Tutorials/Access another computer's display

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You want to access KDE software that is running on another computer.

Reasons can be

  • someone is running Linux and requesting support from you
  • you want to train a user how to work with a specific gui software
  • you have worked on your desktop computer and want to continue work in front of the TV (Simpsons coming) on your notebook


You will need the software x11vnc. For example, to install x11vnc on SUSE Linux, open a Konsole and type

yast -i x11vnc

So let's assume you want to access a KDE desktop session of user on the computer user-desktop. Open a Konsole and do:

you@your-computer $ ssh user@user-desktop
user@user-desktop $ export DISPLAY=:0
user@user-desktop $ x11vnc

The program x11vnc tells you where to connect. The line will read like

The VNC desktop is:      user-desktop:0

Connect from your notebook:

you@your-computer $ vncviewer user-desktop:0

The "user-desktop" term may be the host name of the server machine if that name is configured in the "hosts" file on the client machine.