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How can I export gui display from a headless server?

by MuleHeadJoe / March 1, 2012 2:34 AM PST

I'm working on a project on a linux (ubuntu) server hosted in then cloud. The server is "headless" ... has no attached display.

I'm trying to install some software that is gui-based and export the display to my workstation.

I access the server via ssh from a terminal window on my Ubuntu workstation at home.

I've installed Java and X11 (openjdk 6 and xorg) on the server, but I when I try to install the other software (soapui) I keep getting errors about unable to find display.

It appears that even tho I installed X, it isn't running ... I tried to start the Xserver with 'xinit' but got errors about 'no screens found'.

Any suggestions or tips about getting xserver running and exporting the display to my workstation would be most appreciated.


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Clarification Request
Just checking. Did you research Xserver on headless?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 1, 2012 2:39 AM PST
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Xvfb is installed, but don't understand how to use it
by MuleHeadJoe / March 7, 2012 12:18 AM PST

Thanks for the link, Rob, it was helpful push in the right direction. The search eventually led me to 'xvfb' -- virtual frame buffer; a virtual display. So I installed & ran xvfb, and now some gui programs (for example, Firefox) can run on the server. They think they are displaying the gui, but it is actually going to a virtual display which is in effect the bit bucket.

I cannot see what is happening, cannot tell what the programs are doing since all output is disappearing into thin air. Now I just need to figure out how to see what is being displayed in the virtual frame buffer Silly

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