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Linux Tutorial - The X Windowing System - Remote Access
  The Window Manager ---- XDMCP  


Remote Access

One of the powers of Linux is the wide range of features you can use to remotely access systems. Using telnet (or better yet, ssh) you have the full command line features you would if you were logged in locally.

One disadvantage of this is when running graphical applications that share data. If you are accessing a database, network protocols allow you to share a common data source. Problems arise when using applications that do not have the built in features. You could save your data locally and copy it to the remote machine, or you could mount a remote filesystem. Both are possible and even useful, from time to time. The X Windowing system allows you to go one step further by running the application on the remote machine and have it appear as if it is running locally. The keyword is "appear" as only the display (that is, the appearance) is local.

For those of you who are familiar with the Microsoft Windows Terminal Server or products like Cirtix' Metaframe, the X Windowing protocol is similar in functionality. One key difference is X is much smaller allows you to work on slower connections. The X Windowing protocol is also an open standard and not propriatary, unlike the Windows Terminal Server or Metaframe.

Another key difference is the ability to redirect when the application is displayed. For example, I can tell the X application to start on a compeltely different machine. That is, not the machine where my X Windows sessions is running or where the application is running.

There are two basic ways of using X Windows to start applications on remote machines.

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Copyright 2002-2009 by James Mohr. Licensed under modified GNU Free Documentation License (Portions of this material originally published by Prentice Hall, Pearson Education, Inc). See here for details. All rights reserved.
  




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