I am currently using my pi2 as a face-recognition log in system, written in python, which is mounted on the wall on the other side of the room.

I am trying to be able to connect to it via putty, over wifi and work with the program remotely.

The pi is connected to a HDMI monitor to display information, however when I log into the pi via putty and run "STARTLXDE" a blank desktop loads, with no processes running. I assume this is a completely different X GUI accessing the file system, then the one that normally runs on the pi (with startx).

My question is: How can I remote to the normal desktop that is running my script over WiFi, preferably via putty and ssh (As I want to avoid tightVNC, so please don't suggest it)

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.


I don't know if this is important but (more information > less information)..

I am using Raspbian and the desktop that comes up in xming looks suspiciously like NOOBS.

I am using X11 port forwarding

  • LXDE is the default desktop on Raspbian, so I suspect these are both it -- just in one case you have a different configuration in play. I think I have seen this issue here before. You might consider asking about this on LXDE's own forum (and if you get an answer there that solves the problem, please post your own here).
    – goldilocks
    Commented May 21, 2015 at 13:13
  • Try running startx instead of STARTLXDE
    – theo-brown
    Commented May 22, 2015 at 18:36
  • I did try startx instead, and it threw a load of error messages and no window appeared.
    – Aphire
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 7:32

1 Answer 1


You should start ssh with X11 forwarding. Look at this answer in StackOverflow for details.

  • Thanks for the response, I am already using port forwarding, I will update my question to include this info
    – Aphire
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 7:31
  • Did you read the answer from the link? What's the detailed problem?
    – bigbang
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 8:26
  • Apologies, I read the top answer that was "ticked" as solving the problem, not the second answer. I will give that a try now and report back
    – Aphire
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 8:42
  • After attemping that, apparently my DISPLAY variable is not set, I fear this might be because I have only installed Xephyr on the pi, and I am trying to access it from a windows machine, the answer linked I think is from linux, can you use this method from windows?
    – Aphire
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 8:57

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