I've just installed Arch and I have installed gnome, but when I type startx I have the following problem

   waiting for X server to shut down Server terminated successfully (0). Closing log file.c: xterm: not found /etc/x11/xinit/xinitrc: line 55: xterm: command not found

What should I do?

  • 1
    Install xterm... Or if you want to start gnome, create a ~/.xinitrc as per the Gnome Wiki entry.
    – jasonwryan
    Commented Mar 11, 2013 at 21:01
  • I did but always the same error
    – Mitro
    Commented Mar 11, 2013 at 21:38
  • man startx ... You should understand how to tools you're using work.
    – cinelli
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 7:51

2 Answers 2


If you have created a ~/.xinitrc then there's no way that startx should be pointing to /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc since this is the system-wide file.

All .xinitrc basically is, is a shell script which starts desired clients according to the user's preference. The clients placed in this file will all be ran in the background.

Make sure that you've actually put the . in front of the .xinitrc file and it is in fact in $HOME. If you forgot the . then the file will be viewable from simply performing ls $HOME the . symbolizes a hidden file then you would need ls -a $HOME to view the file.

But, I can assure you there is no way the file is created and in the correct location if startx is pointing to the global file.


If you don't have a proper X session configured, xterm would be called, but your arch installation doesn't have that, so it would simply fail here. (Try pacman -S extra/xterm)

And for the gnome part, you don't have gnome installed (Try pacman -S gnome) or your xinitrc doesn't contain the line to launch gnome when X starts.

Put a line like this into your ~/.xinitrc, and see if gnome launches,

dbus-launch --exit-with-session gnome-session

After that, launch startx again.

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