XAUTH(1)                    General Commands Manual                   XAUTH(1)

       xauth - X authority file utility

       xauth [ -f authfile ] [ -vqibn ] [ command arg ... ]

       The  xauth program is used to edit and display the authorization infor-
       mation used in connecting to the X server.   This  program  is  usually
       used  to  extract authorization records from one machine and merge them
       in on another (as is the case when using remote logins or granting  ac-
       cess to other users).  Commands (described below) may be entered inter-
       actively, on the xauth command line, or in  scripts.   Note  that  this
       program  does not contact the X server except when the generate command
       is used.  Normally xauth is not used to create the authority file entry
       in  the first place; the program that starts the X server (often xdm or
       startx) does that.

       The following options may be used with xauth.  They may be given  indi-
       vidually (e.g., -q -i) or may combined (e.g., -qi).

       -f authfile
               This  option  specifies  the name of the authority file to use.
               By default, xauth will use the file specified by the XAUTHORITY
               environment  variable  or .Xauthority in the user's home direc-

       -q      This option indicates that xauth should operate quietly and not
               print  unsolicited  status messages.  This is the default if an
               xauth command is given on the command line or if  the  standard
               output is not directed to a terminal.

       -v      This  option  indicates that xauth should operate verbosely and
               print status messages indicating the results of various  opera-
               tions  (e.g.,  how  many  records  have been read in or written
               out).  This is the default if xauth is  reading  commands  from
               its  standard  input  and  its standard output is directed to a

       -i      This option indicates that xauth should  ignore  any  authority
               file  locks.   Normally,  xauth will refuse to read or edit any
               authority files that have been locked by other  programs  (usu-
               ally xdm or another xauth).

       -b      This  option  indicates  that xauth should attempt to break any
               authority file locks before proceeding.  Use this  option  only
               to clean up stale locks.

       -n      This  option indicates that xauth should not attempt to resolve
               any hostnames, but should simply always print the host  address
               as stored in the authority file.

       -V      This option shows the version number of the xauth executable.

       The following commands may be used to manipulate authority files:

       add displayname protocolname hexkey
               An  authorization  entry  for  the  indicated display using the
               given protocol and key data is added to the authorization file.
               The data is specified as an even-lengthed string of hexadecimal
               digits, each pair representing one octet.  The first  digit  of
               each  pair  gives the most significant 4 bits of the octet, and
               the second digit of the pair  gives  the  least  significant  4
               bits.   For  example,  a  32 character hexkey would represent a
               128-bit value.  A protocol name consisting of just a single pe-
               riod is treated as an abbreviation for MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1.

       generate displayname protocolname [trusted|untrusted]
               [timeout seconds] [group group-id] [data hexdata]

               This  command  is  similar to add.  The main difference is that
               instead of requiring the user to supply the key data,  it  con-
               nects to the server specified in displayname and uses the SECU-
               RITY extension in order to get the key data to store in the au-
               thorization  file.   If the server cannot be contacted or if it
               does not support the SECURITY  extension,  the  command  fails.
               Otherwise, an authorization entry for the indicated display us-
               ing the given protocol is added to the authorization  file.   A
               protocol  name consisting of just a single period is treated as
               an abbreviation for MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1.

               If the trusted option is used, clients that connect using  this
               authorization  will have full run of the display, as usual.  If
               untrusted is used, clients that connect using  this  authoriza-
               tion  will  be considered untrusted and prevented from stealing
               or tampering with data belonging to trusted clients.   See  the
               SECURITY  extension  specification  for full details on the re-
               strictions imposed on untrusted clients.  The  default  is  un-

               The  timeout  option  specifies how long in seconds this autho-
               rization will be valid.  If the  authorization  remains  unused
               (no  clients  are  connected with it) for longer than this time
               period, the server purges the  authorization,  and  future  at-
               tempts  to  connect  using it will fail.  Note that the purging
               done by the server does not delete the authorization entry from
               the authorization file.  The default timeout is 60 seconds.

               The  group  option specifies the application group that clients
               connecting with this authorization should belong to.   See  the
               application  group  extension  specification  for more details.
               The default is to not belong to an application group.

               The data option specifies data that the server  should  use  to
               generate  the  authorization.   Note  that this is not the same
               data that gets written to the authorization file.   The  inter-
               pretation  of  this data depends on the authorization protocol.
               The hexdata is in the same format as the  hexkey  described  in
               the add command.  The default is to send no data.

       [n]extract filename displayname...
               Authorization  entries  for  each of the specified displays are
               written to the indicated file.   If  the  nextract  command  is
               used,  the entries are written in a numeric format suitable for
               non-binary transmission (such as secure electronic mail).   The
               extracted  entries  can  be  read  back  in using the merge and
               nmerge commands.  If the filename consists  of  just  a  single
               dash, the entries will be written to the standard output.

       [n]list [displayname...]
               Authorization  entries  for  each of the specified displays (or
               all if no displays are named) are printed on the standard  out-
               put.   If  the  nlist command is used, entries will be shown in
               the numeric format used by  the  nextract  command;  otherwise,
               they  are  shown  in a textual format.  Key data is always dis-
               played in the hexadecimal format given in  the  description  of
               the add command.

       [n]merge [filename...]
               Authorization entries are read from the specified files and are
               merged into the authorization database, superseding any  match-
               ing  existing  entries.  If the nmerge command is used, the nu-
               meric format given in the description of the extract command is
               used.   If a filename consists of just a single dash, the stan-
               dard input will be read if it hasn't been read before.

       remove displayname...
               Authorization entries matching the specified displays  are  re-
               moved from the authority file.

       source filename
               The specified file is treated as a script containing xauth com-
               mands to execute.  Blank lines and lines beginning with a sharp
               sign  (#)  are  ignored.  A single dash may be used to indicate
               the standard input, if it hasn't already been read.

       info    Information describing the authorization file, whether  or  not
               any  changes  have been made, and from where xauth commands are
               being read is printed on the standard output.

       exit    If any modifications have been  made,  the  authority  file  is
               written  out  (if  allowed),  and the program exits.  An end of
               file is treated as an implicit exit command.

       quit    The program exits, ignoring any modifications.  This  may  also
               be accomplished by pressing the interrupt character.

       version This command shows the version number of the xauth executable.

       help [string]
               A  description of all commands that begin with the given string
               (or all commands if no string is given) is printed on the stan-
               dard output.

       ?       A  short  list of the valid commands is printed on the standard

       Display names for the add, [n]extract, [n]list,  [n]merge,  and  remove
       commands  use  the  same format as the DISPLAY environment variable and
       the common -display command line argument.   Display-specific  informa-
       tion  (such  as  the screen number) is unnecessary and will be ignored.
       Same-machine connections (such as local-host  sockets,  shared  memory,
       and  the Internet Protocol hostname localhost) are referred to as host-
       name/unix:displaynumber so that local entries  for  different  machines
       may be stored in one authority file.

       The  most  common use for xauth is to extract the entry for the current
       display, copy it to another machine, and merge it into the  user's  au-
       thority file on the remote machine:

               %  xauth extract - $DISPLAY | ssh otherhost xauth merge -

       The following command contacts the server :0 to create an authorization
       using the MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1 protocol.  Clients that connect with  this
       authorization will be untrusted.
            %  xauth generate :0 .

       This xauth program uses the following environment variables:

               to  get  the name of the authority file to use if the -f option
               isn't used.

       HOME    to get the user's home directory if XAUTHORITY isn't defined.

               default authority file if XAUTHORITY isn't defined.

       X(7), Xsecurity(7), xhost(1), Xserver(1), xdm(1), startx(1), Xau(3).

       Users that have unsecure networks should take  care  to  use  encrypted
       file  transfer  mechanisms  to  copy  authorization entries between ma-
       chines.  Similarly, the MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1 protocol is not very  useful
       in  unsecure environments.  Sites that are interested in additional se-
       curity may need to use encrypted authorization mechanisms such as  Ker-

       Spaces  are  currently not allowed in the protocol name.  Quoting could
       be added for the truly perverse.

       Jim Fulton, MIT X Consortium

X Version 11                       xauth 1.1                          XAUTH(1)
Man Pages Copyright Respective Owners. Site Copyright (C) 1994 - 2024 Hurricane Electric. All Rights Reserved.