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I have inherited a VAX system that was just migrated onto CHARON-VAX (VMS emulated on Windows) I can access it via ssh, but not with X. Anyone here familiar with DECwindows? is it X compliant? Or do I need a specific client to access it?

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According to Wikipedia, DECWindows is DEC's brand name for CDE, and CDE has X inside. – Gilles Mar 4 '11 at 19:39
As Gilles said, DECWindows is X11, so you should be able to use any X client eg xterm. How are you trying to access it with X? I assume you've specified which display to use? Have you authorised access (eg using xhost?) – AndrewNimmo Mar 4 '11 at 22:20
This is a funny question here, because historically Unix and VMS are fierce enemies in direct competition. Like, Mac vs. Windows. Except more so, if you can imagine that. – mattdm Mar 8 '11 at 23:34
Is $DISPLAY set? What if you run ssh -X? Do basic X11 utilities such as xhost, xauth, xdpyinfo, xterm, and xeyes exist? – Mikel May 8 '11 at 3:46

First make sure your CHARON-VMS instance has working IPv4. For example, make sure it can ping a host on your network. Also make sure that SYS$MANAGER:DECW$PRIVATE_SERVER_SETUP.COM allows TCP: decw$server_transports == "DECNET,LOCAL,TCPIP".

Then log in from your Linux box using ssh -Y or ssh -X and run an X11 application (for example RUN SYS$SYSTEM:DECW$CLOCK).

If this doesn't work, try changing ssh -X to ssh -Y. Or experiment with turning X11 authorisation off entirely by typing xhost +.

More info: http://labs.hoffmanlabs.com/node/134 (although that page gets "client" and "server" backwards - in X11, the server is the system with the monitor).

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I had a similar problem on an ubuntu box could not run X11 over ssh.

port forwarding can be disabled on client and server, so may need to check in /etc and ~ of server. There is something in the authorized keys file, and some thing in a config file, from what I remember.

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DECWindows is based on X. Any X server should be able to connect to it. However you may need to frig with configuration for authentication and various other X niceities. I don't know OTOH if CHARON supports tunneling X over SSH.

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Caveat lector: I know nothing about VMS. However I found this documentation that explains how to remotely connect with X from a Linux box to a VMS server, and apparently applies perfectly to your problem. This other documentation gives some more gory details in case you need help configuring XDMCP and the like.

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