Tricia McMillan graced us by uttering:
> If I connect to my school's linux server from home and I try to
> launch some window-based program like this, I get an error:
> xterm Xt error: Can't open display:
> But is there any way it is possible to open windows from my
> home computer, or am I asking for too much?
You don't say how you connect to your schools computer, but I
certainly hope it's via ssh. Not only is ssh encrypted, but it
can also automatically forward all the information need to run
remote X apps on the local DISPLAY, provided both server and
client have this feature enabled.
On your school's linux computer, check the contents of the
/etc/ssh/sshd_config file and see if it contains the line
"X11Forwarding yes". If so, you're in business from the server
Next you need an ssh client also capable of forwarding X11
information. If your home computer runs linux or bsd, you
probably had OpenSSH. At this point, it's just a matter of
adding the -X flag to the ssh command line, or adding
"X11Forwarding yes" to your local ~/.ssh/config file.
After logging in this way via ssh with X11 forwarding enabled on
both server and client, your DISPLAY variable should be set to
something like "localhost:10"; this will forward all X
information through your encrypted ssh tunnel. This is the
simplest way I know of to securely display remote apps on a local
If your home computer is Windows or another non-OS, there is hope
in cygwin <http://cygwin.com>. cygwin is a POSIXish environment
which sits on top of Windows and provides many GNU tools familiar
to linux and unix users... including an X server!
There may be some manual configuration required after installing
all the required packages, depending on which packages you
install. If you type "startx" at the cygwin bash prompt and it
(eventually) brings up a large window with an xterm or other
non-windows apps inside it, you have an X server.
Configure the cygwin ssh client to forward X info (a la "-X" or
"X11Forwarding yes") and login to your school. Provided, as
above, your schools ssh server provides X11 forwarding, the
remote app should be displayed on your local X "display".
There are other X servers for Windows, but all the others I've
heard about are commercial. However, since cygwin is still rough
and largely unsupported, you may want to shell out money for a
smoother X server on Win32.
Do you replace the battery with a grapefruit when your car won't
start, just in case that's the problem?
-- Sam Holden in comp.lang.perl.misc