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I am monitoring a website and want to know if there is a way that I can view the pictures via ssh rather than loading the website each time.

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so you have ssh access to the server and are watching the images directory? – Frank Thomas Feb 26 '13 at 13:46
Yes, I setup a scritp to alert me when something new is added. Now I want to be able to view it and remove or approve via ssh. – mrhobbeys Feb 26 '13 at 14:04

6 Answers 6

up vote 7 down vote accepted

You haven't said what Operating System you are connecting from. If you are using a *nix running an X server, you can use ssh X forwarding. This will enable you to run graphical applications on the remote server and have them displayed on the local machine. For example:

ssh -Y user@server
eog pictures/foo.png

Assuming the server has eog installed, this should cause the image to be opened and displayed on your screen.

For future reference, when asking questions on this site it is a good idea to specify the system you are using because the correct answer will often depend on it.

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I'm on windows with putty and xming today, so I am going to give this a try. – mrhobbeys Feb 26 '13 at 15:10
This works nicely. – mrhobbeys Feb 26 '13 at 15:20

If you have the path of the pictures you can like Frank Thomas said then you can download them and open them in a picture viewer via scp or maybe sftp if you have access. If you're using linux then do a wget on the pictures, but of course you can't open them in a shell, so downloading them is you best option if you are talking purely shell.

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This wouldn't really work well only because at that point it would be easier to open a browser to see them. – mrhobbeys Feb 26 '13 at 14:05
Well it depends on the setup, because if the picture names have a similar path and naming convention, then it could be scripted and turned into a cronjob. – BigHomie Feb 26 '13 at 14:22

You can also use sshfs, if you're under Linux.

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or use WinSCP if on Windows. – Frank Thomas Feb 26 '13 at 15:27
@FrankThomas: Well, that wasn't what I had in mind. With sshfs you can simply mount the remote file system and it will behave as if the files are on your computer. No need to download anything... – carlspring Feb 26 '13 at 15:41

I use thunar (a file manager, also works with nautilus and probably others) to do this kind of stuff.

If you enter the address:


It will connect via ssh (optionally asking for a password/passphrase) and it will display the filesystem visually, where you can open the images with a viewer (eg. gpicview or eog, but I found eog to be slow in this case).

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In general you may transfer the media data, e.g. images, to your local desktop or the ssh terminal itself if capable of displaying media:

  • XWindow forwarding: brings any desktop imageviewer application from the remote host to your display
  • sftp: any sftp-client transfers the media to your local desktop where you may launch an image viewer
  • ssh filesystem: a bit like sftp, but the remote filesystem is seamlessly integrated locally so local image viewers may launch
  • Or webbased: This terminal (like many others) is itself capable of displaying image data (the image data is "cat"ed !) enter image description here

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This is a common pain point amongst computer vision researchers. I created a tiny script ( which I use to serve images in a directory on a remote machine via python -d path/to/image/dir/. Then I use ssh tunneling to forward a local port to the remote port on which I am running the server, and then I just view the images on my local machine by pointing my web browser to my local port, by default This approach is the most flexible for viewing images over ssh because you can control the appearance of the display.

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