In both the cases, I am able to connect to X11.

  1. What's the difference?
  2. And is xhost +hostname permanent, even after the base terminal is closed?

Using ssh -X, you have a tunnel to the X server which is reasonably secure. Using xhost +, you do not have that secure connection.

The xhost + command changes the X server properties so that other connections will succeed where they did not before (including after you disconnect from the hosts which you enabled).

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