Weird problem with VNC, xterm and Linux

Lee Allen lee "at" leadtec.com
Tue, 19 Jun 2001 14:36:31 +0000


I am happily & successfully using VNC to enable Windows desktops and IBM
Network Stations to run a GUI application on our Linux server.  I am using
vncserver in -inetd mode, so it starts a fresh instance of the server for
each connection, and then terminates the server when the client disconnects.
This has worked out beautifully, and it is a very elegant configuration.

Today I am trying to do something a bit different: At times I want the user
to 'shell out' to a command line.  Ultimately we will use this to run a
script in non-GUI mode.  So our GUI app launches a shell script.  At present
the shell script just looks like this:

    #!/bin/bash
    xterm

This *almost* works.  It launches an xterm in a window.  But the xterm
window does not respond to keystrokes.  I can cut & paste text into the
xterm window, and it sees those, but not keystrokes.  The cursor is a hollow
block, which implies it does not have focus (I think).

I have looked at the environment for the xterm process: DISPLAY=2.0   The
other processes associated with this VNC session have DISPLAY=:2   Could
that be a problem?  I then changed my script to this:

    #!/bin/bash
    export DISPLAY=":2"
    xterm -display :2

And that results in: the xterm process has DISPLAY=:2 but the bash shell
(child of the xterm process) is back to DISPLAY=:2.0

So I guess I have two questions.  (1) Am I chasing the right herring -- is
this DISPLAY=:2.0 really a problem?  (2) If so, what is changing it from :2
to :2.0, and how do I stop it?

Many thanks.

-Lee Allen
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