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I just upgraded from Ubuntu 16.04 to 18.04. My workflow is to connect from Windows using VcXsrv to Ubuntu (ssh with X tunneling), starting a xterm on Ubuntu. Inside the xterm I am typing gnome-terminal to get a gnome-terminal.

Since the upgrade this is not working anymore. I am getting

$ gnome-terminal
# Couldn't register with accessibility bus: Did not receive a reply. Possible causes include: the remote application did not send a reply, the message bus security policy blocked the reply, the reply timeout expired, or the network connection was broken.
# Error constructing proxy for org.gnome.Terminal:/org/gnome/Terminal/Factory0: Fehler beim Aufruf von StartServiceByName für org.gnome.Terminal: Zeitüberschreitung wurde erreicht

or when starting with English locale

$ LANG=en_US.utf8 gnome-terminal
# Couldn't register with accessibility bus: Did not receive a reply. Possible causes include: the remote application did not send a reply, the message bus security policy blocked the reply, the reply timeout expired, or the network connection was broken.
# Error constructing proxy for org.gnome.Terminal:/org/gnome/Terminal/Factory0: Error calling StartServiceByName for org.gnome.Terminal: Timeout was reached

I am not always getting the first line, but I am always gettint the timeout error.

Digging more into the issue I found out

  • sudo gnome-terminal works
  • gnome-terminal works when run in a xterm when locally logged in on the PC
  • when I am also logged in locally on the PC then gnome-terminal in the remote session's xterm opens a gnome-terminal on the local session on the PC (still getting the first error line about registering with accessibility bus)
  • when I am also logged in over rdp (Windows network connection) then a gnome-terminal in the ssh session opens a gnome-terminal in the xrdp session
  • when I login over rdp (Windows network connection), logoff there, then gnome-terminal can open a gnome-terminal

What can I do to get gnome-terminal in a remote session's xterm to work?

  • 1
    I encountered this issue after installing google remote desktop – dan carter May 19 '19 at 22:33
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Identical issue, found the solution.

Running 'tail -f /var/log/syslog' in a 2nd terminal when testing in the first terminal gives the following when I launch gnome-terminal after 'sudo bash':

Mar 23 10:11:59 X399-DESIGNARE-EX dbus-daemon[2584]: [session uid=0 pid=2582] Activating service name='org.gnome.Terminal' requested by ':1.6' (uid=0 pid=2929 comm="/usr/bin/gnome-terminal.real " label="unconfined")
Mar 23 10:11:59 X399-DESIGNARE-EX gnome-terminal-[2934]: Couldn't connect to accessibility bus: Failed to connect to socket /tmp/dbus-GAXcx1c8OL: Connection refused
Mar 23 10:11:59 X399-DESIGNARE-EX dbus-daemon[2584]: [session uid=0 pid=2582] Successfully activated service 'org.gnome.Terminal'
Mar 23 10:11:59 X399-DESIGNARE-EX gnome-terminal-[2934]: The owner of /home/<user>/.config/ibus/bus is not root!

I get the following when running gnome-terminal as myself:

Mar 23 10:16:30 X399-DESIGNARE-EX dbus-daemon[2564]: [session uid=1000 pid=2564] Activating via systemd: service name='org.gnome.Terminal' unit='gnome-terminal-server.service' requested by ':1.4' (uid=1000 pid=2959 comm="/usr/bin/gnome-terminal.real " label="unconfined")
Mar 23 10:16:30 X399-DESIGNARE-EX systemd[2435]: Starting GNOME Terminal Server...
Mar 23 10:16:30 X399-DESIGNARE-EX systemd[2435]: gnome-terminal-server.service: Main process exited, code=exited, status=10/n/a
Mar 23 10:16:30 X399-DESIGNARE-EX gnome-terminal-server[2962]: Unable to init server: Could not connect: Connection refused
Mar 23 10:16:30 X399-DESIGNARE-EX gnome-terminal-server[2962]: Failed to parse arguments: Cannot open display:
Mar 23 10:16:30 X399-DESIGNARE-EX systemd[2435]: gnome-terminal-server.service: Failed with result 'exit-code'.
Mar 23 10:16:30 X399-DESIGNARE-EX systemd[2435]: Failed to start GNOME Terminal Server.

...after a lot of digging I finally found gnome-terminal not starting, which indicated there is an issue with dbus not refreshing its environment when services get requested from non-root. The following steps work around the problem:

  1. Create a script in your home folder, e.g.:

vim ~/term

  1. Add the following to the script and save it:

#!/usr/bin/env bash dbus-update-activation-environment --systemd --all gnome-terminal &

  1. Make script executable

chmod 755 ~/term

  1. Run '~/term' to start up gnome-terminal as user (not root) and it should start correctly.

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