[CentOS] vnc - single application or a "remote localhost" on Firefox

Filipe Brandenburger filbranden at gmail.com
Wed Aug 12 19:23:10 UTC 2009


On Wed, Aug 12, 2009 at 15:04, Frank Cox<theatre at sasktel.net> wrote:
> Is there a way to provide a single application to a user instead of a complete
> desktop?

I think that is possible by changing the .xsession or .xinitrc files
of the user, have them start up only Firefox, and maybe use a minimal
window manager just to provide Window decorations, but I haven't ever
seen a package that does all that config for you, I think you would
have to find the pieces and assemble the puzzle for yourself... might
be painful.

> The other approach would be to somehow do use some kind of ssh port-forwarding
> under Firefox so he could run Firefox locally on his own computer, and somehow
> access http://localhost/ledgersmb on the remote machine.  Is there such a thing
> as a "remote localhost" that would work like that?

Yes, you can use "plink" (part of PuTTY suite:
http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/) on Windows to
create a port forward to the server.

I think the command syntax would be something like this:
C:\> plink -ssh -L 8080: user at remotehost sleep 99999

And then point the local Firefox (on the Windows machine) to

You might have a problem, however, if the remote host sends an HTTP
redirect, since it will send a redirect to http://localhost/...
instead of http://localhost:8080/..., in that case you should better
match the local and destination ports, such as using -L
80: if port 80 is free for you on the local Windows
machine (and you have enough rights to listen on it) or changing the
remote port on the server to 8080.

> I don't want to open anything other than ssh on the application server to the
> big scary world.

And what about VNC? By default it opens a new port to the world...

> To complicate things a bit more, the accountant runs Windows on his computer.
> Maybe there is a simple way to accomplish this feat and I'm just not seeing it?

I guess port forwarding with "plink" is the simplest way to accomplish
what you are looking for. Other alternatives might be setting up a VPN
for that.


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