Bit of an oddish one, if I've opened an X window over SSH in a screen session will it reopen when screen is reattached? I've been able to detach and the process stays running fine, with the X window continuing to update with me logged onto the server but I'm just curious if I'll be able to detach and logoff, then reattach and bring the window back.

1 Answer 1


If I understand you correctly, you logged into a remote system with SSH with X forwarding turned on, and then started up an X application and sent it to the background. If you log off completely, the SSH tunnel that provides the X forwarding feature will also close, and the X app will be terminated. However, most likely what will happen when you try to log off is that the SSH session will remain open until the X application exits. The screen session is inconsequential at this point.

Interestingly enough, there appears to be some work on being able to save and restore X sessions like screen does with terminal sessions.

  • +1 for xpra, because it is awesome. I think it'd be better to call it "a separate project", because it's neither an enhancement to screen nor to the X protocol itself.
    – mattdm
    Feb 7, 2011 at 17:30
  • Ah thank you, well that's a bit of a pain, I was hoping having it running under screen would keep the process live and just have the X window 'hidden' until reattach. Feb 7, 2011 at 17:32

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