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How does X11 forwarding work? I am interested in knowing whether the processing to render graphics is done at the end of the host running the application or the host displaying the graphical interface?

Should I use a GPU intensive application (game) - where should I have the GPU installed (server end / client end)? Of course the server will need the GPU if it is running CUDA / openCL applications, but what about the display?


This question was closed on StackOverflow. This was a link pointed to me, but I am looking to understand more of the underlying protocol and performance tweaks.

2 Answers 2

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Assuming you're using OpenGL, the GPU should be installed on the host where the X server is running. The client will send rendering commands to the X server, which will then take advantage of the GPU to process the rendering commands.

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It seems this is a little more complex (and messy). Maybe the calculations of the game's graphics will be done on the server side (although the proper use of the GPU/OpenGL is not that clear, but everything about the interface is definitely calculated on the client side.

This post explains it pretty well:

https://superuser.com/questions/1217280/why-is-x11-forwarding-so-inefficient

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