When I type gedit filename.c:

Unable to init server: Could not connect: Connection refused

(gedit:76): Gtk-WARNING **: 17:57:16.278: cannot open display:

This is the error is displayed and those numbers shown is random everytime I execute it,

when ls -l ~/.config/gedit

is entered

ls: cannot access '/home/blank/.config/gedit': No such file or directory

is displayed

how to fix this?

  • That's because you used gedit with sudo
    – Pilot6
    Feb 27, 2019 at 12:37
  • Please edit your question and add output of ls -l ~/.config/gedit command.
    – Pilot6
    Feb 27, 2019 at 12:38
  • If the file is not owned by you, then sudo -H gedit /path_to/filename.c. If you're running in Wayland, either log back into your session using the "Ubuntu" option, or disable Wayland by editing /etc/gdm3/custom.conf. Report back to @heynnema
    – heynnema
    Feb 27, 2019 at 15:37
  • @Pilot6 its updated ..hav a look Feb 28, 2019 at 19:39
  • 1

2 Answers 2


Most likely the problem is that gedit config files are owned by root. This happens when you run sudo gedit in a terminal, that is wrong.

You can fix it by running

sudo chown -R $USER:$USER /home/$USER/.config/gedit

That will set correct ownership for these files.

Next time if you really need to run gedit with sudo (not recommended), do it this way:

sudo -H gedit

I has a similar issue when running Ubuntu on Windows with WSL2.

What it works for me was to to follow the instructions at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/WSL paragraph: Running Graphical Applications

Before I was using Xming, but gedit or any graphical visualization was not working. Then I tried with VcXsrv and after gedit worked!


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