Xephyr is display server software implementing the X11 display server protocol based on KDrive which targets a window on a host X Server as its framebuffer. It is written by Matthew Allum. Xephyr is an X-on-X implementation and runs on X.Org Server and can work with Glamor.[2] Future versions could make use of libinput. Replacing Xephyr with the xf86-video-dummy and xf86-video-nested drivers in the normal X.Org server is being considered as part of X11R7.8.[3]

Three recursive levels of nested Xephyr sessions, running on Linux Mint
Original author(s)Matthew Allum
Initial releaseJanuary 1, 2007 (2007-01-01)
Stable release1.19.1 (January 11, 2017 (2017-01-11)[1]) [±]
Written inC
TypeDisplay server
LicenseMIT License


Unlike the similar Xnest, Xephyr supports modern X extensions (even if host server doesn't) such as composite, damage, randr, etc. It uses SHM images and shadow framebuffer updates to provide good performance. It also has a visual debugging mode for observing screen updates.


Xorg's version of Xephyr uses only software rendering for OpenGL, but Feng Haitao has developed a forked version of Xephyr which can do hardware-accelerated rendering if the underlying X server has the capability.

See also


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