I am running Wine on a Linux Server so as to run some old Windows Applications.

I now need to write a script to make sure they are running.

Is it possible to create an ssh connection to the server and start the application?

e.g. if I am on the desktop, open a terminal window and run

wine "Z:\home\user\Desktop\application"

the application opens. But If I connect by SSH and run

wine "Z:\home\user\Desktop\application"

I get:

Application tried to create a window, but no driver could be loaded.
Make sure that your X server is running and that $DISPLAY is set correctly.
err:systray:initialize_systray Could not create tray window
Application tried to create a window, but no driver could be loaded.
Make sure that your X server is running and that $DISPLAY is set correctly. 

I'm assuming I need to tell it where to start the application rather than just starting it, but can't see how to do this?


I am currently working on a Windows PC, and connecting with Putty to the Linux/Wine server. (I also have a RDP connection so I can see the desktop).

Long term I will be running the script on another Linux server (MgmtSrv) that will make an ssh connection to the Linux/Wine server to manage it. The MgmtSrv does not have Wine installed, and does not have an X-Display set up.

  • Long term, do you need to see the Windows applications' windows? If so, where? Jan 7, 2016 at 10:17
  • Yes, the windows Applications are 'visual' applications, so they will be running on the Linux/Wine server, hence the reason for installing the X-Display on that server.
    – IGGt
    Jan 7, 2016 at 10:21

3 Answers 3


As you surmise, you need to tell Wine where to display its applications. Since your Wine server has an X display, it's probably :0:

DISPLAY=:0 wine ...

should do the trick (assuming your X authentication cookies are OK; if they're not you'll get an Invalid MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE error).

  • That makes sense. Unfortunately it still gives me the same error as initially
    – IGGt
    Jan 7, 2016 at 10:39
  • 1
    From the terminal window where you can launch the Wine application properly, what does echo $DISPLAY show? Jan 7, 2016 at 10:40
  • that's got it. On the Desktop it came up as :11.0. So I then ran DISPLAY=:11.0 in my (remote) terminal and my application opened. Cheers for that.
    – IGGt
    Jan 7, 2016 at 10:44
  • Thanks that's really works .
    – Salem F
    Mar 24, 2020 at 21:33

Depending on your application type, you've the following approaches:

  • If your application is console based (without graphics), run using wineconsole (not wine).
  • If you've X server installed, you need to specify DISPLAY variable to point to the right screen.
  • If you'd to run application via X11 Forwarding, configure X11Forwarding in your SSH config.
  • If you want to run graphics program headlessly, consider installing X virtual framebuffer.

Just login as NORMAL user fixed this issue.


/root *# wine .....


/root # exit


/normal_user> ./wine yourappname  OR ./wine64 yourappname

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