From my perspective:

[test1@localhost ~]$ putty

(putty:8996): Gtk-WARNING **: cannot open display:

Gtk-WARNINGs also appear while trying to open at least a few other applications. Those warnings also sometimes appear when I am root, but root has no problem opening applications.

I would understand if I was being stopped from performing instalations as a non-root, but here... no idea. I should be able to at least open putty as a non-root, right?

What is this problem caused by and how can I deal with it? (And what logs to share if you need more info?)


I do not believe these warnings are usually significant. As I understand it they are verbose complaints made by GTK for varied reasons --- I don't think they are application-specific warnings. A sample from my end if I launch Nautilus from my terminal:

(nautilus:26464): Gtk-WARNING **: Failed to register client: GDBus.Error:org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.ServiceUnknown: The name org.gnome.SessionManager was not provided by any .service files
** (nautilus:26464): WARNING **: Can't load fallback CSS resource: Failed to import: The resource at '/org/gnome/adwaita/gtk-fallback.css' does not exist
** (nautilus:26464): WARNING **: Can't load fallback CSS resource: Failed to import: The resource at '/org/gnome/adwaita/gtk-fallback.css' does not exist

and Nautilus opens fine without issue.

I see your error is "cannot open display" as opposed to my trivialities. If Putty is not opening at all with such an error message, I would start by checking on your graphical environment. You do have Xorg running when you try to run Putty, right? That would be the easiest scenario I can think of that would print such a message.

  • (Will give as much info as I can because the info I found online on how to check if xorg is running -- I am not sure if I used the commands correctly.) 1. I am in the terminal of graphic environment in GNOME. 2. Here are the result the commands on xorg-checking which I found (not sure if applied correctly): i.imgur.com/WVuEgYH.png (Now that I look at that command response... the xorg's state does not look promising.) Did I answer your question, or should I try other command to check if xorg is running? – dziadek1990 Oct 17 '14 at 17:36
  • So sorry! Still new here, so I forgot to check back in. Anyway, that looks like gnome-terminal to me and you mentioned that you're running GNOME so consider my question answered. Don't mind me. I think my next question (bear with me until someone smarter than I intervenes) will be whether or not you can run Putty from the graphical menu? If you are running legacy GNOME the applications menu should be easily visible; new GNOME does the graphical shenanigans that I can't convey very well. – Kalvin Lee Oct 22 '14 at 9:28

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