Running graphical software over SSH


This article discusses how to run graphical software over SSH.


X server


Sometimes, you may need to connect to a machine remotely and run some software that launches a window with a graphical user interface (GUI). SSH can forward GUI windows to machines remotely using the X Window system (also known as X11). To allow X forwarding to your machine from Linux or macOS, you need to execute the SSH command using the -Y option, as in ssh -Y username@hostname. Refer to the ssh(1) manual page for the gory details.

 Note: If you are off-campus (or, in some cases, using Wi-Fi on campus), you will need to connect to the University VPN before you will be able to successfully use SSH.

For this to work, your client machine must be running an X server:

  • Linux — Linux does this natively.
  • macOS — Macs require having XQuartz installed.


Article ID: 1627
Wed 5/27/20 8:28 AM
Tue 12/19/23 2:07 PM