Chapter 12. Remotely accessing an X11-based application

You can remotely launch a graphical X11-based application on a RHEL server and use it from the remote client using X11 forwarding.


This procedure works for legacy X11 applications, that is, applications that support the X11 display protocol.

12.1. Enabling X11 forwarding on the server

Configure a RHEL server so that remote clients can use graphical applications on the server over SSH.


  1. Install basic X11 packages:

    # dnf install xorg-x11-xauth xorg-x11-fonts-\* xorg-x11-utils dbus-x11

    Your applications might rely on additional graphical libraries.

  2. Enable the X11Forwarding option in the /etc/ssh/sshd_config configuration file:

    X11Forwarding yes

    The option is disabled by default in RHEL.

  1. Restart the sshd service:

    # systemctl restart sshd.service

12.2. Launching an application remotely using X11 forwarding

Access a graphical application on a RHEL server from a remote client using SSH.



  1. Log in to the server using SSH:

    [local-user]$ ssh -X -Y remote-server
    The authenticity of host 'remote-server (' can't be established.
    ECDSA key fingerprint is SHA256:uYwFlgtP/2YABMHKv5BtN7nHK9SHRL4hdYxAPJVK/kY.
    Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no/[fingerprint])?
  2. Confirm that a server key is valid by checking its fingerprint.


    If you plan to log in to the server on a regular basis, add the user’s public key to the server using the ssh-copy-id command.

  3. Continue connecting by typing yes.

    Warning: Permanently added 'remote-server' (ECDSA) to the list of known hosts.
  4. When prompted, type the server password.

    local-user's password:
    [local-user ~]$
  5. Launch the application from the command line:

    [remote-user]$ application-binary

To skip the intermediate terminal session, use the following command:

$ ssh user@server -X -Y -C binary_application

12.3. Additional resources