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Thread: remote app noob

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  1. #1

    remote app noob

    Hello guys,

    i'm coming from win server2008 that has a feature "remote application" terminal services.

    i would like to throw it out and use a linux distro instead, but not sure if what i want to do would be possible... hopefully someone else will be able to help me find the answer.

    the question is:

    can i install an application like OpenOffice, Azureus, etc on the linux computer (Ubuntu server -- CLI only, no X-serve), and through some magic, i can see it and use it from a desktop PC?

    That's what i can do with win server2008, and was wondering if it was possible to do it with linux. It's not remote desktop... only the application is remoted, and it appears like a normal app from the desktop user's point of view.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    It's called "exporting the display" and *Nix has been doing it for years.

    On the server, the DISPLAY variable is set to a remote machine (Windows, Linux, whatever.) When an X application is launched, the GUI/display is "exported" to the DISPLAY location - the remote machine. On the client side, you need something installed to display the application. I usually use Exceed on Windows, but there are many ways to do it.

  3. #3
    HRO, thank you for replying!

    Can you start the application from the client side too? ----Or does it have to be running on the server and you direct it to connect to the client?

    Also, say I wanted to install OOo "Write" on the linux server. Can I have users on multiple PC's access it through "exporting the display"? Will it open multiple instances of it, or do i have to install it multiple times?


  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    bump please

  6. #5
    I have a simple home server set up, and if i need to access it's GUI, i just login via SSH and start gnome. It's dead simple.

  7. #6
    plr4ever, but i don't have x serve or gnome installed on the server. do i need that?

  8. #7


    if you want a really simple solution for forwarding a gui, then yes, i would recommend installing X11 and a desktop manager of your choice. XFCE would suffice if disk space or resources are limited, as it does everything GNOME does. However, GNOME comes with openoffice...etc, whereas XFCE requires them to be installed seperately.

    I find it fairly easy to just type

    ssh -X user@
    and then


  9. #8

    i don't have limited resources, but i was hoping to keep it a headless server to reduce complexity and surface area to attacks.

  10. #9
    I am not 100% on this, but i'm fairly sure that if a user is not logged into an Xsession, then the programs that *might* provide security flaws won't be running.

    However, if you keep the system up to date, you shouldn't be subject to any major security flaws, as long as your passwords are secure and you monitor your open ports.

    Complexity wise, yes you will have more complexity when running a GUI, but it makes it loads easier to perform maintenance and certain system tasks with a GUI.

  11. #10
    so if i install x-server thingy / gnome, it's doesn't have to be running all the time?

    only when i start it?

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