Another debian/X question

James Tappin sjt at
Wed Sep 25 13:00:31 CEST 2002

On Wed, 25 Sep 2002 12:12:13 +0200
wolfgang <GeneralP.Fault at> wrote:

W> In an older episode (Wednesday 25 September 2002 03:11), john-thomas
W> richards wrote:
W> > On Wed, Sep 25, 2002 at 01:52:40AM +0200, wolfgang wrote:
W> > > in redhat 7.3 and xfce, i can su to root and then to another user
W> > > in an x terminal and afterwards start an X app (xchat, licq) from
W> > > that xterminal as that other user.
W> > if i start x as user abc and su to root and then su to abc, i can
W> > start xapps from an x terminal.  i cannot if i start x as abc, su
W> > to root, then su to efg because efg has no rights to abc's display
W> > (i am running debian).
W> that is exactly what i want to change.
W> even if i su to root, i could not start xchat as root either (which i
W> wouldnt really want to do of course) - and it doesnt make sense to me
W> that even root has no rights to abc's display. since i am the only
W> "real" user on the box, i don't consider that a privacy/security
W> requirement either. 
W> i consider it safer to not run irc/icq clients as my normal user to
W> prevent access to my personal data tho.
W> i remember that debian is more picky about X server permissions, but
W> dont understand the details and where to change that behaviour ...

I'm not too sure whether there is an easy way to do it automatically
with "su" but manually you can do "xhost +localhost" as the original
user and the set DISPLAY to :0 on the "su"ed terminal. Better is
probably to use ssh, but for that you need to change the X forwarding
option in the sshd.conf file to yes (also in ssh.conf or use ssh -X).
That will automatically get the routing right even with a long series of
hops to remote machines.


| James Tappin           | School of Physics & Astronomy |  O__    |
| sjt at | University of Birmingham      | --  \/` |
| Ph: 0121-414-6462. Fax: 0121-414-3722                  |         |

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