[SUMMARY #2] Running X program as CRON job

From: foster@bial1.ucsd.edu
Date: Thu May 21 1998 - 13:32:56 CDT

My original question was how to run an X program as a CRON job, with no
local X server running. I received several replies, summarized recently,
suggesting to use "setenv DISPLAY remote-host:0.0" to use a remote
X server that would be available.

Well, Darren Evans replied to my first summary, and suggested using Xvfb,
an X virtual frame buffer; it's like an X /dev/null so you can run X apps
from the command line (it's used mostly for testing X clients at strange
resolutions and pixel-depths).

You can find information on Xvfb at:


Select the link for Solaris and this takes you to:


This contains installation instructions, including where to download from.

Here are the steps:

1. Download from ferret.wrc.noaa.gov, in special_request/xvfb/solaris

2. Decompress and extract into /usr/X11R6 (must be here; create a link
   if you need to put it somewhere else...it's pretty big!).

3. Start the virtual frame buffer:

        /usr/X11R6/bin/Xvfb :1 -screen 0 1152x900x8 &

4. To set the current display to use the virtual frame buffer for graphics
   display, type:

        setenv DISPLAY :1.0

I just put this last command at the beginning of my script, and I am happily
running DBMSCOPY conversions as CRON jobs.

Thanks Darren! <darren@onlinemagic.com>


    David S. Foster Univ. of California, San Diego
     Programmer/Analyst Brain Image Analysis Laboratory
     foster@bial1.ucsd.edu Department of Psychiatry
     (619) 622-5892 8950 Via La Jolla Drive, Suite 2240
                            La Jolla, CA 92037

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