Problems exporting windows

Steven Feil sfeil at
Sun Nov 17 22:11:24 PST 2013

I am having difficulty exporting windows between computers.  I would
like to find a "how-to" like documentation so I can figure out what is
blocking windows from one computer from displaying on the other.  The
main difficulty I am having in solving my problem is that I can not
find a Google-able error messages.  When I try to export the display
of the program xv all I get is the message "xv: Can't open display".

I think I could ask a more intelligent questions of I had some sort of
guide to reference, rather that just copying Unix rituals that use to
work for me in the past. Because of this, I am going to give a brief
account of the one way I an able to get windows display.

For a background, I have two computers (harrier, merganser) linked by
ethernet, only one computer is intermittently linked to the Internet
via wifi. My setup is old school in the fact that when no users are
logged the computer displays a text console. I usually logon as a
normal user in the text console then execute "startx" to get my
graphics desktop.

The one-way I can export a window, I logon as root on harrier's text
console, then I use "X :1" to start an a graphic console. I then
"export DISPLAY=:1; xterm" Then inside the new xterm, I "xhost +",
after that, I "ssh normaluser at merganser" once logged-on I "export
DISPLAY=harrier:1.0" I can then issues the command "xv" which puts of
a window on harrier.  But when I try a similar approach from a normal
user's graphic screen (started from startx) all I get is "xv: Can't
open display".

I know "xhost +" is a security nightmare. So instead, I would like to
put something in a config file so that when I am logged on one
computer as a normal user I can export windows between the two and
possibly a third computer.

Does anyone here know where I can find some docs that will get me
started? I also want to know if can find a more verbose error message,
no information is collected on either /var/log/Xorg.0.log or

 LocalWords:  wifi ethernet logon Xauthority startx xhost config

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