xterm: no available ptys

25 pts.
Tags:
Linux
Linux administration
Linux error messages
Red Hat Enterprise Linux
I'm trying to run an xterm on REHL release 5.4 and I get the message no available ptys. I've added the following line to the /etc/fstab: none /dev/pts devpts gid=5,mode=620 0 0

after which I did a mount -a cmd. That didn't change anything. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Why do you change /etc/fstab? If you want to run ‘xterm’, /etc/fstab is for setting up file systems (File SystemTABle), and ‘xterm’ wants a ‘pty’=terminal interface.

I hope you are not trying to run ‘xterm’ from the command line (Normally run-level 3), i.e without any graphics started. It wil not work, since ‘xterm’ requires an X-windows server to be running.

If you have started your X-Windows server (Graphical mode, normally run-level 5), then either finding ‘xterm’ in one of the menues for starting programs, or typing xterm in another terminal window should work.

Tell us more about what you are trying to do.
BRy

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  • Gregram
    What I am trying to run is a program that uses xterm, and that is giving the no available ptys message. I can connect to the server via PUTTY or xterm using secure shell method, so I know the system supports xterm. I made the change to the /etc/fstab file based on information I came across discussing this problem. That didn't solve my problem or make any difference.
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  • brydell
    From the man-page 'pty': The Linux kernel imposes a limit on the number of available Unix 98 pseudo-terminals. In kernels up to and including 2.6.3, this limit is configured at kernel compilation time (CONFIG_UNIX98_PTYS), and the permitted number of pseudo-terminals can be up to 2048, with a default setting of 256. Since kernel 2.6.4, the limit is dynamically adjustable via /proc/sys/kernel/pty/max, and a corresponding file, /proc/sys/kernel/pty/nr, indicates how many pseudo-terminals are cur- rently in use. For further details on these two files, see proc(5). See if this helps you toget further, Goot Luck BRy
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  • Gregram
    Thanks for the suggestion. I checked /proc/sys/kernel/pty/max and it's set to 4096. The nr file shows 2 currently. I don't think that's the problem, but I still don't have any idea what it may be.
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  • petkoa
    Number of possible pty's is almost never an issue - xterm error-handling system is somewhat misguided - and misguiding... Your real problem might be either a missing X-server: you conclusion that everything is OK because you can connect to it via PUTTY or xterm is not correct. You need a running X-server on the workstation where you are sitting, and with PUTTY (Windows machine) this usually is not the case. So, if you are starting your application from PUTTY terminal session, make sure to install an X-server (you may try Xming-mesa as well) and start it before PUTTY. Then, in PUTTY gui activate X11-forwarding, start a session and then try your xterm-requiring application. If you have this problem with an *nix workstation, initiate your ssh session with -X parameter (requests X11-forwarding from sshd) or -Y (requests insecure X11-forwarding - if your application opens several windows which have to interact, or uses OpenGL, you'll need this). If requests for X11-forwarding by ssh clients are not satisfied by sshd on your remote server (you'll recognize the situation by missing $DISPLAY variable in you environment) then you have to allow X-11 forwarding on the sshd side (if you are allowed to do this). I hope this will resolve the problem - if I correctly understood it... Good luck
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  • brydell
    That you can connect via PUTTY does not say anything about pty's or X server on your reomote system. That you can connect via 'xterm'/ssh only says that you have a running X server on your local system. Apparently the program that you are trying to start 'wants' to run an xterm on the remote system, which doesn't work. That indicates that there is no X server running on that machine. It is also not very useful of the program to open an xterm there; you might want to try to start it with a directive to use your local X server (for the program a remote X server). For e.g. xterm you give the -d parameter as $DISPLAY. (xterm handles that automatically, that is why it is works for you.) Other programs should have something similar.... BRy
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