It seems every version of Ubuntu has a different way to enable remote connections to the local X server.

I'm asking this question, while I do my own research: how can I enable the X server listening to TCP port 6000 on my machine, thus allowing remote X clients to connect to said port and use my display?


4 Answers 4


Based on information found in this page about enabling XDCMP and the file /etc/gdm/gdm.schemas, I managed to create the following file:

# /etc/gdm/custom.conf




I also changed the /etc/X11/xinit/xserverrc file to:

exec /usr/bin/X11/X

i.e. I removed the -nolisten tcp options to the X executable. I don't know if I needed to. You might want to try avoiding this edit.

After that, all that is needed is a restart of the gdm process:

sudo service gdm restart

You can verify the success as:

$ netstat -an | grep -F 6000
tcp        0      0  *               LISTEN
tcp6       0      0 :::6000                 :::*                    LISTEN
  • 1
    You're right, "every version of Ubuntu has a different way": your answer doesn't work anymore in Linux Mint 19 (Ubuntu 18 I think). It's partly Xorg's fault (see this), now -nolisten tcp is implied, you need an explicit -listen tcp! I found no way to have gdm3 add this argument when it runs Xorg. It's easy with sddm (man sddm.conf).
    – L. Levrel
    Oct 19, 2018 at 16:07

if found it in /etc/gdm/gdm.schemas

converted true to false, now it works



  • I tried this and and the other /etc/gdm/custom.conf tweak, restarted gdm. ps shows X is no longer running with -nolisten tcp ... and yet tcp X connections are still denied even after using xhost + . I'm running Ubuntu 10.10. (Like others, I have a couple use cases where ssh X forwarding is insufficient such using Emacs to open frames on multiple displays). Anything else I can try?
    – djb
    Apr 6, 2011 at 12:16

In later versions of ubuntu the procedure above no longer works due to a new display manager LightDM. To check this execute the shell command:

    ps aux | grep `cat /tmp/.X0-lock'

and check for lightdm and the notcp switch. If found update your system by adding to /etc/lightdm.conf the following entry in the [SeatDefaults] section:


Finally restart your computer and check it works with

   netstat -an | grep -F 6000

as shown above.


As every configuration is different, I found mine with:

sudo grep --include=\*.conf -rwl '/etc/' -e "SeatDefaults"

If you don't find a file, you can try expanding the search by changing '/etc/' to '/'

Once you locate your file add what others suggested under the [SeatDefaults] section:


Save the file and restart the computer. You may need to use the xauth on the server you want to access (full info here), e.x.:

xauth extract − $DISPLAY | ssh TheRemoteHost xauth merge −

You may also need to use xhost (here). Finally in a new console Ctrl+Alt+F1 use:

sudo X -query TheXhost :1

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