We have got a big screen in our office connected to an old PC, whose only purpose is to display information generated by software such as Munin, Nagios, etc. It is running Debian with Xfce to be able to run on that machine. Still it is a XServer!

What I would like to do, is to connect any machine (Linux, macOS, but maybe also Windows) remotely to that XServer and mirror the clients screen (so not ssh -X!!!). So anyone can share a view on his screen with the others in the room.

  • To be more even more geeky, it should work live in NCIS :D when McGee is providing all the information from his computer on a big screen. So everybody gathers around the screen or can view from his desk without looking over someone elses shoulder – mlaug Jun 18 '11 at 12:03
  • Maybe another example: The client (MacOX) wants to show an issue in one of the developers programm. Currently everybody need to gather around his desk and have a look on his computer. Allowing everybody to view his display isn't good enough either. So the client sends his display to the xserver and his display is mirrored there. So no security issue running a vnc server on the client! – mlaug Jun 18 '11 at 12:54
  • or in other terms, i want to push my display to that xserver. the server should not pull my display! – mlaug Jun 18 '11 at 12:59
  • use TeamViewers presentation mode – gadelat Jun 18 '11 at 23:41

I think VNC would probably do the trick. Here's a post that seems relevant:


  • but this would be the wrong way, since the server should just listen to incoming inconnection and display the display from the client. VNC, RDP and stuff is known to me :), but those tools only allow to view the servers screen. – mlaug Jun 18 '11 at 12:52

There are tools to grab your X Desktop as an MPEG stream--you could then stream it to the server with VLC. I'm sure that's not as seamless as you'd like... but it might meet your core requirements. And with some scripting, maybe it could be made more seamless.

  • so is this some kind of security issue, that no tool actually fullfulls my needs? I am kind of suprised no one else seems to to have any needs for that :) – mlaug Jun 20 '11 at 6:32
  • I think most people are happy with the built-in remote capabilities of X, and the additional abilities provided by VNC and related tools. That leaves only a very small niche (yours) that isn't already perfectly handled. – Flimzy Jun 20 '11 at 6:43

Why is VNC'ing into the orignator's screen not an option?

You want to avoid the X-forwarding option over SSH, but it would seem like remoting into the "mirroring" server, initiating an ssh -X to the "originating" device, and then VNC'ing into the mirroring server would work.

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