Tunnel X11 applications with SSH
This page explains how to start remote X applications (also called X clients) easily and securely. This is the recommended way to run all remote X applications and is the required method for running off-site X applications which need to be displayed at CERN.
Most desktop computers do or can run an X server. This is true for X terminals, UNIX workstations and Windows PCs with an X emulator such as X-Win32. When your desktop computer runs an X server you often need to start remote X applications, i.e. applications not running on your desktop but with the windows displayed on your screen.
Displaying X Applications on Windows PCs
You can display remote X applications on your Windows system by installing "X-Win32" following the instructions provided here.
Displaying X Applications on UNIX Systems
You can display remote X applications on your UNIX system using SSH as described below. SSH will encrypt your sessions and is the preferred method.
Encrypting X Applications using SSH
The recommended way to start a remote X client is to use ssh with its X11 forwarding feature enabled (this is the default at CERN). You can either start an interactive session with ssh and start an X client (by simply typing the command name) or directly start the remote command with:
$ ssh [-l <remote-user-name>] <remote-machine> <command> [<arguments>]
$ ssh lxplus001 xload $ ssh -l root myserver xterm -ls