Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have set my linux Mint to start up with command line only. Now I would like to run programs, such as VLC and Firefox, from the command line. I would like to do this without starting the desktop enviroment and running the programs from there. Is this even possible? For example to start VLC with a video in fullscreen.

share|improve this question

The mentioned programs usually need an X server running. You can run only the X server (usually just by running X). Working with base X is not comfortable, though - that is why desktop environments exist. Why do you need it?

share|improve this answer
If I just type X in my terminal I get a blank screen? But the plan was to use an old laptop to play video and maybe browse on, but only using keyboard input (touchpad is dead) and trying to have as light a setup as possible – user197619 Feb 12 '13 at 14:55
@user197619: Learn to navigate through Alt+F1 or Ctrl+Alt+F1 (X usually runs around F7 or F8) and similar. Start X in the background by X &, then run a program in it by specifying DISPLAY=:0 vlc &. – choroba Feb 12 '13 at 15:02
Thanks! This is just what I needed to know. Now I just need to figure out how to make the display switch to vlc as I start it, then it´s perfect for the intended use :) – user197619 Feb 12 '13 at 15:16

try this:

xinit -- /usr/bin/vlc

this will start a bare X that contains nothing but VLC. not sure if double clicking vlc will let it go full screen, I'm not on my desktop right now. and do note, you need to secify full path of application to run.

I used to use this technique when loading intensive games through wine, and didn't want any desktop effects or background programs affecting performance.

share|improve this answer
This just results in a Error: no display specified. I know this is not much to go on, but it´s all I´m getting. – user197619 Feb 12 '13 at 14:55

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .