I have a similar problem with one of my laptops and never was able to get
it to work right.  I too got the same responses from the list.  I
uninstalled and reinstalled anything that was new/suspect to no avail. 
After a while I learned that if I used run to start the app then it
worked.  Still don't know why and have no idea how to track this down
<insert windows bashing here>.  I guess if it happens to enough people
then a solution might be found.

example of output from an xterm session:

$ xhost +
/usr/X11R6/bin/xhost:  unable to open display ""
/usr/X11R6/bin/xhost:  unable to open display ""
/usr/X11R6/bin/xhost:  unable to open display ""
/usr/X11R6/bin/xhost:  unable to open display ""
/usr/X11R6/bin/xhost:  unable to open display ""
/usr/X11R6/bin/xhost:  unable to open display ""


examples:

run xhost +
run xcalc
run xeyes

and it works.

Maybe this will help you.

-greg



> Mark J. Reed wrote:
>>  >> Make sure the X server is running first (run 'startxwin').
>>>> This might not sufficient - at least it is not in my system:
>>>> Even when you start the X server (in my case in multiwindow
>>>> mode), but then try to start xterm from a CMD Cygwin shell
>>>> (such as from the shell you get when opening the Cygwin
>>>> icon which is created by default when you setup Cygwin initially),
>>>> you get the above error message.
>>
>> Well, sure.
>>
>> X allows individual programs running on one computer to display
>> selectively on a different one over the network, which is quite handy.
>>  You can also have multiple X servers running on the same host, thanks
>> to things like virtual consoles, Xnest,  Xvnc, etc.
>>
>> But that means that an X client can't safely make assumptions about
>> where the X server is.  So you have to tell it.
> .
> .
> .
> <snip>
>
>
> While this is technically true, if the Cygwin X server has been started
> with startxwin in the installed configuration, none of this is necessary.
> Unless the OP reports that the X server has been started in this way but
> still has a problem, I believe the most obvious cause of the problem
> is that the X server is not running.  But since the OP also implied that
> he may not be reading the list, I'm not sure we'll know for sure what
> specifically is causing the problem.  So it's probably not worth
> speculating
> about the multiple complicated ways that one can get this same message,
> unless there's some follow-up from the OP that suggests doing so would be
> worthwhile.
>
>
> --
> Larry Hall                              http://www.rfk.com
> RFK Partners, Inc.                      (508) 893-9779 - RFK Office
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