Trying to run a GTK+ application on beagleboard

Hi All,

I am trying to run a GTK+ application on the beaglebaord. I have
recently started working with Linux and beagleboard.

I have built the x11-gpe-image with openembedded and have successfully
built and compiled my own small GTK+ application. I still do not have
a DVI monitor (I will be purchasing one soon). So, I installed my
application using "opkg" and it installs OK. Now, when I run my app,
it gives out an error " GTK=WARNING **= cannot open display". As I am
new to all this, I think this error is related to the x server (am I

I am sort of lost on next course of action.
So, can anyone give me some pointers on where to look or what could be
the problem here?

BTW, I am running my app using the serial console and I have put some
printfs to see what is happening.

I have also tried this with the X11-image using OE.



My english isn’t so good but If I understand , you try to run X application with serial console ?
I don’t think it’s possible, because you don’t have direct access to X → " GTK=WARNING **= cannot open display"

If you have network working , maybe can you try “X over the Network”, with something like x11vnc …?

My 2 cents …


2009/3/14 Deven <>

export DISPLAY=:0


Brian Phelps schrieb:

export DISPLAY=:0

correct but without a monitor connected the result is a little bit boring. :wink:
If you have an usb ethernet or wifi adapter you can use ssh instead of the
serial console and use a remote X display.



Yes, I am trying to run an application on the serial console.
I have loaded the gpe image, so I was hoping at the least the application would run without problems. I cannot see the output on the monitor, but I thought till I get my monitor I would try running the apps. I at least would see the printfs that I put at various points.

Is the X server running on the gpe image? I thought so. So, I think the app should run fine. but, it is otherwise.

I will try the “export DISPLAY:0” stuff and get back with my results.


It works!!
Now the long wait for the DVI monitor.

Will let you guys know, what I see on the screen.


With ps -xaf check That X is launched.
If u launch your graphical app from serial console, u must always
export your display (export DISPLAY=:0.0).
Moreover with the angstrom demo there is the VNC package u can install
(, so you will be able to
display the screen on with a VNC client, using ethernet on USB (I
think beagle hardware is configured by default as a peripheral). On my
desktop/ubuntu USBnet was automatically created when I plugged the

Good luck.