type tag and a string
representing a given value, separated by a colon. For example,
"si:hostname:almas" is a server interpreted address of type
, with a value of almas
. For more information on the
available forms of server interpreted addresses, see the Xsecurity(7)
The initial access control list for display number n
may be set by the
, where n
is the display number
of the server. See Xserver(1)
For each name added to the access control list, a line of the form "
being added to access control list" is printed. For each name
removed from the access control list, a line of the form " name
being removed from access control list" is printed.
X(7), Xsecurity(7), Xserver(1), xdm(1), xauth(1), getaddrinfo(3)
- to get the default host and display to use.
You can't specify a display on the command line because -display
valid command line argument (indicating that you want to remove the machine
from the access list).
The X server stores network addresses, not host names, unless you use the
server-interpreted hostname type address. If somehow you change a host's
network address while the server is still running, and you are using a
network-address based form of authentication, xhost
must be used to add
the new address and/or remove the old address.
Bob Scheifler, MIT Laboratory for Computer Science,
Jim Gettys, MIT Project Athena (DEC).