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Xpra is a tool which allows you to run X programs — usually on a remote host — and then direct their display to your local machine, disconnect from these programs, and reconnect from the same or another machine, all without losing any state. It differs from standard X forwarding in that it allows disconnection and reconnection without disrupting the forwarded application; it differs from VNC and similar remote display technologies in that xpra is rootless: i.e., applications forwarded by xpra appear on your desktop as normal windows managed by your window manager, rather than being all "trapped in a box together". Xpra also uses a custom protocol that is self-tuning and relatively latency- insensitive, and thus is usable over network connections that are too slow or unreliable for standard X forwarding.


To install the xpra package, simply use your favorite package manager. Note that this package only exists in Ubuntu 9.10 or later.

sudo apt-get install xpra

Usage Examples

xpra start :7

  • Start an xpra server using display number :7.

DISPLAY=:7 firefox

  • Start firefox running inside the xpra server. No window will appear.

xpra list

  • Show a list of xpra servers you have running on the current host.

xpra attach :7

  • Attach to the xpra server that is using local display number :7. Any apps running on that server will appear on your screen.

xpra attach ssh:frodo:7

  • Use ssh to attach to the xpra server that is running on machine frodo and using display :7. Any apps running on that server will appear on your local screen.

xpra start :7 && DISPLAY=:7 screen

  • Start an xpra server and a screen(1) session. If any of the applications inside screen attempt to use X, they will be directed to the xpra server.

xpra stop :7

  • Stop the xpra server on display number :7.

See Also

External Links


Xpra (last edited 2010-12-27 06:09:29 by 110)