Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I would like to run an application on a remote ubuntu machine using vnc. Currently I have to

  1. ssh into the remote machine and run x11vnc
  2. Run vinagre locally
  3. Start the application in the vinagre vnc window

How can I turn this into a single command line operation? I can combine 1 and 2 into a bash script but how do I do 3 from the command line too?

share|improve this question
up vote 0 down vote accepted

If you want a specific app in your vnc session, you can use vnc4server and edit .vnc/xstartup to start your application. But the shared desktop won't be your physical X11 display, but another (virtual) display.

An alternative would be to use ssh / X11 forwarding (ssh -X server) : any graphical application you launch is redirected to your local desktop.

share|improve this answer
ssh/X11 forwarding is far too slow to be usable sadly for me. I'll take a look at .vnc/startup, thanks. – Anush Apr 18 '13 at 13:00

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.