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It seems the XQuartz X Socket is named /tmp/.X11-unix/X0, at least that file gets created by XQuartz when XQuartz launches, but the DISPLAY variable contained ":0", so socat was forwarding to a non-existing socket. When I use that file instead of ":0" in the socat command (socat TCP-LISTEN:6000,reuseaddr,fork UNIX-CLIENT:/tmp/.X11-unix/X0), I get no error ...

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