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XAUTH(1)                                                              XAUTH(1)



NAME
       xauth - X authority file utility

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

DESCRIPTION
       The xauth program is used to edit and display the authorization information 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 access to other users).  Commands (described below) may be
       entered interactively, 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.

OPTIONS
       The following options may be used with xauth.  They may be given individually (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 spec-
               ified by the XAUTHORITY environment variable or .Xauthority in the user's home directory.

       -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 operations (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
               terminal.

       -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  (usually  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.

COMMANDS
       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 period 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  connects to the server specified in displayname and uses the SECURITY extension in
               order to get the key data to store in the authorization 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 using 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 authorization will be consid-
               ered  untrusted  and  prevented from stealing or tampering with data belonging to trusted clients.  See
               the SECURITY extension specification for full details on the restrictions imposed on untrusted clients.
               The default is untrusted.

               The  timeout  option specifies how long in seconds this authorization will be valid.  If the authoriza-
               tion remains unused (no clients are connected with it) for longer than this  time  period,  the  server
               purges  the  authorization,  and  future attempts 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 interpretation 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 transmis-
               sion (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 output.  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  displayed
               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 matching existing entries. If the nmerge command is used, the numeric format  given  in
               the  description  of  the  extract  command is used.  If a filename consists of just a single dash, the
               standard input will be read if it hasn't been read before.

       remove displayname...
               Authorization entries matching the specified displays are removed from the authority file.

       source filename
               The specified file is treated as a script containing xauth commands 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 standard output.

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

DISPLAY NAMES
       Display names for the add, [n]extract, [n]list, [n]merge, and remove commands use the same format as  the  DIS-
       PLAY environment variable and the common -display command line argument.  Display-specific information (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 hostname/unix:displaynumber so
       that local entries for different machines may be stored in one authority file.

EXAMPLE
       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 authority 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 .

ENVIRONMENT
       This xauth program uses the following environment variables:

       XAUTHORITY
               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.

FILES
       $HOME/.Xauthority
               default authority file if XAUTHORITY isn't defined.

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

BUGS
       Users that have unsecure networks should take care to use encrypted file transfer mechanisms to copy authoriza-
       tion entries between machines.  Similarly, the MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1 protocol is not very useful in unsecure envi-
       ronments.  Sites that are interested in additional security may need to use encrypted authorization  mechanisms
       such as Kerberos.

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

AUTHOR
       Jim Fulton, MIT X Consortium



X Version 11                      xauth 1.0.9                         XAUTH(1)