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Using X Windows

Introduction

X-Windows allows you to display remote applications on your local computer screen. X-Windows follows the client-server architecture. Normally, the X server runs on the users desktop/laptop computer, while the X client (for example a GUI application) runs on the remote server. The X Client displays itself on the X Server.

Using NERSC NX Service to Improve X Performance

NX is a computer program that handles remote X Window System connections. It can greatly improve the performance of the X Windows, to the point that it can be usable over a slow link such as a dial-up modem. NX also provides sessions, which will allow a user to disconnect from the session and reconnect to it at a later time, while keeping the state of all running applications inside the session. This gives users a virtual desktop that's running at NERSC.

For more information about NERSC NX Service, please refer to the NX Documentation Page.

Using X-Windows on Unix-like Systems (Mac OSX, Solaris, Linux, etc)

Most Unix-like systems have X server installed by default. The user only need to provide the -X option when starting an SSH connection:

% ssh -X nimuser@hopper.nersc.gov

Using X-Windows on Windows PC

We suggest users to use the NX service for easier and faster X windows experience. For more information about NERSC NX Service, please refer to the NX Documentation Page.

To use X-Windows on a windows PC without using NX you'll need to install an X Server on your PC, and use an SSH client with X-Windows forwarding to connect to NERSC.

Free X-Windows server programs on Windows PC include Xming and Cygwin/X.