I seem to recall in the past needing to be root to use X. But I'm on a machine now that certainly does not, in fact, I cannot use X from root. This is a Pinebook Pro running 10.99.2. The other one, which has the opposite behaviour, is running 10.99.X (I don't know). They both have a (unique to each) custom-built kernal, but neither should have any bearing on this, I don't think.
I could use xdm; but I really don't want the extra overhead. And, I just want to be able to startx when I need it. I've been using it as root for some time, and I guess I don't need to change; but it sure would be nice to use it without being root. I'm hoping that there's a real simple answer to this, only because I never so much as ran X -configure on either of these machines (that I can recall). It was just, install NetBSD, and run startx.
I do have one other machine that X should work on; I could probably see which way that one works later. But I seem to recall that X runs without root on that one, running 9.3, I think.