X Server

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Remote connection to X server

X Server side - remote host

Enable the X Display Manager Control Protocol (XDMCP). This protocol allows users to remotely log in to a desktop environment from any X Window System compatible client. To enable this you need to edit graphical login manager/display manager configuration file:

  • KDM - /usr/share/config/kdm/kdmrc
  • Light DM - /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf in Ubuntu
  • GDM - /etc/gdm/custom.conf and add [XDMCPServer] Enable=true
  • GDM3 -/etc/gdm3/daemon.conf

Optional: Tell your X11 server machine (your desktop) to accept X11 connections from the client machine

xhost +X11_client_ip #very old thing

Start Login Manager if needed. This command veries depends on Linux distribution.

$ sudo service gdm start

Client side

Enable X forwarding in /etc/ssh/ssh_config file or in your user profile ~/.ssh/ssh_config

vi /etc/ssh/ssh_config
ForwardAgent yes
ForwardX11 yes
ForwardX11Trusted yes
# X11Forwarding yes #breaking config : Bad configuration option: x11forwarding

Connect to X server over ssh and can start KDE, but also

$ DISPLAY=0:0; ssh -Y -f examplelinuxserver.com startkde
# -X enables and sets defaults for X11 forwarding
# -Y enables trusted X11 forwarding
# -f option backgrounds ssh and the remote command “sleep 10” to start service to be tunnelled. If don't start within 10s ssh'll exit.


Windows X servers

  • Xming xming-7-5-0-29-setup.exe md5 9d026c1931a40d12313d59eddffa947a, only version 6.9.x is available to download for free
    • Atom from U15.10 runs on it but it seems sluggish, session over ssh not XDMCP
  • VcXsrv same as Xming but compiled using Visual Studio, available in 64bit, it's just Xorg built using MSVC instead of GCC
  • Cygwin's X server