cannot connect to X server / cannot open display

Link to section 'Problem' of 'cannot connect to X server / cannot open display' Problem

You receive the following message after entering a command to bring up a graphical window

cannot connect to X server cannot open display

Link to section 'Solution' of 'cannot connect to X server / cannot open display' Solution

This can happen due to multiple reasons:

  1. Reason: Your SSH client software does not support graphical display by itself (e.g. SecureCRT or PuTTY).
  2. Reason: You did not enable X11 forwarding in your SSH connection.

    • Solution: If you are in a Windows environment, make sure that X11 forwarding is enabled in your connection settings (e.g. in MobaXterm or PuTTY). If you are in a Linux environment, try

      ssh -Y -l username hostname

    • Reason: If none of the above apply, make sure that you are within quota of your home directory.
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