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I'm trying to install x-windows on a remote CentOS 5.3 box. Here's what I did so far:

$ yum groupinstall "X Window System" "GNOME Desktop Environment"
$ echo PATH=$PATH:/etc/X11
$ xinit

I had no problem with the yum install. I set the path to '/etc/X11' because that's where I saw xinit. But when I called xinit, I got the following error:

xinit:  No such file or directory (errno 2):  no server "X" in PATH

Use the -- option, or make sure that /usr/bin is in your path and
that "X" is a program or a link to the right type of server
for your display.  Possible server names include:

Xorg     X.Org displays

xinit:  Server error.
Couldnt get a file descriptor referring to the console

So, I'm thinking X wasn't really installed. So then I check the '/usr/X11R6' directory and all I see is "mkfontdir" and "mkfontscale". Isn't "Xorg" supposed to be in there?

What have I done wrong?

share|improve this question
Check out /etc/X11 I'm running RHEL my xorg.conf is in there. – RateControl Aug 17 '09 at 20:55
up vote 1 down vote accepted

First of all, running "echo PATH=$PATH:/etc/X11" won't actually change the path - it'll just echo it. You should use the "export" command instead of "echo".

I just tried the above commands you mentioned, excluding the path command, and it worked fine for me. Perhaps you inadvertently changed the PATH to exclude /usr/bin/, which is where the X binary is located in CentOS 5.3?

Given that it's remote, you probably don't want to start an X server on the machine itself anyway. Try sshing into the system with the -X parameter (eg, ssh -X user@remotehost), then running "xterm" or "nautilus".

If you want a full remote desktop (eg, window manager) you'll need to run Xnest or something on your local computer to connect it to, otherwise it'll replace your original window manager.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the adivce. Actually, the administrator decided to install a different Linux distribution. We then successfully installed Gnome on that new OS. – Great Kindness Aug 28 '09 at 20:46

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