Recently I got tired of having to move a monitor cable and kb/mouse dongles over to my headless Linux box just so I could restart a virtual machine using the X-windows based management app. After rooting around the internet and spending half a day trying various things, this is what worked flawlessy with minimum effort. Note, I’m on Ubuntu so your mileage may vary.

First thing is to make sure you have a VNC server running on your Ubuntu box:

      ~$sudo apt-get install vnc4server

If it’s already installed/running, you’ll get a notice saying so.  If it wasn’t already installed, then answer yes to the prompt to install.

Next, on your mac,

      download and install xQuartz (free!):

Open a terminal server on your mac and type the following:


Once you login with your credentials, all you have to do is execute whichever app you like.  To start the linux desktop app, just type the following:


That’s it, now just run your x-apps normally.  This solved my need as I was able to then run my virt-manager app from the desktop and no more switching monitor/kb/mouse cables/dongles over!

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