David R. Heffelfinger

  Ensode Technology, LLC

 
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Running Graphical Applications on a remote server


Like many, I host my web site on a remote server, it is a Virtual Private Server, running Linux (Cent OS 5).

I have full SSH access to my server, which provides me with full access to the bash shell to do anything my heart desires, well, almost anything, or so I thought.

One thing I couldn't do was to run graphical applications on the server, since it doesn't have an X server such as X.org. This didn't bother me too much, since there weren't too many graphical applications there I wanted to run remotely, with one exception, the GlassFish update tool.

I remember back in the good old days when Unix ruled, you could set the DISPLAY environment variable to run an application on one workstation or server while displaying it on another, I tried setting the DISPLAY variable to the display of my local Linux laptop, but it didn't work.

A few days ago while browsing Slashdot, I ran into a comment that explained how to achieve this:

ssh -YtC user@myserver.com /path/to/graphical_app

I tried the above with the correct credentials, server and path and lo and behold, I was able to run the GlassFish update tool on my server while displaying it on my laptop.

Thanks Doug!

 
 
 
 
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