bosewicht thanks for the reply. I tried as you suggested, adding -x when I ssh in the remote host:
ssh -x -l myusername department.server
Type in the password, set up the DISPLAY variable on department.server as I already explained and then type:
I get the same error, plus additional line
Couldnt get file descriptor refering to the console
DO I have to maybe set up .xinitrc file in my home dir on department.server? I just wanna see it working first, any application will do. I thought xinit would be the simplest command.
EDIT: Forgot to mention, I don't shut down X server for the local machine, just switch virtual consoles.