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Openning a remote GUI session to a SOLARIS 10 Machine.

Posted on 2006-11-20
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-27
Can somebody please give me an idea on how to open an X session (GUI) over a remote server or workstation? KDE, Java Desktop or any other.

Let say I have a SUN workstation with Solaris 10 and I want more than one people to connect to it graphycally, at the same time.
What kind of computers will they need? X86 with Solaris, Windows, Linux? or Sparc-based machine?


Question by:manuel2002m
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LVL 22

Accepted Solution

blu earned 1000 total points
ID: 17982447
There are a couple of ways to do this. First, you need the X Windows server software on the local system. (X Windows
sort of reverses the intuitive meanings of client and server that you are used to. The server is where you are sitting, the clients are the applications that want to open a window there). Solaris, Linux, and most other Unix-like systems come with this by default. For Windows, you will need an add on client.

Once you are set up, there are two ways to proceed. One is to actually place your whole session on the remote system. You do this using dtlogin/gdm screen at startup. On a Solaris client, when you get the initial dialog that asks for a username and password, before you enter anything, pull down the menu at the bottom. I think it says either "Options" or
"Sessions", I forget which. Anyway, one of the choices will be "remote session". If you choose that, you can either request of menu of local systems that support the session, or enter a hostname. Enter the hostname and you will get your whole session hosted on the remote machine.

The other way is to have your session locally. After you login to the system, you can then use telnet or ssh to logon to the remote system. From there, you can set up the proper DISPLAY variable to point back to the originating machine and then just start the client. If you use the -x option with ssh, it will tunnel the x-protocol over the ssh protocol, which is more secure but a little less efficient, but ssh sets the DISPLAY variable for you.

You may need to enable the proper daemon to do the first option. I know that S10 now comes with the "secure by default" option, so most network services come shut off and you have to enable them yourself. If you have any problems, let me know.
LVL 40

Expert Comment

ID: 19056625

I would like to add to what blu said.

For you to be able to run xwindows applications on the workstation and get the display on the user PC or workstation, then

1- If the user is having a unix based OS with xwindows already runing, then


 he can telnet to the remote workstation: e.g. telnet workstation1 (or its ip address).
then he need to set the env. variable DISPLAY and export it: e.g. export DISPLAY=mypc:0.0
please note that mypc is the pc / system from which the user is telnetting from. if not defined in dns or in /etc/hosts of the workstation, then use pc ip address in place of mypc in the example above.

then he can run the xwindows tool or utility: e.g. xterm or dtterm, etc.

now, he may face a problem like not displaying on mypc. thne before he telnet to the workstation needs to allow remote xwindows applications to display on his pc. this is done with the command xhost +

to summarize:

on user workstation (mypc) he will run
$ xhost +
$ telnet workstation1

after logging to the remote workstation
$ export DISPLAY=mypc:0.0
$ dtterm (this is an example of an xwindows application. you may try xeyes)

b- if he can not telnet and have to use ssh, then he will do as above but instead of telnet he will use

$ ssh +X workstation1 (check your ssh client specific switch as +X may not work as shown here)

2- if the user is having a PC with windows, then you need xwindows S/W installed on that pc.

There are many commercial and free xwindows S/W for windows. One of them is humming bird.

you need to see the manual or help of that S/W to see how to connect to a remote workstation.

most of the xwindows S/W for windows will search the network for xwindows capable workstations and display a list of them to the user on starting the S/W. the user may choose the one he wants to login to.
the xwindows S/W will do all the settings needed and no more setting from user side is required.
once logged in he can run xwindows applications like xeyes or xterm.

if your remote windows does not allow xwindows directly and has an ssh server already installed on it, then in this case you need to see how to set the xwindows S/W on your pc to connect using  ssh. the S/W i mentioned above supports that, but you need to see the help to see how to configure it.

hope this will get you there :)

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