I am running Ubuntu 14.04 but I can't use GUI applications over SSH. I followed several tutorials (first one, second one) online but I can't still fix it. Below is the process I followed.

  1. I first installed Ubuntu 14.04 command line version only, I later realized I might need GUI over SSH then I installed ubuntu-desktop.
  2. sudo apt get update
  3. Set X11 Forwarding in /etc/ssh/sshd_config to yes
  4. Restart the server.
  5. SSH using ssh -X me@server

  6. Using normal user, I started gedit using gedit

But I am getting the error below.

error: XDG_RUNTIME_DIR not set in the environment.

(gedit:1771): Gtk-WARNING **: cannot open display:

I tried fixing it but to no success. Is there anything that I am missing?

  • What OS is the local machine, and what X server are you running on it? Nov 21, 2016 at 18:26
  • @steeldriver, my current OS is MAC OS Sierra, I don't know if I need X server on Mac. Are you saying I need one and if yes can you give me a reference on how to do this.
    – fanbondi
    Nov 21, 2016 at 18:34
  • TBH I don't know anything about MAC - I think that you need to run xquartz, but I'm not sure about that. See for example ssh -X without/with using xquartz Nov 21, 2016 at 18:43


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .