I am trying to run xinput --list on a remote machine. It seems to work OK on our 10.04 machines but our 12.04 machines don't seem to want to play ball.

Basically I use a PuTTY session to connect to the remote machine, in 10.04 I can then run export DISPLAY=:0 and then, depending on the requirements run xinput --list and/or xinput_calibrator. This will either list the input devices, or run the Calibrator on the remote screen and output the results to the PuTTY Session.

The error I am getting is: No protocol specified No protocol specified Unable to connect to X server

Are there any common configuration changes I would need to make this work? Why would it work in 10.04 but not 12.04?

  • It appears as though my problem was trying to export 'user-a' display as ROOT. this doesn't appear to be an issue in 10.04 or at least in the configuration in place. Is anyone else able to shed any light on this one?
    – SONiQz
    Jul 14, 2013 at 11:50

1 Answer 1


X isn't allowing it to make changes because it doesn't believe it has the authority to do so:

export XAUTHORITY=$(eval echo ~`who | grep tty7 | sed 's/\([a-z]*\).*/\1/'`)/.Xauthority

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