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X11 Forwarding Alternatives⚓︎

Alternative Methods to X11⚓︎

Below are the steps to get a JavaScript enabled, terminal based, web browser for use when you absolutely need a web browser on a headless server. You should try using this method first before you break out a GUI browser. elinks is a terminal based web browser which supports JavaScript.

elinks Disabling Certificate Validation

X11 Forwarding⚓︎

If you absolutely need a GUI browser, be prepared for it to work at 56k speeds. Not just page loads, but the GUI itself will be taking a part of that 56k, so it is sloooww!

X11 Forwarding use to be ok with text-based apps, but with GUIs that update as you hover over icons, high color, and the added compression and cypher overhead GUI apps like browsers on X11 are unusable.

  1. Start Xming on your local device
  2. Launch Putty and confirm Enable X11 Forwarding is enabled under Connection -> SSH -> X11
    • Use the same number here as xming shows as the current display, example “localhost:20.0”
  3. SSH to your ssh jump box
  4. ssh -Y server.local
  5. Start your X11 application

If you need to sudo to another user to launch the x application, you will need to copy the cookie with the below steps.

  1. xauth -f ~/.Xauthority list|tail -1
  2. Copy the line from your session listed above
  3. echo $DISPLAY
  4. Copy this text as well
  5. sudo su - <otheruser>
  6. xauth add <output from xauth command above>
  7. export DISPLAY=<output from echo command above>
  8. xterm