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Old 01-02-2009, 02:31 PM   #1
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Registered: Jan 2009
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"Cannot open display" error when trying to start X Server Applications


I'm using slackware (12.2). I've been using linux before but only with a graphical interface, and I now want to "switch" to using only the terminal. I have a graphical interface installed (KDE) but I don't want to use it more than necessary (just now when I'm learning to use the terminal).

The problem is that I can't start graphical applications from the shell. When I for example tries to start firefox or XTerm I get the error "cannot open display :0".

First I got the message "no display specified" but after reading the man-pages I set DISPLAY to ":0". I've also tried setting it to ":0.0", "localhost:0" and "localhost:0.0" but nothing works.

Any ideas?

Thanks // Endoro

edit: sorry for the title... I mean X Window System ofcourse. I dunno where I got "server" from

Last edited by Endoro; 01-02-2009 at 03:01 PM.
Old 01-02-2009, 03:20 PM   #2
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I solved it by running xinit first... Is that the "right" way to do?
Old 01-02-2009, 03:24 PM   #3
Didier Spaier
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The problem is, Firefox as well as Xterm need an X server to work.

But when you are at runlevel 3 you don't use an X server.

So yo will have to start X before you launch one of theses apps. There are at least two ways to do that, second one being easier:
1) as root type:
telinit 4
You'll go to runlevel 4 (graphical mode).
When you are finished you could issue (still as root):
telinit 3
to go back to runlevel 3 (text mode).

2) as a regular user type:
That will launch the windows manager or desktop that user did choose with xwmconfig.
To go back to runlevel 3 (text mode) use the shortcut: Ctrl+Alt+Backspace

Last edited by Didier Spaier; 01-02-2009 at 03:25 PM. Reason: Grammar


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