Kind of off topic.

Giorgos Keramidas keramida at
Tue Dec 14 09:09:14 UTC 2010

On Mon, 13 Dec 2010 17:21:06 -0600, Jorge Biquez <jbiquez at> wrote:
> Hello all.
> A friend is asking me to help him to solve some problem he has in his
> servers. To some I would be able to connect using ssh, with other just
> it i snot possible. I remember that on the windows world there was a
> commercial software PCANywhere. He can have it but I am not sure if I
> would be able to connect to that from my Freebsd machine (of course
> not by ssh).
> What are you using for connecting to graphical interfaces of different
> OS's from FreeBSD?
> I tested some years ago a VNC software but did not work fine with MAC
> OSX (recently released by then).
> I know big security factors are involved for sure.
> Any suggestion on what to use, not to expensive or free?

If the remote hosts are running FreeBSD, you can do almost *everything*
through SSH.  For example most of my FreeBSD-related testing work
happens through SSH connections to virtual machines these days.

If you really need to run a GUI application though there are a few

  - The most basic is to connect to the remote machine in *some* way,
    set the DISPLAY environment variable to point to a local X server
    that may accept incoming connections and fire up your GUI program.

  - You can SSH into the remote machine and use the -X or -Y options to
    set up 'X forwarding' back to the machine where the SSH connection
    has originated from.

  - You can use programs like the NX tools <>
    to set up a 'remotely accessible X desktop' on the target machine
    and then use nxclient to connect to it from anywhere.

The fastest and simplest method is still a plain good old SSH connection
though.  It requires minimal setup (an sshd daemon on the remote side),
it is accessible from anywhere in the world, it's secure against random
eavesdroppers, it's fast to connect to, it's pretty light-weight on both
the client and server systems, and you can do _everything_ on the remote
host [even full system upgrades from source].

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