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Under unix/linux, there is this extremely useful program screen: it's for bash, text-only, and I can detach a session, log out (the session is still running though), log in later (even from a different computer) and resume the session exactly as I left it.

My question is, is there an equivalent to screen for X?

So what I want to do is: work remotely with ssh -X in an X-session on a remote linux machine, log out, then later log in from a different computer again with ssh -X and then re-attach the X-session; practically resuming work from the moment when I logged out before. Is this possible?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jun 2 '11 at 12:35

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4 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I am having success in using xpra

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Yup, the author describes xpra as "screen for X". Useful indeed. –  Piskvor Jun 7 '11 at 14:00
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More a question for unix.stack but have a look at x11vnc. Things will work a bit differently, you won't be using ssh -X but use the VNC protocol. In shared mode, disconnecting VNC will not log out the X session.

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Why not just use VNC?

So long as you don't log out (thus closing all your running applications etc) your system will stay in the exact same state no matter how many times you disconnect/reconnect.

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With X-forwarding, the applications can appear as running on the computer you're forwarding them to, whereas with VNC you're limited to working inside a forwarded desktop. That is, X-forwarding gives a more native feel. –  Sebastian Paaske Tørholm Jun 2 '11 at 15:36
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I use NoMachine at work and at home. It uses ssh. I happen to use the Windows client, but clients are available for Linux and Mac, too.

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