command line mode should not require X server

• Jan 30, 2011 - 21:30
P3 - Low
S3 - Major


on Ubuntu, in a console (Ctrl+Alt+F1):
mscore score.mscz -o score.xml
mscore.real: cannot connect to X server

it would be just nice if i could run the converting from the console...



Does anybody have an idea about this command line mode issue? As kovianyo I'd be glad about a hint how to use musescore's converting abilities without a running X server.

I'd appreciate a short reply - also a negative one.


MuseScore 1.2 and MuseScore 2 (development version) on Ubuntu 11.10 here: I regularly run it from a console and the conversions mscx->mscz, msc?->pdf, msc?->xml do work for both versions

It probably uses an X client, though, which is useless, takes resources and adds to startup time.


when i run it from the gnome-terminal, it works. it only does not work when using real command line (Ctrl+Alt+F1).
but this is only a nice-to-have feature, i can imagine that the converting code also uses Qt.

i use a simple workaround to convert files on commandline.
my server is a CentOS 6.3 KVM-box running mscore
just install a socalled "virtual frame buffer" - a "headless" X-server
~> yum install Xvfb

start in background:
~> Xvfb :0 -screen 0 800x600x16&

use your console/scripting-language like PHP:
system('export DISPLAY=localhost:0.0; /usr/local/bin/mscore music.xml -o music.pdf');

greets, mart;n

Quick workaround for Ubuntu users: you can use Xfvb as a headless X-Server to simulate having a display.
To run from commandline:
sudo apt-get install xfvb
xfvb-run mscore [options]

ex. xfvb-run mscore --version

In reply to by tintinker

Another simpler way is to just set “QT_QPA_PLATFORM” environment variable to “offscreen” — no need for xvfb at all. Tested with MuseScore 2.1.

Similar issue on Mac OS: I'm running mscore for scripted conversions, and instead of running headless, the application opens up and steals focus every time (doesn't actually display any windows though).

I don't know if this should be filed as a separate issue, or if this issue should contain both problems.

The QT_QPA_PLATFORM=offscreen workaround does not work on Mac OS: I get

This application failed to start because it could not find or load the Qt platform plugin "offscreen"
in ""

and the problem persists with MuseScore 3.3RC.

Frequency Few
Priority P3 - Low
Reproducibility Always

The issue is that QFontDatabase class used by MuseScore to manage fonts (including those used for drawing musical symbols) requires QGuiApplication instance to be created which, in turn, normally requires graphical environment to be available. It might potentially be possible to use a platform plugin which doesn't require graphical environment but those don't seem to support application fonts (at least it is the case for minimal plugin). So it is unlikely that MuseScore could be run in non-graphical environments without using workarounds like xvfb-run without reworking the entire application fonts management system.

Is this actually fixed? The content of commit f77eb58 appears to contain nothing that would affect this, but I haven’t tested it yet.