Let's imagine we have this situation - we have 2 PCs some distance apart (one is at home, the other in an office). The PC in the office had restarted and awaits login (via virtual console, no fancy login manager; it's running Arch btw :)). Its SSH daemon is running so the PC at home can reach it with no problems. The question is how the PC at home can (via SSH) access the virtual console #1 on the office PC, login (if needed) and then run startx, so X will run as usual (as if it was ran locally). As you know running startx directly from SSH terminal doesn't work.

  • Why do you need to start X remotely? You won't be able to do anything useful with it anyway. Oct 8, 2017 at 9:44
  • I will run x0vncserver and then connect to it with TigerVnc client. Running vncserver "unnatached" to the physical display is undesirable for me Oct 8, 2017 at 9:48
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    Does the office PC have Lights Out Management, such as iLO or iDRAC? Or, does its kernel support the vnc and vncpassword options? Oct 8, 2017 at 19:14
  • The office PC doesn't have Light Out Management. I'm not aware of vnc options to the kernel. It's a standart Arch distribution (kernel is not customized by me) Oct 9, 2017 at 16:54

1 Answer 1


You can change your virtual terminal and start X11 like this:

sudo chvt 1        # change to virtual terminal 1
sudo startx        # start X11

Note that chvt also allows you to run fim (and probably fbi) via an ssh session:

ssh somewhere
sudo chvt 1
sudo fim -a -T1 image.png

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