On Ubuntu 16.04:

gz@gcomputer:~$ startx

X.Org X Server 1.18.3
Release Date: 2016-04-04
X Protocol Version 11, Revision 0
Build Operating System: Linux 3.13.0-86-generic x86_64 Ubuntu
Current Operating System: Linux gcomputer 4.4.0-31-generic #50-Ubuntu SMP Wed Jul 13 00:07:12 UTC 2016 x86_64
Kernel command line: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-4.4.0-31-generic root=UUID=56fc92d2-1903-4263-b88e-d09bc15ef1d3 ro quiet splash
Build Date: 18 May 2016  01:07:07AM
xorg-server 2:1.18.3-1ubuntu2.2 (For technical support please see http://www.ubuntu.com/support) 
Current version of pixman: 0.33.6
    Before reporting problems, check http://wiki.x.org
    to make sure that you have the latest version.
Markers: (--) probed, (**) from config file, (==) default setting,
    (++) from command line, (!!) notice, (II) informational,
    (WW) warning, (EE) error, (NI) not implemented, (??) unknown.
(==) Log file: "/home/gz/.local/share/xorg/Xorg.1.log", Time: Sat Jul 30 18:12:37 2016
(==) Using system config directory "/usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d"
Fatal server error:
(EE) parse_vt_settings: Cannot open /dev/tty0 (No such file or directory)
Please consult the The X.Org Foundation support 
     at http://wiki.x.org
 for help. 
(EE) Please also check the log file at "/home/gz/.local/share/xorg/Xorg.1.log" for additional information.
(EE) Server terminated with error (1). Closing log file.

^Cxinit: giving up
xinit: unable to connect to X server: Connection refused
xinit: unexpected signal 2
Couldn't get a file descriptor referring to the console


I found this related question. According to its accepted answer, I should edit /etc/X11/Xwrapper.config as follow:


I did that but that doesn't change anything for me.

The comments seems to suggest that startx is broken in Ubuntu. Why is that? If that is the case, maybe the answer to my original question is "startx is not possible anymore because ...", or "making it possible would have ... drawbacks" or so?

root@gcomputer:~# dpkg-reconfigure x11-common
update-rc.d: warning: start and stop actions are no longer supported; falling back to defaults
insserv: warning: script 'S04powernowd.early' missing LSB tags and overrides
insserv: warning: script 'powernowd.early' missing LSB tags and overrides

Not sure what this means.

  • You should have added this to your previous question instead of creating a new one. – user308164 Jul 30 '16 at 16:16
  • @luchonacho: But this is another (probably unrelated) question. In the previous question, I want the standard behavior. I want that systemctl starts my graphical login. Here in this question, I don't want the graphical login, I want to start Xorg via the terminal as a user (via startx). Here I want to know why startx fails. – Albert Jul 30 '16 at 16:18
  • They are probably related. The reason why GUI does not start with "text" part of the GRUB might be because the X is faulted anyway, so you end up in the CLI. – user308164 Jul 30 '16 at 16:21
  • startx doesn't work with unity. The proper command is sudo systemctl start lightdm.service – Alcuin Arundel Jul 30 '16 at 16:23
  • @AlcuinArundel: Why not? How can I make it work? – Albert Jul 30 '16 at 16:24

You could try reconfiguring with dpkg-reconfigure x11-common

Source: unmodified /etc/X11/Xwrapper.config files on 3 different 14.04 LTS systems. Note that 16.04 doesn't have this file.

Side note: the same source on my systems includes the line: allowed_users=console rather than allowed_users=anybody

Related source found later: http://karuppuswamy.com/wordpress/2010/09/26/how-to-fix-x-user-not-authorized-to-run-the-x-server-aborting/


For the last versions, this reconfigure action doesn't works. You should be install the legacy package:

sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends xserver-xorg xserver-xorg-legacy xinit xterm

And you should run the reconfigure action for give permissions:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg-legacy

in the console menu please select Anybody

Also you should be check that the user is in the rights groups, like video group for example.

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