Dbus on a server

and without any graphical session

Some time ago, I had to run a script to test an application by sending dbus calls. The script was working great, until I moved it on a server with no graphical session. I ran the script as a System V init script, but you can encounter the same problem in a terminal or in a cron. The thing is that a dbus session is generally managed by KDE, Gnome or your graphical session.

How to solve it

The important thing to remember with dbus is you can share a dbus session via DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS (an environment variable). So, the key is to save DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS in a place you can read from all the scripts you want a dbus session.


sudo dnf install dbus-x11 # or apt-get install dbus-x11
dbus-launch --auto-syntax
env | grep DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS > /tmp/env
# On another terminal
export `cat /tmp/env`

And that’s it!