Remote X-Terminals

How do I display a remote X application on my local linux workstation?

Displaying a remote X application locally is a process which requires the user to enter commands on both the local host (hosta), i.e. the workstation on his/her desk, and the remote host (hostb) which could be in the office next door or half way around the world.

The easiest and most secure way to do this is to use ssh to log into the remote host. Ssh will automatically perform the steps listed below for you, and do it in a more secure fashion at the same time.

On the local host, enable access for the remote machine to display on the local host. This is done via the xhost command as follows:

user@hosta[40]: xhost +hostb

The machine will write:

hostb being added to access control list

The user then logs into the remote machine and types:

user@hostb[21]: setenv DISPLAY hosta:0.0

This tells the X applications where to do all their graphics output. Failure to set the DISPLAY environmental variable will result in the application informing you that it can't determine $DISPLAY.

On the Meteorology Linux Workstation network the Xrsh command does all this for you provided you can log onto the remote host without a password (via an .rhosts file entry). Just type:

user@hosta[42]: xterm hostb

This fires up an xterm window on the local host which allows you to run X applications on the remote host and display them to the local host.

(Rev. CFP 6-Dec-04)


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