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Old 03-22-2009, 02:10 PM   #1
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Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: FreeBSD 9.1, Kubuntu 12.10
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new OpenOffice window in different X display

I often export my X display with export DISPLAY= and xhost because I regularly work from several different Linux machines on the same network. OpenOffice is a one-instance application; therefore, if I have it running on e.g. Machine 1 and I want to edit a document from e.g. Machine 2 (running from Machine 1) I have to close the instance that's running already.

  1. document.odt is on
  2. I have OpenOffice running from
  3. I xhost from
  4. I ssh -Y to from
  5. I setsid soffice -o document.odt from the ssh session
  6. Nothing happens because it's already running on
I've tried using the -env and -display command-line options, but both seem to only apply to the initial instance. Thanks.
Kevin Barry

Last edited by ta0kira; 03-22-2009 at 05:06 PM.
Old 03-25-2009, 08:24 AM   #2
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Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.04 and CentOS 5.5
Posts: 3,873

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I have an idea that I haven't tried on Linux. Since nobody has responded in almost three days maybe this idea is worth mentioning.

Can you use the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to connect to the machine 1 console X session? This idea is inspired by the Windows Remote Desktop application where one Windows machine connects to and takes over another machine's primary display. This way you would see and use the instance of OOo that is already running on the console session.

I've been intending to test this idea. Maybe you can test it for me and post your findings here.

If that doesn't work then maybe your remote session could log on to machine 1 as a different user. That should take care of the single instance problem in OOo.

Last edited by stress_junkie; 03-25-2009 at 08:26 AM.
Old 03-25-2009, 02:05 PM   #3
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Registered: Jul 2004
Distribution: Ubuntu 7.04
Posts: 1,994

Rep: Reputation: 76
I know it's not exactly answering your question, but in the case of firefox, you can run with the command-line option -no-remote to force a new instance, which should open in a new window (though I haven't tried this, ref).

The options for OpenOffice seem less well documented, but I suspect you may have some luck by passing -nolockcheck and -display.

Hope that's of some help,

—Robert J Lee


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