Unix Networked Display

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I’m setting up a space for a group at school where we can do meetings and presentations. We have a few large displays that I would like to be easily usable over the network. We already have a server that we can use to host the displays.

The solution I envision would be a collection of scripts that users could run which would make the displays appear to be attached to the local machine (so users could e.g. drag windows from their machine over to the display). I know that X is supposed to be network transparent so I think this should be possible, but I’ve had some difficulty figuring out exactly how I would get this to work.

We only have a small number of trusted users on our network, so security and resource management are not primary concerns right now.

From what I can see, most walkthroughs on the internet involve tunnelling X over ssh, but I’d like (if possible) the displays to be able to show applications running on the local machine, like I talked about earlier. Does anyone know of any good resources out there that can help me accomplish what I am looking for?


With X your apps should run on user machines with DISPLAY env var pointing your machine with X server. In this case apps will be displayed there.

SSH X forwarding sets this variable for SSH session, so you may connect by SSH to your user machine and forward its X to your machine with display.

I am not sure if it is possible to extend one desktop between user machine and display machine. But your users may run X server locally (with DISPLAY pointing to localhost) and switch it to your “display machine” if they want to show presentation .

Or they may always run them locally and then use VNC from Display Machine to their machines to share their screen.

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