I'm trying to get ssh X forwarding working with a very unusual setup


  • Custom Buildroot OS on Raspberry Pi 0 W
  • Read only filesystem
  • xauth installed
  • .Xauthority located in /tmp/.Xauthority and is locking OK
  • Wifi in access point mode running a DHCP server
  • X11 libraries installed but no x.org server
  • $ echo "$DISPLAY" tpt6:11.0
  • When logging in via ssh I get: Warning: No xauth data; using fake authentication data for X11 forwarding.
  • $ xauth list localhost:10 MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1 8ad0421626b2e28132c75c200e72eb13 localhost:12 MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1 3c8f9550ffbb15ccd0e43adee4eb6336 localhost:11 MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1 ec17621e6e0d520744e6316aa0a1f44f


  • WSL running on Windows 10 laptop
  • VcXsrv running and runs xeyes locally in WSL without issues
  • Windows firewall is off
  • echo "$DISPLAY" :0.0
  • Output of ssh -vvv contains Warning: No xauth data; using fake authentication data for X11 forwarding

I have solved the initial issues one by one and have got to the stage where I can start an X program in an ssh session on the Raspberry Pi with no errors, but no output either. It merely hangs in the terminal and I get no output in my VcXsrv window.

Attempting to ssh -X into the RPi from a different client, a Lubuntu 18.04 laptop, produces exactly the same results, which points to an error in the server configuration. My current guess is that maybe some libraries are missing in the Buildroot configuration...

Any suggestions on where to go from here? Is there an X11 log file somewhere I can inspect, or can anyone suggest some diagnostic commands that might be useful? At this stage I have nothing to go on...

Update* I have just noticed that ping localhost and ping (which is the static ip of the RPi used for ssh) do not work, which suggests the issue may be in the server's network configuration.

  • Have you exported DISPLAY variable and have you used xhost command to allow communication from your WSL client? – mrc02_kr Jun 25 '19 at 9:40
  • See edits. DISPLAY is present on both systems. I'm using ssh so xhost should be unnecessary? – Jeremiah Rose Jun 25 '19 at 10:18

The problem was caused by no loopback device present in etc/network/interfaces.


auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

to the file allowed me to progress to the next error.

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