Opening GUI windows using X11 forwarding

You can open programs with a graphical user interface (GUI) on Artemis if you have an “X server” running on your computer and ssh into Artemis using either the -X or -Y options. Programs on Artemis with GUIs include gedit (a text editor), Matlab and Gnuplot.


If you are on a Linux computer, such as Ubuntu or Linux Mint, then you are already running an X server. Therefore, you can open programs with GUIs if you log into Artemis using the -X or -Y options.

ssh -X


On MacOS, you need to install XQuartz. After installing XQuartz, you can then open a terminal window using MacOS’s built-in terminal program, then SSH to Artemis using the -X or -Y options, as was the case for Linux.


On Windows, there are a number of X servers to choose from. The University of Sydney has a site license for Starnet X-Win32. Download and install X-Win32, then use the new connection wizard to set up an Artemis connection:

  • Select SSH and give your connection a name. For example, “John’s Artemis connection”, then click next
  • Enter the hostname:
  • The login name and password are your UniKey credentials
  • In the command to run on remote host, type /usr/bin/xterm -ls -fa 'Consolas' -fs 11.
  • Click Finish

Your new connection will appear in your connections list. To start a command line session on Artemis, click the connection you just made, then click Launch. A command line terminal connection to an Artemis login node will open. If everything was done correctly, you will be able to launch programs such as gedit from the command line.