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[tlug] Accessing a program running on a different computer


Can you start a program running on one computer, and then look at it's
interface via another computer?

I guess what I mean is kind of like doing VNC, but instead of getting a
whole desktop, getting just that program.

That was the short version of the question. If you can answer it with
just that, then that would be awesome.

If however, that's not clear, I have the verbose mode of my question:

This is something I want to be able to do with multiple programs, but
I'll use Amarok as an example since it's clear.

Machine A has Amarok installed. I can run Amarok from any other machine
on my LAN, though, with the following command:

ssh -X amarok

The reason I do it this way is because the machine that has Amarok on
has a nice Kenwood music system that is fully digital and very nice. So
even though I'm using the interface on Machine B, I'm hearing it from
the speakers connected to Machine A.

I can open the Amarok interface from any machine, and hear it through
the main sound system, and it's all good.

So let's say I open Amarok on Machine B and start playing music. And
then I open Amarok on Machine C and start playing something different. I
now have two separate instances of Amarok. Both songs will play over the

Not that I ever really do that. The main problem is that since both
instances are acting on the same database and with the same preferences
and all, that if I forgot I have an instance open on one machine, and
work on another, I might accidentally clobber settings and database
changes in one or the other. Depends which I open and close in what
order and all that.

Okay, so, recently I found a nice app for my Android phone, and I can
use it to remotely control an open instance of Amarok. It doesn't spawn
a new instance of it's own, it just has a limited interface that
connects to a plug in in Amarok over the wireless network.

I realized this is ideally how it should be with my computers, too.
Instead of running different instances of Amarok on each machine, there
should be one master instance on Machine A, and all other machines
simply view that instance.

If I start Amarok on Machine A, then my Android app can connect to it
just fine.

However, the other computers don't seem to have a way do anything similar.

So, as mentioned at the top I don't want an Amarok specific solution
because I'd like to do this more generally. Is there a way to open a
program on one machine, but then access the interface for it from other


Any advice would be much appreciated.

Dave M G

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