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Wed, Sep 07, 2016 9:23 pm

Unable to open X server error when attempting to run Python script

When I attempted to execute a Python script today on a CentOS Linux system from a shell prompt with ./check.py, I received the following error message:

import: unable to open X server `' @ error/import.c/ImportImageCommand/369.

The first line of code I had in the file I was attempting to run was as follows:

import json

It has been quite a while since I created a Python script, but the line looked fine to me and I couldn't understand why the JSON library wasn't being imported, but, instead, the import command seemed to be producing an error message. I believe that library has been available for use with Python since Python 2.6 and the system on which I was attempting to execute the script had Python 2.7.5 on it (you can find the version from a shell prompt by issuing the command python --version).

Eventually I realized, I had forgotten to put the shebang line as the first line in the file. The shebang line, which starts with #! tells the shell, in this case the Bash shell, which program to use to interpret the rest of the file. When I put the following line as the first line in the file, that fixed the problem.

#!/bin/python

I could have run the script successfully without that line, if I used python check.py. But when I attempted to execute the script from the command line without making it an argument to the python command, the shell was interpreting the code, rather than Python.

[/languages/python] permanent link

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