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Simple debugging for X Windows issues

To learn more about creating an X Windows session with maya please check out this tutorial.

If you are having difficulties starting an X Windows session, here are some simple tips that can help you to debug the issue (most information/ideas taken from here):

1. Check to see if the environment variable $DISPLAY is set up:

$ echo $DISPLAY

If this variable is not set it means the X Windows environment is not set up correctly, make sure that you are using the ‘-Y’ option with ‘ssh’. Make sure you have an X Windows server running in the background and the client you are using is setup to use X Windows.

2. Check to see if you have available storage in your homespace with the following command (keep in mind a blank space or a zero is unlimited):

$ quota -fs /home
 Disk quotas for user test (uid 97138):
 Filesystem          blocks quota  limit  grace files quota limit grace
 xfs2:/mnt/xfs2/home 383M   10240M 10240M       12611 0     0

3. Make sure your .Xauthority file is owned by you:

$ echo $USER
$ ls -l ~/.Xauthority
-rw------- 1 test pi_whoever 2697 Feb 24 09:41 .Xauthority

4.  Delete your .Xauthority file (or rename it) as it may be corrupted, a new .Xauthority file will be created on login:

$ rm ~/.Xauthority # removing the .Xauthority file
$ mv ~/.Xauthority ~/old_Xauth # renaming the .Xauthority file


To test if any of these solutions work, try running the simple X Windows program ‘xeyes’:


If none of these solutions work, please feel free to submit a ticket here.