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


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.


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:


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .