Is it possible to somehow open an x application on another users display?

Say that i have user A who is logged on to the ubuntu desktop, and user B who is accessing the ubuntu machine via SSH.

I know that it is possible for user B to open an x application locally, but is it possible for user B to open a program (ie firefox) and have it displayed on user A's desktop session?

And if yes, how?


Yes, but it will depend on your xhost settings. So, if you have connected as userB to a machine that is running an X session owned by userA, you will need to do two things:

  1. userA must allow you access:

    userA@foo $ xhost +
  2. You need to set your DISPLAY variable to the remote display:

    userB@foo $ export DISPLAY=:0;

Now userB will be able to run graphical programs.

  • And that will make user B's xapp appear on user A's screen? Also, is DISPLAY=:0; the actual value, or do i have to do some reading to find out what to set it for? I would assume i would need to some IP address and user stuff there? – Martin Nielsen Jun 4 '13 at 14:45
  • @MartinNielsen yup. That's what you asked for isn't it? – terdon Jun 4 '13 at 14:46
  • Yes... yes it was:) – Martin Nielsen Jun 4 '13 at 14:47
  • This questions has been asked already see here. Though in a not so clear fashion. Is it possible to merge? Or must one of them be tagged as duplicater? – wottis Jun 4 '13 at 21:29
  • @wottis flag the question for moderator attention and leave them a message with the duplicate's link. They can choose to merge or not. – terdon Jun 5 '13 at 1:53

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