Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: Help with server - dont want GUI but do want to be able to GUI remotely

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Beans
    69

    Help with server - dont want GUI but do want to be able to GUI remotely

    Hi,

    So as the title suggests, I want to install the server edition for the optimised kernel, to be run on a headless box. I'd ideally be able to log on to the server remotely any time, and while i am ok with the command line, I would like graphical interface so I can edit word docs etc if needs be.

    Whats best - install server and install xfce on top, or, is it possible to just have a gui when remotely connecting? I've read a bit about x11 forwarding but i dont fully understand it, in terms of whether it installs the gui packages on the server anyway, negating the benefit?

    Thanks

    Nick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Porirua, New Zealand
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: Help with server - dont want GUI but do want to be able to GUI remotely

    When I was running my own server, I normally used a combination of webmin (a web based admin package) and SSH for command line based remote login. I usually limited access via these methods to my own home network. I also had a rarely used monitor and keyboard attached.

    Others might be able to suggest other options.
    Forum DOs and DON'Ts
    Never assume that information you find using a search engine is up-to-date.
    Please use CODE tags.
    A low-volume blog

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Makati City, Philippines
    Beans
    2,270
    Distro
    Xubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Help with server - dont want GUI but do want to be able to GUI remotely

    You don't need a GUI to work efficiently on the server. Just immerse yourself on the command line and you'll be very amaze on the power it holds.

    If you are having a hard time navigating, just use your file browser. Assuming you can already login via ssh, on the location bar of you file browser (dolphin or nautilus or nemo or thunar) put
    Code:
    sftp://user@IPaddress:/home/user/
    You'll be able to browse the filesystem like a local folder, when you edit the files, they will open on gedit or your default text editor.

    What else would like to do on the GUI anyway?
    Last edited by nerdtron; March 1st, 2014 at 10:59 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Beans
    69

    Re: Help with server - dont want GUI but do want to be able to GUI remotely

    Thanks to you both.

    I guess I just saw it as good on the one hand to have an 'always on' pc I could connect up to and download files to. I use dropbox quite a bit to sync files, so would ideally like to use firefox with a download manager to download large files...

    I know most advise doing it without a gui, so I was wondering about alternatives. Not sure I can do the above with command line? Say for example there is a link on a webpage, can i download using CLI?

    Thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Beans
    69

    Re: Help with server - dont want GUI but do want to be able to GUI remotely

    Duplicate post.

    Or, could I launch Firefox too if remotely connected via ssh?
    Last edited by npinn001; March 1st, 2014 at 12:09 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    I think I'm here! Maybe?
    Beans
    Hidden!

    Re: Help with server - dont want GUI but do want to be able to GUI remotely

    Have a look at the info for wget with command man wget which seems to be what you want for cli downloads.
    DISTRO: Xubuntu 16.04-64bit --- Code-tags --- Boot-Repair --- Grub2 wiki & Grub2 Basics --- RootSudo --- Wireless-Info

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Beans
    69

    Re: Help with server - dont want GUI but do want to be able to GUI remotely

    Thanks for the reply.

    I had looked at Wget, but figured that if there was say 10 links on one page, that i might struggle to type the URL out each time. Also, im guessing I would have to be on my machine with the page open to know the URL. I'm guessing i could simply launch apps when connected via ssh - so I would just type:

    To open the browser, enter:
    $ firefox

    OR
    $ /usr/bin/firefox

    Will take a look at wget too. I think you are all correct, no need for a GUI....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Beans
    113

    Re: Help with server - dont want GUI but do want to be able to GUI remotely

    There are CLI based web browsers. See http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1174459

    If you really want a GUI application, you have no option but to install an X windows environment, and the applications you want to use. X forwarding (either via an SSH tunnel or natively (insecurely) runs the application on the server but presents the GUI on a remote desktop. The trick is to not start X at boot time so it only uses resources when you're actively using it.
    Last edited by m-dw; March 1st, 2014 at 12:46 PM. Reason: Added X Windows References

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Beans
    69

    Re: Help with server - dont want GUI but do want to be able to GUI remotely

    Ok cool. Thanks.

    So thats one option using a text browser, and another using wget.

    is there a way to have a virtual desktop remotely, without installing a gui on the server?

    Also, I just thought, the commands i typed before wont work if the gui or X11 isnt installed on the server, or would it?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Beans
    113

    Re: Help with server - dont want GUI but do want to be able to GUI remotely

    You have to install both X11 and the application you want to run on the server. The classic UNIX way of doing things is just to run the application you want to run. Taking your example of running firefox, you install X11 and firefox on the server. You would also have to set up sshd to allow x forwarding (look it up there are loads of references). There are several things you need to do to ensure the X applications display remotely rather than on the server. It's best to add them to a login script so it happens automagically every time.

    The client device will need also to have an X11 server, and integrate with your SSH client. You can get free X-windows servers and SSH clients for windows, but they're easier to find for Linux.

    To access the application, you connect to the server with "ssh -X <servername>" and get a command prompt. At the prompt you type "firefox" and if it's all set up properly a firefox web browser will display in a window on your local display. The application will be running on the server, but the interface will be displaying on your client. Downloads will go direct from the Internet to your server. All you see is the image of the web page displayed on your screen.

    If you want a full desktop experience (like Microsoft Terminal Services gives you) the easiest thing to do is to install a VNC server, and then install a VNC client on the machine you will be accessing the server from. You may be able to configure VNC to start X when it receives an incoming connection, but it's usual to be running X and VNC just opens up a new display.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •