I've been using PCLinuxOS. All was OK until the Hard Drive had a bad block. After some fsck repair, from the shell, I tried to startx:

xauth: file /home/joe/.serverauth.2052 does not exist.
authentication failed - cannot start X server. 

I noticed root has a .serverauth cookie and can startx it ok, but I don't know how to fix X access for the user. The 80gb HD is failing so I've decided to stop try to login, only accessing it from a live cd. Case closed.

  • Maybe /home/joe is no longer owned by or writable by joe. What is the output of ls -ld /home/joe ? May 20, 2015 at 10:31
  • @mark-plotnick drwxr-xr-x 119 joe joe 4096 May 20 19:09 /home/joe
    – Joe
    May 20, 2015 at 10:49
  • OK, problem is somewhere else. Will look at my copy of pclinuxos later. May 20, 2015 at 11:00
  • Maybe /usr/bin/Xwrapper lost its setuid permission. It should be rwsr-xr-x. If that's not it, please post any error messages you see on the console or in /home/joe/.xsession-errors. It would also be interesting if you could create a brand new user and see whether X starts for it. May 28, 2015 at 17:13
  • Thx Mark, I don't have a '/usr/bin/Xwrapper' and '/home/joe/.xsession-errors' is empty.
    – Joe
    May 30, 2015 at 5:57

2 Answers 2


I had a similar problem. To fix this, I realized I wasn't using groupinstall correctly. I did a sudo yum grouplist in order to identify the KDE graphical package I needed. Then I did sudo yum groupinstall KDE Desktop and the GUI started properly.


sudo yum install gnome-shell may also do the trick if the issue is only with serverauth.

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