xterm on a PC

Each X application makes a separate network connection to the X display on the user's desktop. The application generally gets the information about the display from the DISPLAY environment variable.

X-based systems such as eXceed start applications by making a remote shell connection to the UNIX server, setting the DISPLAY environment variable, and then invoking the X application. Once the application starts, it makes its own connection to the display and the initial remote shell is no longer needed.

This approach can be extended to allow load sharing of remote applications. The client software running on the X display host makes a remote shell connection to any server host in the LSF cluster. Instead of running the X application directly, the client invokes a script that uses LSF to select the best available host and starts the application on that host. Because the application then makes a direct connection to the display, all of the intermediate connections can be closed. The client software on the display host must select a host in the cluster to start the connection. You can choose an arbitrary host for this; once LSF selects the best host and starts the X application there, the initial host is no longer involved. There is no ongoing load on the initial host.