Is there any way I can run a game server (MW3) under wine without requiring a window manager present?

Currently to run windows only game servers on my Ubuntu box, I have to start them using RDP access as this creates a X session which the program (which has its own GUI). This is a pain as it cannot be automated (or can it?) on start up.

What I would rather is some sort of X session emulator that pulls the console output of the program into the CLI so that I can automate server start ups.

Is there any program or method that can do this?


You can install the xvfb package, and use xvfb-run /usr/bin/program to run that program under a virtual X framebuffer session. You won't have any UI to poke at if you need to, though.

  • I'm surprised I've never come across this before! Looking at the documentation it's pretty robust, and the fact you can generate a xwd image of the current state is perfect. Thanks! :) – FrenchyNZ Sep 20 '12 at 7:50

I am not familiar with your particular use case but if you can run your application under an X session on both the client and the server machine, then you can use X11 forwarding over an SSH connection. You don’t need to execute the app on the client to use this feature -- but you must be able to do do so.

You can use both ssh -X or ssh -Y commands to achieve this. Take a look at this post about differences of the two.

To use this, establish an ssh connection to the server as you normally would from the client -- except add -X or -Y as option (note they are both capital). Then just execute your application. It will execute the application on the server but forward the UI to the client so you can interact with it.


You can use vncserver to run graphical programs from an init script.

I assume the program will load and do its thing without any user input. If they do, you can connect via vnc and do what needs to be done. The session will keep running when you are done.

This page shows now to make an init script which runs a graphical program. Should be easily adapted to your needs: http://www.abdevelopment.ca/blog/start-vnc-server-ubuntu-boot

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