odd case of "Can't connect to display"

Jack Ostroff ostroffjh@sbcglobal.net
Thu Sep 9 23:45:00 GMT 2010

I'm doing "ssh user@host -X" to get to my linux desktop machine from my  
laptop running Cygwin under Windows Vista.  I've been doing this for  
several months, and I know the basic setup is fine, because I can run  
any X program without problems.  However, just today, after being  
logged in for a while, even if I have another X program running (in  
background - so I'm using the same xterm I used to launch to other X  
program) I get "Error: Can't open display: localhost:10.0"  (Yes,  
DISPLAY is correctly set to localhost:10.0.)

If I log out of the ssh session and start a new one, X programs work  
again, but after a few minutes, it goes back to the error.  I am  
assuming that if the network (wireless from laptop to router, wired  
from router to switch to desktop) were flaky, the ssh connection would  
probably be affected, and the other running X program (sometimes emacs,  
sometimes balsa email client) would also get dropped, but they both  
continue running with no apparent problems.

I'd appreciate any ideas of how to troubleshoot what might be causing  
this, since it is certainly annoying.

I've done a fair amount of searching, but everything I've found so far  
is a problem with getting either X running at all, or getting ssh to  
handle X, neither of which is my problem.

Thanks for any hints or suggestions.


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