First let me state my problem

I need to be able to remotely log into the main desktop. By main I mean this.

I have VNC and NX setup.

If I'm locally logged in I can then remotely connect to that main desktop with either VNC or NX. From that VNC or NX I can run apps that use the GPU

..on the other hand..

If I connect VNC or NX to a new desktop that desktop is running purely in software and has no access to the GPU.

I'm not near my desktop. In fact I'm 8000 miles from it and will be for 2 months. How can I start the main desktop remotely (effectively how can I get the system to login in as though I was locally at the computer) so that I can then VNC or NX to the running main desktop

Note: This is a work computer so auto-login is not an option.

Some ideas that so far have no panned out.

1) Turn on XDMCP via gdmsetup

Running gdmsetup from a non main display never unlocks. No idea why

2) Turn on XDMCP remotely

Every page I've seen so far is from 2007 and does not remotely match what I see. Specifically they all mention a gdm.conf. There is no gdm.conf on my system. There is /etc/gdm but none of the files look like the ones mentioned in 4 years old pages.

I'm even sure doing that will fix the problem.

3) Get vnc to run before gdm starts

The was similar. Docs were old. Not sure how to do this (or if it will work)

Ideally I'd do this by some how pinging the gdm login screen remotely with like

ssh me@remote
magic-gdm-login-cmd --user me
password: mypassword

And like magic, it was as though I had flown 8000 miles, logged in and flown back to where I am now (asia)

Other solutions are welcome though.

  • Just FYI, I know the GPU will be slow. But I need the functionally to get things done. – gman Jul 22 '11 at 10:50

I'm thinking you want to do something like this..

  1. Use trusted X11 forwarding, otherwise you can't run startx. ssh -Y gman@remote
  2. Make sure you aren't on display zero. export DISPLAY=:8
  3. Start X on a local display (ie, definitely not 8 (because of the previous step)) startx -- :0
  4. Connect via VNC or NX or whatever.

You'll prolly want a snazzy .xinitrc file. Also, this should bypass [GKX]DM.

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