GUIs and X11 Forwarding

To interact with graphical applications on your virtual machine, you can use X11 forwarding when connecting via SSH. You will require an X server on your local machine for this --- most Linux distributions will have one. (For MacOS you may need to install XQuartz, if it's not already installed, and Windows users can install and use Xming).

To enable X11 forwarding, simply add the -X option to your SSH command i.e.

$ ssh -i ~/.ssh/nectarkey.pem -X <username>@<ip-address>


$ ssh -X nectar

Alternatively, you can configure the host you created previously to always enable X11 forwarding. Just add the line ForwardX11 = yes to your host like so

Host nectar
   HostName = <ip-address>
   User = ubuntu
   IdentityFile = ~/.ssh/nectarkey.pem
   ForwardX11 = yes

Then you can still connect with just

$ ssh nectar