Currently I am renting a VPS from VPS.net running Gentoo. How can I run "X11" applications remotely without installing a full GUI on the VPS. What is the minimum pieces of "X11" I would have to install.

This server is intended to be used as a development server for graphical and non-graphical applications.

This is Gentoo I should be able to build the packages without the "extra" packages. I just need to know what would be required to get these applications to run on the server and use a remote "X11" server over ssh.

  • The problem with asking the "minimum pieces" is that the package manager will certainly pull many things you don't need if you ask it to install a GUI app. You might want to consider using things like sshfs (or the fish:// kio in KDE) to access the remote filesystem over ssh while at the same time using local applications.
    – AlvaroGMJ
    Jul 29, 2015 at 1:58

1 Answer 1


You'll run your things with ssh -X (assuming your laptop runs a Linux with some X11 desktop) and you would only install the packages of client applications, e.g.

echo net-misc/openssh X >> /etc/portage/package.use/net-misc
sudo  emerge -av openssh

this will pull the required client libraries, but not the server part.

You don't want any desktop on the remote VPS, only some few GUI applications.

Actually, for a VPS you really should learn more on the command line.

  • I do not have a problem using the terminal, I plan on using the VPS as a development server. This includes building and testing graphical applications.
    – Joe
    Jul 28, 2015 at 23:19
  • Then perhaps you might want to install a desktop on your VPS. I am not sure it is reasonable. Jul 29, 2015 at 1:17
  • gentoo uses portage not pacman
    – Joe
    Jul 31, 2015 at 17:19

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