How do I start a kde session on a remote machine?

Ted Bartlett ted.bartlett at
Fri Oct 21 18:09:39 BST 2005

My setup is:

1) server running KDE 3.4 on Gentoo

2) Desktop machines running Suse and Windows

The server has been configured with x11vnc which allows a user to access 
the currently running desktop over ssh. They can then spawn an 
application and disconnect while leaving the app running. The users are 
mobile hence the need to disconnect from the server but leave the apps 
running - often they will run for days or even weeks before completing.

This works well but requires that the kde session is running i.e. that 
the user is logged in on the server and has a local X session. If the 
server is taken down for any reason, possibly a power failure, the kde 
sessions will not start automatically and x11vnc will then fail to start 
- XOpenDisplay failed (:0)

The system is configured to use kdm and to startkde at boot. This spawns 
the kdm_greet process, at least I assume that is what happens and that 
kde_greet is the 'login screen' that kde presents to the user. Is this 
correct? When a users enters their login and password is it passed to 

Is it possible to start a kde session on the server when logged in using 
ssh? That is can a session be started that will run locally on the 
server allowing the vnc server to be started and the vnc connection 
established? Equally importantly will the kde session be detached - will 
it continue to run when the ssh connection is terminated?

many thanks for any help

Ted Bartlett
Terra Energy Services

Direct line: 00 27 (0)31 7671585
Mobile: 00 27 (0)73 4603100
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