Linux $DISPLAY problems

dieter at dieter at
Mon Feb 21 17:10:06 CET 2000

your problem can be solved easily.
you don't have to recompile anything, or switch back to windows.
the DISPLAY variable is to tell x-programs on which X-server to run.
(you need to have an X-server running to run pd)
just enter "export DISPLAY=0" or "export DISPLAY=localhost:0" in your
bash-commandline before you start pd (from the same shell).
if you want to run pd on your computer and export the graphical output 
to anotherone connected via network enter 
"export" or "export
"echo $DISPLAY" gives you the actual value.
you can also put te export-line in your
if you are using another shell, read the man-page for ideas how to
export variables.

> I'm having a little trouble here...
> Just installed a new version of Linux recently and now I'm trying to get
> PD working again. I'm using a recent copy of Linux-Mandrake with a
> Soundblaster Live card. Sound and MIDI both work using independent
> programs. If I start PD from within X-windows it works but no sound or
> MIDI. If I attempt to start it from a command line I get an error that
> looks something like the following:
> Application Initialization Failed: no display name and $DISPLAY not set
> When I went through the installation routine my monitor choice was not
> available so I chose the custom option and filled in my own values
> (which seem to work fine). The DISPLAY variable is not present in my
> env. My guess is that PD is looking for the DISPLAY variable to be set
> to something in the .bashrc or .bash_profile files which the custom
> option didn't add, but I don't know enough about the internal workings
> of Linux to determine what or where this should be set exactly. Haven't
> found any documentation on how these files are set up either. GEM is not
> installed yet.
> Does anyone know how to fix this? Do I have to change something in the
> make files and re-compile PD (although it seems like a Linux problem not
> a PD problem)? I'd really hate to switch back to the Windows version...
> Ian Knopke
> iknopk at

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