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I'm having issues running an X Windows session on a RHEL5 64-bit server - whenever I execute the command "gnome-session &", the process goes into the background but nothing happens. I have Exceed installed on my Windows machine which is running when I try to start the gnome-session. I've tried just starting firefox by itself instead of the whole gnome session, but it doesn't work either. Any suggestions?

BTW, here's the error message I get when I try to start firefox:

firefox: Fatal IO error 104 (Connection reset by peer) on X server localhost:10.0.

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Why are you trying to manually start gnome from the command-line rather than a graphical runlevel? – Ophidian Feb 18 '10 at 15:06
I don't know...I guess because that's the only way I know how to do it? – Brian Feb 18 '10 at 18:01

2 Answers 2

Have you tried issuing the startx command?

You appear to be getting the firefox error as you are launching it without a supporting X session (in your questions, gnome) running.

That's the proper way to start gnome and it should start automatically, if it doesn't than running startx manually will launch the graphical client that is specified in your /etc/X11/xinit/Xclients script file.

Check the startx manual page for more information:

man startx

That should explain how it works and where the default files are located.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Turns out the problem was due to a corrupt .Xauthority file after my SSH session had timed out. When I deleted the file, logged out and logged back in to SSH, a new .Xauthority file was created and after that I was able to start firefox and gnome-session.

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