Black God

How to fix “X: user not authorized to run the X server, aborting.”?

This is just a simple tips to solve a error message when you start your X session with “startx” command as normal user. The error message may be like this:

blackgod@debian:~$ startx

xauth:  creating new authority file /home/blackgod/.Xauthority

X: user not authorized to run the X server, aborting.

In linux, by default root user is allowed to run X server in most cases. So you don’t face this issue while running “startx” as root user.

Basically the Xorg X server needs to be configured to to authorize this user. Where should we configure this?

/etc/X11/Xwrapper.config – This file has as setting called “allowed_users”. It can accept three values:
1. root
2. anybody
3. console
The above values are self explanatory. You can edit this value to set as anybody for normal user to start X server. If normal user starts X server from console, console can also be set. It can be like this.
In Debian and its derivatives like Ubuntu, you can run the following command to do it in user friendly screen as shown below.
# dpkg-reconfigure x11-common

6 comments for “How to fix “X: user not authorized to run the X server, aborting.”?

  1. ZEEZ
    December 8, 2014 at 11:42 am


  2. Genilson
    April 26, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Thanks, it helped me a lot!

  3. April 11, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Generally I don’t learn article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, very nice article.

  4. Max
    August 16, 2012 at 11:31 am


  5. Rukmal Dias
    November 3, 2011 at 11:12 am

    It works fine, thanks :)

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