When my desktop computer is up, I can connect to it with my notebook, even over the internet (I've set up my router to forward SSH to my desktop computer). My desktop computer runs GNU/Linux (Ubuntu distro), so I can use it with X terminal. My notebook also runs Ubuntu. I just need ssh -X desktop.ip.addr, then I can launch any program on my desktop machine.

So, the question is: what's the way of using Android as X-terminal over SSH?

I don't want to use VNC or other stuff. I think there must be some good SSH apps for Android (I've read about ConnectBot), but I haven't find anything about X11 (maybe it's my fault).

  • Why aren't you interested in VNC? There are good Android clients for VNC. Jan 5, 2011 at 22:10
  • 3
    You don't find much about X11 on Android because Android does not use X11 display stack; the only advantage of using remote X11 over VNC is if the connecting machine also have X11 so it can use its own display stack instead of the server's.
    – Lie Ryan
    Jan 6, 2011 at 10:51
  • Yep, I know that there's no "native support" for X11 on Android, and therefore there will be no such joyful experience like on GNU/Linux, where I can use the same display for programs running on different machines seamlessly. Even on a big tablet, X11 will be a separate App, I assume, as just if it were VNC.
    – ern0
    Jan 6, 2011 at 22:26
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    Technically, I think you're looking for an X server that runs on your phone, not a client. Phrasing it that way suggests why it's unlikely: X servers are big and complex, and (I assume) need direct access to hardware. That suggests you're unlikely to find one.
    – offby1
    Dec 12, 2011 at 16:31
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    Yep, I'm looking for X server, that's the piece of software implements X terminal. It does not need to access the hardware directly, it just have to send/receive X11 protocol over IP. There're X server programs for Windows, where X server is implemented using Windows API, not the hardware. Also, there are computers, which are dedicated X terminals, so there is no (access to) underlying operating systems, you have to connect a host running software able to use X11 (Xlib, sess/win/desktop manager, X apps etc.).
    – ern0
    Dec 13, 2011 at 8:13

2 Answers 2


Apparently X11 can be run on the G1 via some sort of Debian image and shell app; see this XDA thread for example. I can't find any other ports of it.

I use ConnectBot for "regular" SSH, I find it to be quite good. Even edited and compiled code with it!


I've stumbled upon an X server for Android project (now available as an APK to intall from F-Droid too):

This project implements an X11 server for use with Android devices, written in Java. The X11 server runs within an Android View subclass, allowing it to be embedded in other applications.

But perhaps it's a bit tricky to connect to it through X forwarding via SSH... you must figure it out.

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