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I have Ubuntu 10.04 LTS server running within a VM (VMware Fusion) Currently I can only access the machine via character mode console. I would like to install whatever I need to install to run X11 client software on Ubuntu, without installing a full X11 Server. (I'll be using the X11 server within OS X, and ssh -X)

What should I do?

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Install sshd and xauth.

Oh yeah, start sshd as well. But I figure you already knew that bit.

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I'm new to this, so best not to assume. I believe sshd is already installed and running, because I can ssh to Ubuntu from OS X already. To install xauth I typed sudo apt-get install xauthit says xauth is already installed. – Shannon Severance Jun 16 '10 at 5:07
    
Okay, then you assuming X forwarding hasn't been disabled in the server config, you should be good to go with ssh -X. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jun 16 '10 at 6:08
    
+1 for the helpfull advice. However, and this is because I didn't know what I was doing initially and gave poor information, this answer was not the solution. – Shannon Severance Jun 20 '10 at 5:26
up vote 0 down vote accepted
  1. Check to see if it is working already:

    ssh -X serpents-hold emacs
    

That's all I needed to do. I had chosen to install sshd during the set up of the server. I'm not sure how the xauth package was installed.

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xauth is pulled in by the base xorg package and is recommended by the openssh-server package. i think Ubuntu's default Apt policy is to install recommended packages automatically; that's probably how it got installed on your system. – quack quixote Jun 20 '10 at 6:48

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