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"WARNING: Couldn't register with accessibility bus"

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On SL7 a message like the following can sometimes appear when starting a program from a shell window:

** (emacs:26081): WARNING **: Couldn't register with accessibility bus: Did not receive a reply. Possible causes include: the remote application did not send a reply, the message bus security policy blocked the reply, the reply timeout expired, or the network connection was broken.

Unless you need to use accessibility features the warning is harmless, but irritating. If you do depend on accessibility features please get in touch and we'll see what we can do to help.

We've taken some steps to suppress the warnings, so for users of most window managers the warnings should no longer occur. The lucky people who do still see the warnings are the users of GNOME and GNOME Classic. These people can stop the warnings from appearing by doing the following:

  • Using your favourite text editor, edit ~/.brc
  • Add the following two lines:
    # See http://computing.help.inf.ed.ac.uk/accessibility-bus
    export NO_AT_BRIDGE=1
  • Save the file.

That should stop the warning from appearing - though only in windows which were started after ~/.brc was edited.

Another solution would be to use a different window manager. Window managers on SL7 outlines the various window managers on offer, and how to switch to another one.

Last reviewed: 
30/05/2017

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