Getting X11 (XQuartz) to work on OSX

Today I finally managed to get XQuartz to work on a mac mini. I use this machine as server to test my code for OSX. Its a horrible machine to do any development (I am an OSX noob and a terminal junkie).

Usually I login to this machine (named strudel) from my Linux workstation using ssh e.g. ssh -Y strudel or ssh -Y where is ip address of strudel on LAN. Once a while, I need graphics.

So far, I never managed to open graphics after login. Today, I looked around and found a potential solution called XQuartz.

I installed xquartz following these instructions. Rebooted and logged in over ssh. Still I couldn’t launch xeyes. I keep getting Error: Can't open display: error. Note that DISPLAY is not set.

The solution is straightforward if one reads the XQuartz FAQ carefully which I didn’t :-(.

One my OSX machine strudel, I needed to make sure that /etc/ssh/sshd_config has following two lines.

 X11Forwarding yes                                                               
 X11UseLocalhost yes   

And that’s it. You probably need to reboot after mcking these changes.

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