I would like to startx on a remote machine, having the X session on that remote machine's display/monitor.

Background: My machines all run Arch linux, and they all dont use a graphical login manager (like GDM or KDM or such). I usually log into tty, and type in "startx" to start my XFCE4 session. While on work, I sometimes connect to my home-machine via VNC. This works nice. Sometimes, I do stuff that requires my remote machine (at home) to reboot.

If I do so, there is no way to re-connect to the machine, as my VNC-connection needs a running X session (for x11vnc in my case). So, I need a procedure to somehow connect to my freshly rebooted remote machine (to TTY1) in order to type in username, password and "startx".

Could someone please give a hint how to do that?


Your approach is correct. However you can't startx remotely in the way you suggest. For x11vnc to work you need to have the Xserver running. I suggest you install xdm which will get you to a login screen in X. You can then have x11vnc on the Xserver and log in that way.


ssh -X ... will enable X11 forwarding . But you need a support at the server side.

PS: I have newer tried to run whole xfce session through. So I am curious myself :D

  • thx for your time, but if I disconnect from that ssh session, the X session of my remote machine will quit, too... I would like to start the user X session at the remote machine tty1, not forward it via ssh... – Produnis Jan 19 '15 at 17:38

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