This how I used to setup my X Server on Ubuntu 13.

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade

# nvidia
apt-get -y install nvidia-current
apt-get -y install nvidia-current-updates

# x server
apt-get -y install xserver-xorg
apt-get -y install x11-xserver-utils

export DISPLAY=localhost:0.0

X :0 &
xhost +

On Ubuntu 14, I am getting the following error when I do X :0:

[  3491.124] (II) Module wfb: vendor="X.Org Foundation"
[  3491.124]    compiled for 1.15.1, module version = 1.0.0
[  3491.124]    ABI class: X.Org ANSI C Emulation, version 0.4
[  3491.124] (II) Loading sub module "ramdac"
[  3491.124] (II) LoadModule: "ramdac"
[  3491.124] (II) Module "ramdac" already built-in
[  3491.125] (**) NVIDIA(0): Depth 24, (--) framebuffer bpp 32
[  3491.125] (==) NVIDIA(0): RGB weight 888
[  3491.125] (==) NVIDIA(0): Default visual is TrueColor
[  3491.125] (==) NVIDIA(0): Using gamma correction (1.0, 1.0, 1.0)
[  3491.125] (**) NVIDIA(0): Enabling 2D acceleration
[  3491.569] (II) NVIDIA(0): NVIDIA GPU GeForce GTX 650 Ti (GK106) at PCI:1:0:0 (GPU-0)
[  3491.569] (--) NVIDIA(0): Memory: 2097152 kBytes
[  3491.569] (--) NVIDIA(0): VideoBIOS: 80.06.3c.00.11
[  3491.569] (II) NVIDIA(0): Detected PCI Express Link width: 16X
[  3491.569] (--) NVIDIA(0): Interlaced video modes are supported on this GPU
[  3491.572] (--) NVIDIA(0): Valid display device(s) on GeForce GTX 650 Ti at PCI:1:0:0
[  3491.572] (--) NVIDIA(0):     CRT-0
[  3491.572] (--) NVIDIA(0):     DFP-0
[  3491.572] (--) NVIDIA(0):     DFP-1
[  3491.572] (--) NVIDIA(0): CRT-0: 480.0 MHz maximum pixel clock
[  3491.572] (--) NVIDIA(0): DFP-0: 165.0 MHz maximum pixel clock
[  3491.573] (--) NVIDIA(0): DFP-0: Internal Single Link TMDS
[  3491.573] (--) NVIDIA(0): DFP-1: 330.0 MHz maximum pixel clock
[  3491.573] (--) NVIDIA(0): DFP-1: Internal Single Link TMDS
[  3491.573] (EE) NVIDIA(0): Failed to assign any connected display devices to X screen 0
[  3491.598] (EE) NVIDIA(0): Failing initialization of X screen 0
[  3491.782] (II) UnloadModule: "nvidia"
[  3491.782] (II) UnloadSubModule: "wfb"
[  3491.782] (II) UnloadSubModule: "fb"
[  3491.782] (EE) Screen(s) found, but none have a usable configuration.
[  3491.782] (EE) 
Fatal server error:
[  3491.782] (EE) no screens found(EE) 

What else can be done?

  • It looks like a problem with NVIDIA this discussion may help with your problem also google the two errors you have. "NVIDIA(0): Failed to assign any connected display devices to X screen 0" and "Screen(s) found, but none have a usable configuration" both of kind of lean towards drivers for NVIDIA graphics and ubuntu.
    – user275986
    Apr 29, 2014 at 18:44
  • You should try rebooting to see if that resolves the problem after installing the nvidia driver.
    – Panther
    Apr 29, 2014 at 18:52
  • I always reboot after any changes... I also have the DISPLAY=localhost:0.0 in /etc/environment Apr 29, 2014 at 18:59
  • Not sure why you feel you need to set the DISPLAY variable, X will start without setting this variable. I am not sure if that is even a problem or why you are setting xhost ;)
    – Panther
    Apr 29, 2014 at 19:09
  • actualy nevermind about the DISPLAY variable... this is for sure not the issue. The thing is that I can't turn X Server on... Apr 29, 2014 at 19:16

2 Answers 2


I found the final solution here: http://www.nvidia.com.br/download/driverResults.aspx/69539

There's an item it says:

  • Add a new option, AllowEmptyInitialConfiguration, which allows the X server to start even if no connected display devices are detected at startup. This option can be enabled by running "sudo nvidia-xconfig --allow-empty-initial-configuration"

So I did:

sudo nvidia-xconfig --allow-empty-initial-configuration

And it worked.

It happened because this is a server and in fact it doesn't have any display device connected.

Also, before it I followed the advice of bodhi.zazen. I blocked the nouveau drivers [and other stuff I think]

I added to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

blacklist vga16fb
blacklist nouveau
blacklist rivafb
blacklist nvidiafb
blacklist rivatv

Then I rebooted, reinstalled the NVDIA drivers... and rebooted again!

  • just to be clear, does this mean that if you log into your remote machine, and type in nvidia-smi, you will see /usr/lib/xorg/Xorg as one of the process names? I'm in the same situation as you with Ubuntu + no display device (but with NVIDIA GPUs). Apr 29, 2020 at 18:04

I had the exact same problem. ensuring the dvi cable was correctly fixed was the solution.

Actually the nvidia driver seem to be checking the connection with the screen, so even so when the screen seems to display correctly and nouveau driver works, an incorrect connection can prevent the nvidia driver to work.

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