Remote Desktop

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This page describes solutions to run PyMOL on a remote computer.


VirtualGL must be installed on the client (vglconnect) and the server (vglrun). It renders on the GPU of the remote machine.

localcomputer $ vglconnect remotecomputer
remotecomputer $ vglrun pymol

X Forwarding

SSH X forwarding requires an X server on the client. It uses indirect rendering (GLX) and renders on the GPU of the client machine. This is limited to use_shaders=off and can be quite slow.

localcomputer $ ssh -Y remotecomputer
remotecomputer $ pymol

On macOS, since XQuartz 2.7.10, IGLX has to be enabled first:

defaults write org.macosforge.xquartz.X11 enable_iglx -bool true
killall Xquartz

See Also