Joachim von Thadden thadden at web.de
Mon Apr 18 03:02:41 CDT 2005

Am So, Apr 17, 2005 at 03:19:31 -0700 schrieb Doug Nusbaum:
> "Make sure that your X server is running" - which it probably is since I 
> am using a gui.
> and "and that $DISPLAY is set correctly"
> could someone please explain to me how is set $DISPLAY  correctly?
> and exactly what is correctly?  How do I find this out?    Where do I 
> look it up

DISPLAY is a variable that tells your system where to show the program
you are starting. As X11 is network capable on it's own, you can tell
every program where to put it's output. So if you set DISPLAY in a
terminal and start a program from there it will be displayed according
to the setting of the variable.

To show you the value use
	echo $DISPLAY
To set it use e.g.
	export DISPLAY="computer:0.0"
where "computer" should be replaced with your IP or can be omitted if
you are sitting in front of this computer. :0.0 tells it which display
to use as there can be many of them on one machine.

Because of security reasons it could be that you have to add an
	xhost +localhost
to set a program use the display.

Note that all of this should not be needed if you log into X11 and
start a console from there (like konsole with KDE) as you environment
should be set to the right DISPLAY. So if you get your error message it
is likely that you try to run a program e.g. as root while being
logged in as different user (who because of this is the owner of the

> Note to documentation people.   Telling someone to adjust their framis 
> without giving any indication of where or what their framis is is quite 
> useless to most people (excluding an exhaulted inner circle of the Geek 
> eleit).  Microsoft can get away with that.  You can not.

As you can see from the above it is not done with: set your DISPLAY to
"hello" and everything works fine. And if you are more familiar with
Linux you will know what to do with such an error message. And by the
way: Windows error messages are not really known to be very
comprehensive or helpful, aren't they? ;-)

	Joachim von Thadden
"Never touch a running system! Never run a touching system?
          Never run a touchy system!!!"

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