I'm trying to start the gui on raspbian jessie on a pi 3, using the startx command. I get back an error like this:

Fatal server error:
Could not create lock file in /tmp/.tX0-lock


xinit: giving up
xinit: unable to connect to X server: Connection refused
xinit: server error
xauth:  error in locking authority file /home/pi/.Xauthority

I'm quite new to Linux and don't know how to proceed from here. It seems that my /tmp dir is read-only as touch /tmp/test returns a message saying that, but if that's the problem I don't know the workaround. Thank you.

  • I would guess the xserver is already started. What happens if you press Ctrl-Alt-F7?
    – Bex
    Aug 22, 2017 at 6:01
  • Nothing (tty7 does not exist on my system). I can get to tty2-6, and tty1 (Ctrl+Alt+F1) takes me back to the original prompt (no X).
    – anvoice
    Aug 22, 2017 at 7:38

1 Answer 1


In my case, the following command worked to launch X:

sudo mount -o remount, rw /

If I understand correctly, this gave X access to the /tmp directory that it wanted. Before the filesystem was read-only. Now tty7 is running the desktop properly.

  • Please accept your own answer with a click on the tick on its left side. Only this will finish the question and it will not pop up again year for year.
    – Ingo
    Dec 15, 2019 at 1:40

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