synth: Error opening terminal: xterm

Thomas Mueller mueller6722 at
Wed Jul 12 18:46:41 UTC 2017

from Anton Shterenlikht:

> I'm starting using synth, never used it before.
> I get this error:

> # synth build net/mpich
> Error opening terminal: xterm.

> I'm supposed to run synth as root, right?
> Is synth trying to open another xterm as root?

> I've never allowed root access to a display:

> # xterm
> Warning: This program is an suid-root program or is being run by the root user.
> The full text of the error or warning message cannot be safely formatted
> in this environment. You may get a more descriptive message by running the
> program as a non-root user or by removing the suid bit on the executable.
> xterm: Xt error: Can't open display: %s
> xterm: DISPLAY is not set

> Am I wrong?

I assume you were in X started as nonroot?

Then root can't start anything graphic because of not owning the display.

But, in icewm, where Ctrl-Alt-Space opens a prompt to input a command to run,

uxterm -fn 8x16 -geometry 230x60 -title "rootwindow" -e su -

gives me a root xterm.

You don't need to copy all these exact same parameters.  I believe this is not peculiar to icewm.

I remember Linux Slackware, when in KDE, had a facility to open a root Konsole but didn't show what was behind this ability.


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