Using XForwarding

Wouldn't it be useful if you could start an application on a server, where all the workload is performed by the server while you can do the work itself from your client? You can with SSH X-forwarding. When using X-forwarding, you first establish an SSH session to the server to which you want to connect. Next, from this SSH session, you'll start the graphical application. This application will draw its screen on your workstation while doing all the work on the server. Sound good? Establishing such an environment has only two requirements:

• Make sure the option X11Forwarding is set to yes in /etc/ssh/sshd_config on the server.

• Connect to the server with the ssh -X command from your client. Alternatively, you can set the option X11Forwarding in the client configuration file /etc/ssh/ssh_config, which allows you to forward graphical sessions by default. Since, however, this poses a minor security threat, this setting is not enabled by default on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

Now that you have established the SSH session with your server, start any command you want to use. This even allows you to run YaST from a Debian workstation!

Note Forwarding X sessions with SSH is really cool, but it has a limitation. You need an X-server on the client from which you are establishing the SSH session. On Linux, Unix, or the Mac, this is not a problem since an X-server is available for each of these operating systems. On Windows, however, this is a problem. The most-used SSH client for Windows is putty, which a useful client, but it doesn't contain an X-server. If you want to use an X-server that runs on Windows, use Cygwin/X. You can find this free X-server for Windows at http://x.cygwin.com.

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