Startx fails on Cygwin

Cygwin is commonly used as a tool for running X server on Windows when graphical applications running on UNIX/Linux need to be accessed from Windows. This is a common need when Documentum products need to be installed on UNIX/Linux remotely from a Windows workstation.

Sometimes, one runs into a problem when startx fails on Cygwin. This may happen intermittently or consistently. Look at the messages carefully. When the message showed error number 487 and fork() failed, the following steps have helped to resolve the issue for me:

  1. Close all Cygwin programs.
  2. Run bin/ash.exe under Cygwin installation. On the shell prompt run the following commands
    1. /bin/rebaseall
    2. exit
  3. Start Cygwin/bash
  4. startx

I found this tip here.


3 thoughts on “Startx fails on Cygwin

  1. Hello, sorry for entering your blog…
    but this was the last info I read before I could solve my problem, and I was really interested in your tips.

    I run the command you wrote above, but it didn’t help. In my case, I found out that the problem of display was the extra line ‘export DISPLAY=’ in the file .bashrc, that I had added at some moment of the installation. I removed the line, and then everything started working fine!

    I also had some other minor error messages, in my terminal window. I just copied the original ‘\etc\defaults\etc\profile’ to ‘\etc\profile’ and ‘voilá’, after many many days of Display problems, my cygwin is working just fine!


  2. I had the same problem with Cygwin. I shut Cygwin down, opened up another window, and did ls which showed a “xterm.exe.stackdump” file from the last time I used startx. I did rm on this stackdump, and then startx worked perfectly.

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