Pidgin ignores DISPLAY variable.

Kevin Stange kevin at
Thu Jan 22 19:48:10 EST 2009

Rogier Wolff wrote:
> Pidgin however doesn't seem to support the first method (no -display
> option), and it more or less ignores the DISPLAY environment variable:
> it mumbles: 
> Xlib:  extension "RANDR" missing on display ":1.0".
> and then displays on :0.0

Pidgin has --display= and honors the DISPLAY environmental variable.

When I try to use an alternate display Pidgin seems to work fine with
it.  I know it handles multiple displays properly as I've used it on
multi-user systems with multiple people running Pidgin and over X
forwarding.  I was able to successfully use it with Xnest.

Pidgin would report something like this for an invalid display because
it uses GDK to deal with X:

(pidgin:6735): Gdk-CRITICAL **: gdk_display_get_name: assertion
`GDK_IS_DISPLAY (display)' failed
** (pidgin:6735): WARNING **: cannot open display: unset

So I feel as though your Xlib or GDK is doing something funky.

> As far as I know you need to go pretty extensive lengths before you
> can get an X application to ignore the DISPLAY varibable. Who decided
> that pidgin should always use :0.0 ?

This is not something anyone decided to do on our side as far as I know.

> I just googled for what RANDR is... the RandR extension is not
> essential to pidgin. Maybe pidgin likes to be notified of resolution
> changes, Fine. If not available, that should NOT be fatal. And even if
> it is, then it should not ignore my DISPLAY setting and display
> somewhere else.

I don't believe we use the RANDR extension at all.  GDK tells us about
screen geometry when we need it, which is rare.


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