Tunnel your unix desktop through an ssh connection

In certain cases it may not be a viable option to run an XDMCP session.

Usually this occurs if

a) You are running your session over an unsecure network (ie the internet)
b) XDMCP is not enabled on your remote computer
c) You have issues here you cannot connect using XDMCP (firewall ports are blocking the connection etc)

If running XDMCP is not an option for you, there are still ways to manually start your desktop environment.

SSH Desktops

If you cannot run a LIVE session, you can get all the features of a full desktop environment with the security of an SSH connection.

To manually start your desktop environment

1. Create a new SSH session
2. Enter all the standard log in information, leaving the Command field blank (to be filled in later)
3. Edit the session, click on the Advanced tab
4. Change Start New Instance to Prompt
5. Change Window Mode to Switch to Single

Switch back to the general tab.
Depending on your system and what desktop environment you run the command you use to start the desktop will change.

Common Startup commands include:

For GNOME (RedHat): /usr/bin/gnome-session
For KDE (SuSE) /opt/kde3/bin/startkde
For CDE (aix ): /usr/dt/bin/Xsession
For CDE (Solaris) /usr/dt/bin/Xsession

For JDS (Solaris 10): gnome-session or /usr/bin/gnome-session

Save the session and launch.

Notes:
Many Unix/Linux systems come with multiple desktop environments. If the system you are using does not have the desktop environment mentioned, try a different one.

If you get a command not found error, you may also need to add the full path to the command you want to send.