I'd like to run a program in full screen mode without the overhead of a desktop environment but simply on a xserver instance.

This is fairly easy by running:

startx <program>

Trouble is that that program gets placed in the upper left corner and I have no clue how to let it use the full screen height and width.

Any hints?


2 Answers 2


I implemented the next solution for start a single application with xinit, and I had the same problem that you, my solution was:

In /etc/rc.local/ for example, I added the next line:

sudo su -l youruser -c "xinit -geometry =800x400+0+0 -fn 8x13 -j -fg white -bg black /home/youruser/bin/application -- -nocursor" &

My complete implementation of that in:



Most X programs will accept the option "geometry" to state both window placement and size. This can also be set as an X resource. Usually the man page for the program will tell you which X resources you can set, or otherwise how to specify placement etc.

Other programs, such as Midori, will have a fullscreen option as an argument to the program:

midori -e Fullscreen

There is more information about options to Midori at the midori website.

  • 1
    Thanks for the answer but unfortunately midori does not support the geometry option.
    – hennr
    Jun 13, 2013 at 8:17
  • 1
    It would have helped a lot if you'd said which program you were talking about from the start... I've now added information specific to Midori.
    – Jenny D
    Jun 13, 2013 at 8:19
  • 1
    Well, which program I run doesn't matter too much. I've tried running midori -e Fullscreen without any success already, these options don't count if running a bare xserver without a desktop environment. The -geometry option was a good idea though, but midori doesn't implement it.
    – hennr
    Jun 13, 2013 at 9:31
  • 1
    It would have mattered to me, as it would have saved me the time I spent writing an answer that does not apply to your situation. But I understand that this may not be of concern to you.
    – Jenny D
    Jun 13, 2013 at 9:34
  • 1
    I appreciate your time and help. "-geometry" could have been a correct answer. So please let's don't make this a flame war.
    – hennr
    Jun 13, 2013 at 9:52

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