I have a linux box in my office. I left a firefox window open there and came to home. I'd like to access the firefox window over ssh from my home. Is it possible?

  • 1
    No. Next time use vnc. Or just kill firefox, then run again in vnc. I hope it saves its state. – Ipor Sircer Sep 20 '16 at 13:13

You'd need to start x11vnc or vino-server in that X session, port forward connections to that VNC server and attach to that.

For instance, with $pid the pid of firefox:

ssh -Y host vino-preferences

Enable sharing without prompt and set a VNC password.

ssh host

On the remote shell, run:

xargs -0a "/proc/$pid/environ" sh -c '
  exec env "$@"  /usr/lib/vino/vino-server --tube' sh

To start vino.

Note which port the vnc server is on.

Type ~C to bring the ssh prompt, run (here if VNC is on port 2)

-L 5900:localhost:5902

to setup the port forward.

Then one the ssh client, connect to that VNC server with:

vinagre :0

(use a different port than 5900/:0 above if the VNC port is already in use on the local machine).

It's a bit simpler with x11vnc:

Run vncpasswd on the remote host to set a VNC password and:

xargs -0a "/proc/$pid/environ" sh -c '
  exec env "$@" x11vnc' sh

And proceed as above for the port forward and connecting to the VNC server.


By default, no. Your running firefox instance is talking to the X server on your desktop.

Depending on your desktop it may have built in "desktop sharing", which is typically a built-in VNC server. You could connect to that and access your whole desktop remotely.

Alternatively there are solutions such as XPRA ( http://xpra.org/ ) which are "screen for X11"; you run the XPRA server, which creates an X server. Inside that you can run your firefox, xterm, whatever. And then attach to that server remotely. But this requires pre-planning.

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