ssh (was: web based)

John G Heim jheim at
Thu Mar 31 17:57:30 UTC 2016

The -x flag means that after you log into the remote server, you can run 
X11 apps on the remote machine and have the display appear on your local 
machine.  X11 works by sending instructions to the X11 server on your 
local machine. So when you run an X11 program locally, it's talking to a 
server, an X11 server, on your local machine. The -x flag tells ssh to 
forward those X11 instructions from the remote machine back to the X11 
server on your local machine. Obviously, for this to work, you have to 
have an X11 server running on your local machine.  Those do exist for 
Windows but I know nothing about them. The remote ssh server also has to 
have X11 forwarding enabled.

On 03/31/2016 12:35 PM, Janina Sajka wrote:
> I would observe my entire experience of SSH is as a terminal interface.
> I am only academically aware there's also the 'ssh -x'
> command--academically, because the -x doesn't provide an accessible gui.
> If the browser's, web-based ssh accessed something that was actually
> accessible, that would be ver big news indeed. But I don't see that on
> the horizon, because we already have https for such things. So, the
> notion remains academic, imo.
> Janina
> John G Heim writes:
>> Right but my point is that all that is is chrome acting as a ssh client.
>> It's an ssh client with the chrome user interface. Maybe pointing out that
>> it's not a meaningful distinction is not a meaningful point.  I guess if it
>> looks like a web-based client, that's all that matters, right? But there is
>> no such thing as a web-based ssh client. That can't be.
>> On 03/31/2016 10:38 AM, Chris Brannon wrote:
>>> John G Heim <jheim at> writes:
>>>> How can an ssh client run in a browser? Maybe the ssh client can be
>>>> launched by the browser. But it has to establish a connection and talk
>>>> to the server via the ssh protocol on port 22.  Ultimately, it's no
>>>> different than putty or secureCRT.
>>> Well, the modern web browser is being treated as more of an application
>>> platform than a document viewer these days, and you can run all sorts of
>>> things in them, including ssh clients.  This has been going on for years
>>> with Chrome.  They have something called ssh in a tab, which is an ssh
>>> client running inside the browser.  This is how you use ssh as
>>> a client in ChromeOS, where Chrome is more-or-less the user interface
>>> layer.  I have no idea how accessible "ssh in a tab" is, but considering
>>> just how much I dislike web browsers, I cannot imagine that I would
>>> consider it a pleasant experience.  Anyway, to each their own.  I seem
>>> to recall that "ssh in a tab" is implemented as a browser extension.
>>> Some quick googling reveals something called FireSSH, which is an ssh
>>> client written entirely in JavaScript, supporting both Mozilla Firefox
>>> and Google Chrome.
>>> The difference between this kind of thing and native applications
>>> like Putty and SecureCRT is that the browser-based thing is
>>> cross-platform.
>>> -- Chris
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