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Old 02-09-2017, 08:10 AM   #1
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How to run nvidia-settings remotely

I know this is an old thread, but it's one of the top search results for the issue of running nvidia-settings over ssh and maybe this is useful for people from the future.

If you just need to run the command-line nvidia-settings tool (e.g., to display information that nvidia-smi hides for certain GPUs) and you have root access to the remote machine, you can override the DISPLAY variable to :0. The remote X server will then give you an error Invalid MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1 key, because no matter whether you have root access or not, you need a valid xauth magic cookie. Luckily, even if nobody is logged in at the machine, the login screen (e.g., lightdm) will have such a magic cookie. You can try to find it with ps aux | grep auth. For lightdm, it is placed at /var/run/lightdm/root/:0. As root, you can hijack this cookie by setting the XAUTHORITY variable to it. Put together, the following should display the GPU, memory bandwidth and PCIe bandwidth utilization when logging in to a remote server with ssh (and no X-forwarding):
sudo DISPLAY=:0 XAUTHORITY=/var/run/lightdm/root/:0 nvidia-settings -t -q GPUUtilization
For a somewhat tidier output, you can try, also overriding DISPLAY and XAUTHORITY as shown above.
Old 02-09-2017, 02:35 PM   #2
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Your post to a necro thread has been moved to a thread of it's own. Please do not resurrect old threads.

Last edited by onebuck; 02-10-2017 at 05:34 AM. Reason: typo
Old 02-10-2017, 05:16 AM   #3
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Please do not resurrect old threads.
Sorry, that thread was the first search result on google that was still "editable" (the others were mailing list archives). I understand that my post won't spark any discussion with the OP from 2013, so posting to old threads generally doesn't fit the purpose of a forum, but it's also a way to archive solutions for others to find them. Anyway, this new thread already appears on the first page for the terms I searched for yesterday, mission accomplished! It'd still be cool if you could link to this thread from the old one (, but it's probably not super important. Cheers!


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