I don't understand a lot about ssh so some help would be great. I want to be able to use the scipy stack and in particular the spyder ide on a windows or osx machine while connected via ssh to my ubuntu server. I want to do this so that I can run, load, and test various python scripts on large amounts of data that I have stored on my server, without having to use hard drive space on my other computers.

I have Spyder and the scipy stack installed on the server and the PC I'm trying to access the server with. I also set up a root user on the ubuntu server that allows me to ssh in. I can successfully connect to my server via ssh on both my mac and my pc, and for Putty I enabled the X11 forwarding option.

After I connect to my server via Putty (but this is the case on my mac as well) I get this error after typing spyder:

PuTTY X11 proxy: unable to connect to forwarded X server: Network error: Connection refused
Spyder: cannot connect to X server localhost:10.0

Or on Mac OSX I just get the error: Spyder: cannot connect to X server localhost:10.0

So I looked online and found that on my server I would need to do a few things. The first thing I tried was xhost local:root followed by sudo DISPLAY=$DISPLAY gedit /etc/profile. This didn't seem to work though. I also put in my ssh username instead of root for the second command but nothing happened.

I then tried another suggestion, adding Defaults env_keep="DISPLAY XAUTHORITY" to the end of visudo. This didn't work.

Finally, after SSHing into my server again, I tried another suggestion:

export DISPLAY=:0

this ended up opening spyder up on my ubuntu server, but not on my pc or my mac. So how can I open up the spyder IDE while on putty or just via terminal on my mac?

  • do you have installed X server on your Windows?
    – Jakuje
    Mar 2, 2016 at 7:56

1 Answer 1


Do you have X11 installed on the clients?

For Windows, install XMing on the Windows client.

For OS X, install XQuartz on the OS X client.

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