I've got X11 forwarding on so I can see program windows on my server from my desktop, I'm wondering if I disconnect from the ssh session with the x11 forwarding to my PC, will that program close on the server side upon disconnecting? If it does, is there a way to prevent that?

I have MEGASync running on my server and it needs an X server running to use it, I cannot use VNC because iptables is acting strangely, can't open the port properly. I'd like to keep megasync running on the server without having to stay connected to SSH so I can turn my PC off.

Any way to do this?

  • I would use screen but not sure how that works with -X. – Jonatan Öström Aug 26 '16 at 11:53

Xpra seems to be exactly what you are looking for. It's a bit like screen or tmux but for X11 applications.

See this answer on http://unix.stackexchange.com for an example.

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There are 2 avenues I would explore. the simplest is just to keep the ssh alive by adding ServerAliveInterval 60 to your ssh client config

cat <<- EOF >> $HOME/.ssh/config

    # send packets over ssh every 60 seconds to keep ssh connection alive
    ServerAliveInterval 60

or alternatively install screen or tmux, personally I use tmux

so on the server you would need to run

sudo apt-get install tmux

then launch tmux on server

tmux -2

connect to the server with

ssh -X -C -c blowfish-cbc,arcfour [-pPORT_NUM] user@


  • -X Enables X11 forwarding.
  • -C Requests compression of all data (including stdin, stdout, stderr, and data for forwarded X11, TCP and UNIX-domain connec‐ tions).
  • -c is the cipher type

the compression stuff is not essentially but reduces lagginess/responsiveness with the server

Then launch your program from inside the tmux session


$ your program

if your ssh gets disconnected, the program should remain running on the server, to reconnect with the program once you get a new ssh connection going, run

tmux attach

on the server

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  • -c blowfish-cbc,arcfour Don't recommend using broken ciphers! Also compression is useless these days. – Jakuje Aug 26 '16 at 15:28

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