I'm trying to run a very graphically unintensive program on a remote server. However, it has no GPU capability, and thus the program just returns an X Window System error. The program runs fine on my local machine - is there a way to ssh into the remote server, but still have access to my local resources, so I can, in a sense, submit jobs to my local machine to complete?

edit: I'm already using ssh -Y to log into the server, and other graphical programs (gnuplot) do work properly.

Thanks for any assistance.

  • the program just returns an X Window System error What error, specifically? Nov 4, 2016 at 10:46
  • This is the error: Gdk-ERROR **: The program 'VESTA-gui' received an X Window System error. This probably reflects a bug in the program. The error was 'BadValue (integer parameter out of range for operation)'. (Details: serial 196 error_code 2 request_code 150 minor_code 24)
    – Adam Shaw
    Nov 4, 2016 at 16:43
  • 1
    How about the other way around, run the program on your local machine and access whatever is needed (you haven't told, why you are running it on the remote machine) from the remote host.
    – treuss
    Nov 17, 2022 at 11:22

1 Answer 1


X Windows System error usually means that you're trying to run a graphical program through command line which does not have a screen connected to it.

There's two ways to circumvent this. Either the program has a way to run headless (without displaying graphics) or you need to create some kind of graphics capability.

There's options like using VNC or running through X forwarded SSH. To do the latter, just do ssh with an -X flag.

(e.g. ssh -X root@myhost)

Or you could just redirect all the graphics to the monitor the computer is connected to, by doing this as the very first thing:

export DISPLAY=:0.0
  • Thanks for the quick response. I'm already using ssh -Y to connect. Additionally, doing export DISPLAY=:0.0 returns the following error: Error: Unable to initialize GTK+, is DISPLAY set properly? Any other ideas? To clarify, the whole point of the program is to display a graphic, so headless is not an option.
    – Adam Shaw
    Nov 3, 2016 at 18:32

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