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  1. #1

    Question Error: Unable to initialize gtk, is DISPLAY set properly?

    Hey Gurus,

    I am using Putty on a windows 7 machine trying to access my server, that part works fine. As soon as I try to access a program installed that has a GUI I receive the above error (Error: Unable to initialize gtk, is DISPLAY set properly?).

    After lots of google power I learned that the DISPLAY variable needs to be set to my windows machine (I believe, so my IP?), if I print display:
    echo $DISPLAY
    It returns an empty line, so blank.

    I learned from this forum when using Putty you need to check of the X11 security enabled, which I have. Even with that checked if I go to the server and echo out DISPLAY it is still blank.

    Any advice on how to possibly debug this more?

  2. #2
    You have not done two things:

    1) Enable X11 forwarding (setting in Putty)
    2) Run a local X server on your Windows 7 system (in order to "display" the X11 data that will be sent from the Linux system)

    Xming is one example of a Windows X server application.

    * FYI, almost anything that needs to be done can be done via the command line. "Exporting" the GUI is only needed for GUI applications.

  3. #3
    Hi HROAdmin26,

    Thank you very much for the reply and information!

    1) I enabled X11 forwarding in the Putty Settings
    2) I installed Xming and started the application, It says its running Server:0.0

    I then logged into the server and echoed out DISPLAY, still bank. I then tried these options:
    This still gave me the DISPLAY error.

    Localhost ip which I found in the log file presented by Xming. Figured I would just try it haha (noob mistake I'm sure).

    Gave me the display error again.

    Sadly, the program I'm trying to access only works within the GUI, its command line does not function to the fullest.

    Thank you again for the advice and direction - am I possibly missing something? Maybe I can send a debug that might give a clue?

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    If you have X11 forwarding enabled, then when you login via SSH, you'll see that DISPLAY has been set to some local port:

    echo $DISPLAY
    And when you set up Xming to run, you need to add the IP of the Linux system as "allowed" or else select "No Access Control." The Xming documentation has more info. Are you sure X is installed on the Linux system?

    Sorry, that's about all the setup/config there is to it.

  6. #5
    Hello once again,

    First, thank you again for the information!

    Okay, after a lot of trial and error and more research I'm getting to a point were I might have to call in a pro lol.

    If you don't mind, please review my steps / settings one more time:

    1. I checked sshd_config file and made sure X11Forwarding was turned to "yes", which it was.

    2. In PuTTY I checked the box for X11Forwarding and set the path to Server:10.0

    3. I started the putty connection and logged in, echoed out DISPLAY and it was blank.

    4. Started Xming which was running on Server:10.0 (The reason I used this was just what Xming setup, I did not do that myself)

    5. Still nothing, so then I tried to set DISPLAY=Server:10.0, then tried again and still nothing.

    Seeing any issues with my process? Thank you again for the assistance!

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