X410 now consumes less memory and CPU cycles while still boosting its performance

The new version 2.0 has been submitted to Microsoft Store and should be available soon. The following summarizes the new features and improvements added in 2.0.

▬  Consumes less memory

When X410 is launched in 'Windowed Apps' mode it now only consumes less than 10MB. More memory will be used as you open more new X-Window GUI apps but the memory is returned when you close the apps.

This new memory management scheme and usage in X410 should provide more flexibility in seamlessly integrating Linux GUI apps with Windows native apps as the overhead for always running X410 is becoming negligible; it certainly now consumes less memory than your Web browser!

▬  Runs faster

We have improved and optimized how X410 renders graphic output from X-Window GUI apps. X-Window GUI apps should now be more responsive while using less CPU cycles. Just open Windows Task Manager and check how much CPU cycles an X-Window app uses in X410! Please note that the CPU cycles shown in Task Manager is for rendering the graphic output from the app; it's not showing the CPU cycles used by the app for its own computations and management.

▬  Direct3D is now used for Desktop mode

Desktop mode in X410 now uses Direct3D. DirectDraw 4 was used in the previous versions of X410. Although DirectDraw is still supported in Windows 10, it seemed good time to upgrade the engine. The new Direct3D based rendering engine doesn't give you significantly improved performance but it opens new possibilities for future versions of X410.

The lowest version of Direct3D that X410 uses is 11. If X410 cannot find any compatible video hardware, it automatically falls back to the Windows GDI.

In case you're curious about the version of DirectX that your X-Window server uses, try using "ListDLLs" from Microsoft. After launching your X-Window server in its desktop mode, run the ListDLLs program. If you find "ddraw.dll", it's based on DircetDraw. For Direct3D 11 or 12, you should be able to find "d3d11.dll" or "d3d12.dll" respectively.

▬  Acrylic is the new black

When you launch X410 in Desktop mode, it now shows a semi-transparent acrylic background. It has no functional purpose and it'll be removed as soon as you launch your GUI desktop environment. The new acrylic background just looked better!? 🙂

▬  Improved HiDPI support

X410 now accesses raw pixels for all connected monitors. It now also has built-in DPI scaling mode. If you're using a HiDPI monitor, we recommend scaling the output from the app itself as outlined in the following post:

However, if your X-Window app doesn't have a scaling option, the newly added "DPI Scaling" setting should be handy. X410 has two options for DPI scaling: 'Default' and 'High Quality'. The 'Default' option uses a linear image scaling algorithm that's fast but the output is blurry. The 'High Quality' option uses a cubic algorithm and generates less blurry output but requires more CPU cycles.

In Desktop mode, Direct3D handles the DPI scaling and you cannot change the scaling algorithm it uses.

  • DPI Scaling Mode: None (Recommended)
    The following sample screenshot is captured when the scaling is done from an actual app by setting the 'GDK_SCALE' environmental variable to 2 (200% Scaling); "export GDK_SCALE=2"
  • DPI Scaling Mode: Default
    X410 scales the output according to the Windows » Settings » Display » "Scale and layout" options. Please note that its blurriness cannot be completely avoided as the original output is in low resolution.
  • DPI Scaling Mode: High Quality
    Same as the "Default" scaling mode but uses a cubic scaling algorithm that produces less blurry output.

▬  Improved clipboard support

X410 currently only supports copying and pasting plain text. If you have a data format that you want to share via the clipboard among Windows and X-Window apps, please let us know. We'll be more than happy to look into it for possible inclusion in the future version.

▬  Improved window management

In Windowed Apps mode, X410 now properly recognizes full screen mode (F11), minimize and maximize button events. Other enhancements and fixes have been added to make X-Window apps run more seamlessly in Windows 10.

Using YubiKey for SSH public key authentication becomes easier

Login Agent now supports manually pre-loading the public keys on PIV smart cards (ex. YubiKey 4/Neo). This can be handy when you want to test your PIV smart card without creating an Address Book entry. It can also be used to cache the PIN for your PIV smart card even when you disabled the "Cache SSH login data" option in Login Agent.

Do you want to add your YubiKey to your SSH server account? No problem! Just plug in your YubiKey and get its public key in OpenSSH format by using the "Copy Public Key to Clipboard" menu in Private Keys panel. You can then paste the public key to your server settings just like any other key, no muss, no fuss.

Got a YubiKey? Now you can seamlessly use it with Token2Shell for SSH public key authentication

  • PIV smart cards (ex. YubiKey 4/Neo) are now natively supported for the SSH public key user authentication. When you want to use a PIV smart card for SSH, simply select one of the virtual "<piv-card>" private key files. You can also copy OpenSSH public keys directly off a PIV smart card and conveniently set up your SSH.

    Using PIV Smart Cards for SSH Public Key Authentication
    http://token2shell.com/howto/piv-smart-card

  • A PIV smart card is now automatically included in SSH agent forwarding even when the [ Login Agent ] » "Cache SSH login data" option is turned off. So when you want to use your PIV smart card with SSH agent forwarding, just plug it in and you're ready!
  • You can now explicitly specify a command to run for SSH connections. This can be handy when you want to directly execute programs on your server without using any script. If you're using WSL, you can also use this feature to setup an "Open Token2Shell here" shortcut in File Explorer.

    Adding "Open Token2Shell here" to File Explorer for WSL (Address Book)
    http://token2shell.com/howto/wsl-open-token2shell-here

  • Address Book entry settings for SSH and Docker connections can now be overridden via URI query arguments. This should be useful in batch files that launch Token2Shell with different remote commands while using the same Address Book entry for Auto Login and other settings.

X410, your ultimate hassle free X server for Windows 10!

Want to run Linux GUI apps from Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)?

Try X410, our brand new X server for Windows 10!

X410 is hassle free. You can install X410 directly from Microsoft Store and get it swiftly ready for your X server needs. In X410, you don't have to deal with mysterious command-line options; X410 automatically configures itself and ready for you right out of the box!

X410 is secure. X410 is a Microsoft Store app; it's digitally signed and certified by Microsoft when it's delivered to your Windows 10. Thus you have fewer things to worry about X410 when it comes to malicious codes and viruses.

X410 is versatile. X410 has two seamless integration modes; Windowed Apps and Desktop. If you want to use your Linux GUI apps individually side by side with normal Windows apps, choose the Windowed Apps mode. If you want to experience more immersive and comprehensive Linux GUI desktop environment such as Xfce4, choose the Desktop mode.

You can now drag-and-drop private keys for adding SSH address book entries in Token2Shell

  • Address Book now has a 'Private Key Wizard' for easily adding an SSH session file with the public-key user authentication. You just need to enter your server address and drag-and-drop a private key!
  • When Token2Shell detects a change in the host key for the connecting server, it now provides an option for directly updating the known host list.
  • 'Quick Connect' popup window for SSH connections now has an option for enabling the X11 forwarding.
  • You can now adjust the terminal screen display margin.
  • 'CTRL+SHIFT+A' keyboard shortcut is added for selecting all buffered terminal lines; Token2Shell first enables its 'Find' text mode and then selects all text.

Setup Token2Shell with your favorite colors; you can now import color schemes from iTerm2 and MacOS Terminal

  • Color schemes can now be imported from iTerm2 (*.itermcolors) and MacOS Terminal (*.terminal)

    Looking for cool color schemes? Check out this GitHub repository:
    https://github.com/mbadolato/iTerm2-Color-Schemes

  • Keyboard mapping files are updated. The new files will be copied when you freshly install Token2Shell. However, if you already installed Token2Shell and having problems using function keys or other special keys (ex. Home/End/Delete), try setting the keyboard mapping and terminal answerback to "xterm" after loading the new files via the "Restore" menu.
  • "Clear Scrollback" is added under the "Terminal" menu. If you want to save some previous lines, you can scroll back (SHIFT+UP) first and then select the menu; the text line buffer is cleared up to the currently visible top line.

Token2Shell can now search subfolders for its background image

  • When you have organized your background images in subfolders and want Token2Shell to randomly select an image from those subfolders, you can now enable the "Search subfolders" option.
  • Italic and strikethrough text styles are now supported. The new styles can improve your productivity while using server programs such as Vim. For example, while editing codes in Vim, you can set comment blocks in italic to improve readability.

Token2Shell/MD version 12.3.0 is now available for download

  • "3des-cbc" cipher is added for connecting to legacy devices. Please note that 3des-cbc is considered a weak cipher and shouldn't be used unless it's the only option.
  • Token2Shell/MD can now properly handle serial devices without a COM port name; you can directly use its full device ID (ex. USB\VID_####&PID_####\...).

Token2Shell can now do Docker!

  • Docker containers can now be created and managed from Token2Shell via newly added 'Docker Console'
  • Docker containers can now be directly connected from Token2Shell without installing any additional program (ex. OpenSSH server)
  • Sessions can now be kept alive by automatically sending a special SSH message or a string of characters (Idle Monitor)
  • Line Sender can now be set up per terminal
  • ALT+SHIFT+P now takes a snapshot of a terminal window with its title bar and frame border. If you just want the content area, press ALT+P.
  • When you minimize Token2Shell to Windows taskbar, Token2Shell now tries to postpone app suspension if you have any connected session. However, such postpone request can be denied or revoked when Windows detects low power.
  • Token2Shell version 14+ requires Fall Creator Update