You can run graphical programmes including full sessions on your EC2 machine with VNC.
This is useful for testing packages or collaborative working.
- set up a Security Group with port 5900 - 5950 open (and 22 for ssh)
run an ec2 machine using that Security Group with an Ubuntu image - e.g. you can copy and paste the command from here if you have an account set up http://cloud-images.ubuntu.com/releases/14.04/release/
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop
or you may prefer a lighter version
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends lubuntu-desktop
Install tightVNC server
- sudo apt-get install tightvncserver
- run vncserver and set a password
- on your local machine run krdc and connect to the EC2 machine and the port reported when running vncserver e.g. vnc://ec2-50-17-135-186.compute-1.amazonaws.com:5901
- from your ssh login on the EC2 machine export DISPLAY=:1 and startkde
You can share the VNC details around if you want to work on something collaboratively such as running a tutorial.