fake a dual monitor display!

January 30th, 2010

Wouldn't we all love to have a beefy workstation with at least two giant lcd monitors? Alas, I have a slim laptop with a small screen. And another laptop, almost 10 years old, albeit with a nice and large screen. I naturally prefer to use the newer machine for performance, but it also means making do with a small monitor.

I can tell you it's a real pain to author latex documents this way, I can't fit both the kile and evince on the screen at the same time. It wasn't until recently that it hit me what I was doing wrong. There are three processes involved here:

  1. Document editor.
  2. Compiler (I run a loop that invokes make continuously in the background).
  3. Document viewer.

Come to think of it, this applies just as well to coding if you think "running the code" on the last step.

Well, X11 is a display server, for peet's sake! So you have the editor on the workstation, but then you log in from the other laptop (with the larger screen) and run evince to display there.

Just do:

oldlaptop$ ssh -XYC workstation

Don't ask me why -Y, I don't know, but that's how I get my ubuntu to allow remote connections.

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1 Responses to "fake a dual monitor display!"

  1. iaindb says:

    man ssh! Check out the notes under "-X": "...For this reason, X11 forwarding is subjected to X11 SECURITY extension restrictions by default. Please refer to the ssh -Y option..." and then under -Y "Enables trusted X11 forwarding. Trusted X11 forwardings are not subjected to the X11 SECURITY extension controls."

    You don't have to say -XY, -Y is sufficient by itself. And of course -C is for compression.