SSH X forwarding

What is SSH X forwarding?

SSH X forwarding allows you to forward programs that use a graphical user interface through your remote SSH connection to a CS machine. This method is preferrable to using VNC which forwards the entire desktop and is easy to setup. Please see the information below about setting it up on your operating system.

Linux

Congratulations, you are already done! When connecting to CS machines using SSH, simply add the -X flag and launch your programs normally. For example: Open a terminal and type ssh -X stab-bat.cs.utexas.edu. Whenever you launch a program that uses a gui, it will pop up as if you were physically sitting at that computer.

MacOS

To start, download XQuartz.  When connecting to CS machines using SSH, simply add the -X flag and launch your programs normally. For example: Open a xterm and type ssh -X astral-badger.cs.utexas.edu. Whenever you launch a program that uses a gui, X11 will pop up and your program will display as if you were physically sitting at that computer.

Windows

Windows does not come with a built in X server, so you will need to install one. There are multiple choices, but we recommend Xming as it is light weight, free, and doesn't install unnecessary items you probably won't use. It comes with PuTTY, but it will also work with SSH Secure Shell. Note: For SSH Secure Shell, you will need to enable 'X11 Tunneling' by checking the box in Settings -> Profile Settings -> Tunneling. You may also need to install the Xming font package for certain programs, like Emacs, to start properly. Once this is done, you will be able be able to launch a program that uses a gui and Xming will display it as if you were physically sitting at that computer.

Questions?

Please send email to gripe@cs.utexas.edu.