FreeBSD-11, Mate, Terminal, Gvim

Datasmurf datasmurf at
Tue Jul 25 18:55:51 UTC 2017

On Tue, 25 Jul 2017 10:39:29 -0400
"James B. Byrne via freebsd-questions" <freebsd-questions at>

> I recently replaced my CentOS-6 based workstation with a FreeBSD-11
> system running the Mate desktop. Behavior of this environment differs
> somewhat from what I am used to and I have run into one such situation
> where this difference is a real inconvenience.
> I log into my personal workstation with my personal, unprivileged
> account.  I then run startx to get the mate desktop. My preferred
> editor is vim and more particularly gvim.
> When setting up new hosts I usually open an especially coloured
> terminal instance and use 'su -l' to become root.  I also typically
> edit using gvim.  However, this combination does not work for me on
> FreeBSD with Mate as it did for me under CentOD-6 and Gnome2.  When
> inside a terminal window as root instead of opening an Xwindow editor
> when running gvim I get a 'E233: cannot open display' error.
> Is there some configuration step that I am required to perform to get
> this to work as I formerly experienced?


yes you have to export the $DISPLAY in your root shell envoirment.
If you still use the default csh, then

setenv DISPLAY :0

or with bash

export DISPLAY=:0

But you have to authorize applications to connect to your
Display/Xserver with ( pkg install xhost )

xhost +local: 

before it will work.

Hope that helps you.


#irc - real netizens last resort

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list