remote x-window

Greg 'groggy' Lehey grog at
Sun Feb 5 20:31:41 PST 2006

On Friday,  3 February 2006 at  8:58:08 +0000, Michael Fleming wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 02, 2006 at 09:48:56PM -0900, Beech Rintoul wrote:
>> I have sort of a newbie question. How do I connect to a remote
>> machine with x-windows and get a desktop? Could someone point me in
>> the right direction as I've never had a need to to do it before. I
>> do have ssh to the machine.
> You'll have to export $DISPLAY=x.x.x.x:0.0 so that the display on the
> remote machine is displayed on the local.

Specifically, the DISPLAY environment variable states the name of the
remote host, the server number and the screen number.  Normally you
only have one server, which is then 0.  It's quite common to have more
than one screen: I'm writing this on, but there
are two further screens called and  See
for an example.

> You'll also have to forward X11 packets, check your ssh_conf so that
> "forward X11 yes".

This is for tunnelling over ssh.  I wouldn't recommend that in a local

> I use cygwin on my work laptop ( XP ) and a openvpn connection to my
> BSD machine then fire up the display on the XP machine.

It's possible that you'd need it here, but between BSD machines it's
just overhead.

One thing that you don't mention is whether the server will listen on
TCP.  This used to be the default, but it isn't any more.  If you're
using startx, you'll have to remove the 'nolisten-tcp' option.  See

If you're using KDE or GNOME, you'll probably have to do something
similar.  I don't know the details, though.

See complete headers for address and phone numbers.
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