I have a Linux box that I don't have physical access to, but I do have SSH access. I'd like to know is if there is something similar to SSH or Telnet that would allow me to use Gnome or KDE instead of the command shell? I want to login to my box from Microsoft Windows 8.1 and use Gnome or KDE on my Linux box.

My distro is Centos 6.5.

  • I've never used it myself, but xming looks interesting. – PM 2Ring Oct 28 '14 at 2:51
  • 1
    Take a look at mobaxterm.mobatek.net – Kev Oct 28 '14 at 3:24
  • VNC over SSH is always nice. If you use VNC directly over the internet then you've compromised all of your machines (VNC by default is not encrypted). – SailorCire Oct 28 '14 at 11:01

Depending on your needs, you can achieve this by doing one of the following.

1. Running X Applications on your Windows 8.1

This can be done by using X11Forwarding.

  • Install Xming on Windows machine
  • set X11Forwarding yes in /etc/ssh/sshd_config
  • Configure PuTTy to use X11 Forwarding
    • Can be found in the menu: Connection > SSH > X11
    • Tick checkbox Enable X11 Forwarding
    • Enter localhost:0 in X Display location field
  • start xclock (or other X application, e.g. xeyes) via your SSH shell.

More info on Xming/PuTTy: https://wiki.utdallas.edu/wiki/display/FAQ/X11+Forwarding+using+Xming+and+PuTTY

2. Taking over the session with VNC

This looks more like what you want to accomplish. You can take over the whole desktop by using VNC, just like you would use RDP on Windows.

For Gnome:

Edit the ~/.vnc/xstartup file to start a GNOME session whenever vncserver is started. The first time you run the vncserver script it will ask you for a password you want to use for your VNC session.

A sample xstartup file:

# Uncomment the following two lines for normal desktop:
# exec /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc
[ -x /etc/vnc/xstartup ] && exec /etc/vnc/xstartup
[ -r $HOME/.Xresources ] && xrdb $HOME/.Xresources
#xsetroot -solid grey
#vncconfig -iconic &
#xterm -geometry 80x24+10+10 -ls -title "$VNCDESKTOP Desktop" &
#twm &
if test -z "$DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS" ; then
    eval `dbus-launch --sh-syntax –exit-with-session`
    echo "D-BUS per-session daemon address is: \
exec  gnome-session

Source: https://access.redhat.com/documentation/en-US/Red_Hat_Enterprise_Linux/5/html/Virtualization/sect-Virtualization-Tips_and_tricks-Configuring_a_VNC_Server.html

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