University of Pretoria
Operational / Internal Site

Pass-though X2GO Configuration

In order to allow limited graphical access from off-campus, the pass-though servers provide a facility based on X2GO. X2GO compresses the X11 data to minimize the amount of data transmitted. X2GO also makes extensive use of caching to make the session as responsive as possible.


In order to use this facility, the following are necessary:

  1. An active EECE Kerberos / AFS account
  2. A suitable X2GO client for the off-campus computer that will be used to connect


To be clear, when making a X2GO connection to the pass-through servers, you are logging into the pass-through servers. If you wish to run graphical programs on, for example the clusters, you will need to open a terminal window (there is an icon on the bottom bar or right-click on the background) and SSH to the desired node with X11 forwarding enabled. Example:

  ssh -Y alpha2-1

Once connected to the desired cluster node, you start the application as normal. Graphical output will now be transfered to the pass-through server by means of the standard X11 protocol. From there it will be transfered by the compressed X2GO protocol to your client machine.

Note that the UP firewall at times drops active connections. It is not clear why this happens and this effect started occurring after a recent firewall software update. It is therefore recommend that you not rely on long running sessions (although sessions of 3+ hours have been achieved).

Client Installation

  • When the installer is run, a license screen will appear. Click on I Agree to continue the installation.

X2GO license window

  • The next window allows the installation directory to be configured. Click on Next to accept the default location.

Select Destination Location window

  • The next window gives the option to configure the start menu where the X2GO applications are registered. Clink on Install to accept the default.

Start menu folder configuration

  • The installation will now proceed and show a process window similar to the following.

Installation progress window

  • One the installation has completed, the final window will appear. Click on Finish to terminate the installer.

Final installation window

Connection configuration

The final step is to define a session configuration for each of the pass-through servers. When the client is launched, a login window is display. Initially the “Session” field is empty as no sessions have been defined.

  • Create a new session by selecting New session under Session window. The fields should be filled in as appropriate (in this example the PST pass-through server is the target). Note: To lower the resource requirements on the pass-through servers, the only support session is the Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment (LXDE).


  • No changes are typically required on the Connections tab.


  • Under the Settings tab, the resolution should typically to be increased. The printing and sound should typically also be disabled.


  • It may also be useful to defined shared folders under the Shared folders tab.

At this stage you should be able to establish a X2GO session to the pass-through by selecting the appropriate session, entering your EECE Kerberos / AFS username and password and clicking on Ok.