[Bdi4emc-help] consequences of newer OpenSSH on remote X11 displays

bdi4emc-help at lists.ourproject.org bdi4emc-help at lists.ourproject.org
Mon Dec 12 02:33:58 CET 2005

On Sunday 11 December 2005 18:19, bdi4emc-help at lists.ourproject.org 
>Gentle persons:
>This note applies if you are running BDI-4.30 (see footnote) and want
> to run EMC or other X11 applications through a secure ssh channel
> from another computer.
>For example, I have my BDI-host in a basement utility room and
> sometimes want to run X11 applications (including EMC in simulation
> mode) on it from a Windows host in my office or a Linux (sometimes
> Red Hat, sometimes Fedora Core) host in my rec room. These hosts are
>interconnected via wired and wireless ethernet.
>The Debian distribution that is part of BDI-4.30 includes version 3.8
> of OpenSSH compared to version 3.6 on my other Linux hosts (but
> version 4.2 in my up-to-date Cygwin installation on my Windows
> host).
>With this newer version, the OpenSSH folks changed the configuration
> so that X11Fowarding is disabled by default (for security reasons).
> Thus, connecting to my BDI-host from another box using the shell
> command "ssh -X bdi_ip_or_hostname" and then invoking an X11
> application on the BDI-box, e.g., xeyes, will result in an error
> message instead of causing a new X window (with the xeyes "eyes" for
> example) to open on my local host as I have come to expect.
>A remedy is to edit the /etc/ssh/sshd_config file on the BDI host to
>enable X11Forwarding (change the line "X11Forwarding no" to
>"X11Forwarding yes") and then restart sshd (for example, from the
>console, find the sshd process identification pid using ps -ax and
> send it a hangup signal, "kill -HUP pid") to force it to reread its
> configuration file. Now simple X11 applications like xeyes and
> xclock will open new windows fresh as paint.
>However, newer versions of OpenSSH also differentiate between
> untrusted and trusted X11 clients and consider all clients to be
> untrustworthy by default. It turns out that both EMC and EMC2 try to
> read information from the X11 server in a manner which isn't
> permitted of an untrusted X11 client. Hence, with my CygwinX
> installation, I have to invoke ssh with the -Y option rather than
> the -X option to create a secure channel that will work with EMC.
> (This -Y option doesn't exist in older versions of OpenSSH.) I'm
> still figuring out how to force behavior equivalent to -Y using
> configuration or environment settings. (From the amount of whinging
> I've seen on various mail lists and boards, this isn't a problem
> only with EMC, so you may well find you have other X11 applications
> that fail to run properly as untrusted clients.)
>Note that one can avoid all this by running X11 using the insecure
> X11 communications protocol just as MIT designed it (strongly not
> recommended unless all the hosts involved are behind a *really* good
> firewall; sooner or later the bad guys find every crack!). To set
> this up, one does things the old-fashioned way
>1. on the local host, declare the remote host to be trusted by the
> local X11 server: "xhost +bdi_ip_address/bdi_hostname"
>2. ssh to the remote host
>3. on the remote host, set the DISPLAY environment variable to point
> to the local host's X11 server. The syntax for this varies with the
> shell in use. In the bash shell, one can invoke "export
>DISPLAY=the_remote_ip_or_hostname:0.0". Note that it is commonplace
> to assume that the display number will be 0.0, and it usually will
> be, but it should always be confirmed for the X11 server in
> question.
>Steps 1 and 3 are totally unnecessary when X11 forwarding via ssh is
Thanks Kent, this might be the blow by blow I need to get it working 
when I get things re-installed.  My hd's got too cold and took a crap 
on me, so I've got to figure out a heater, and do a total mkext2 on 
everything & reinstall.

Cheers, Gene
People having trouble with vz bouncing email to me should use this
address: <gene.heskett at verizononline.net> which bypasses vz's
stupid bounce rules.  I do use spamassassin too. :-)
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Copyright 2005 by Maurice Eugene Heskett, all rights reserved.

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