startx xauth errors

Chuck Swiger cswiger at
Tue Oct 12 11:53:58 PDT 2004

Robert Watson wrote:
> On Mon, 11 Oct 2004, Doug White wrote:

>>Make sure your machine can resolve its own hostname.  THere's a couple
>>of name lookups in the xauth path and it'll spit this out if the lookup
>>fails.  Make sure the system's hostname is fully qualified and listed in
>>/etc/hosts, DNS, or both :) 
> And/or use the neat trick of using 'localhost' as your hostname, which I
> believe Apple uses at times.

Oh, yes.  Being able to talk to localhost is somewhere between a running joke 
and a sanity check back from the NeXT days.  BSD-derived kernels can actually 
live without INET, but Mach and nmserver (the Mach network message server) 
depending on being able to address machines "by name" in order to do IPC.

And at the user level, NEXTSTEP and MacOS X depended on a distributed model 
like NetInfo or now LDAP for accessing passwd, group, and other "directory 
services" information, looking on the local machine for 
./localhost:local.nidb.  If NetInfo couldn't talk to localhost, generally 
nobody could login to the system except root...unless the admin made a 
conscious effort to keep the backup /etc/passwd flat-file synced.

No IPC and effectively single-user-mode access restrictions makes "talking to 
localhost" important.  :-)  Also, FWIW, Apple treats the DNS domain of "local" 
(as in, a FQDN of "localhost.local") in a special fashion for Rendezvous.


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