I use a portable virtual box (running Ubuntu) at work. I funnel my web browsing through an ssh link back to my home PC. Today I was playing around with X11 forwarding to access applications running on my home PC. I played around and eventually got the X11 forwarding to work. Xclock launched, open office worked. Everything seemed hunky doory.

Then I thought to myself... I wonder if its possible for me to access all my mp3's and have the audio streamed to my work PC. I could save myself from the chore of copying files to cds/usb keys/whatever.

However, it seems though that no matter what media player I choose, audio is not forwarded. My first attempt was with rhythmbox. I launched the app and noticed the app would load and display correctly but no audio was forwarded. It would show that playback was occuring but I would not hear any audio. I assume it must have been playing out of my speakers at home (and probably was making my dog nuerotic). I thought this may have been a rhythmbox issue, however other apps also failed.

Does X11 only forward the video/GUI components and not audio?


X11 does has nothing to do with audio. Its purpose is to serve video only.

However, it appears that PulseAudio can piggyback onto a forwarded X11 session over ssh and forward the audio as well!

  • PulseAudio and ESD are "sound servers" that are designed to be an analogue of the X-Window's X-server. it's nice when they work automagically. – quack quixote Nov 2 '09 at 5:23
  • 1
    The piggyback link is currrently broken. – Bruce Adams Mar 31 '16 at 10:15

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