X11 Windows Forwarding

X11 versus VNC

Using X11 forwarding will almost always give worse performance than using the MASSIVE desktop with VNC/Strudel. The reasons are complex and varied (ranging from the simple issues like  the relative performance of your computer's GPU versus MASSIVE GPUs to complicated issues involving number of network round trips and the importance of bandwidth versus latency). Suffice to say, this page is provided for your information, but you probably don't want to be using it. If you do use this information, understand that your performance will probably be sub-optimal.

X11 Windows Forwarding

For a number of applications on MASSIVE you may require or desire the ability to forward a graphical screen from the application back to your home computer, rather than using the MASSIVE desktop (which is designed for visualisation tasks). The following is a brief tutorial on how to do this with different operating systems.

Linux and MacOS

With Linux and MacOS this is very easy. Simply login from the command line as usual with the -X option (for X forwarding):

ssh -X


MS Windows

Linux and MacOS have a X11 server installed by default, for MS Windows you'll need to install one of the following X11 Server implementations:

Once installed you can start the X11 server via the program menu. The X11 server will sit in the background and wait for communication forwarded from MASSIVE.

To forward X11 messages from Putty, before connecting, locate connection > SSH > X11 the X11 panel and select "Enable X11 Forwarding". It is probably a good idea to save this session so that X11 is allows enabled. Locate the main session panel and enter a sensible name (e.g., XWindowsTango) in the text box and save.


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