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How to configure, manage and secure user access to the Linux X server (Doc ID 459029.1)

Last updated on FEBRUARY 14, 2022

Applies to:

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure - Version N/A and later
Linux OS - Version 2.6.9 to 2.6.18-128
Linux Itanium
Linux x86
Linux x86-64
Linux Kernel - Version: 2.6.9 to 2.6.18-128 *** ***
***Checked for relevance on 26-Feb-2017***


The purpose of this article is to explain and describe how to configure, manage and secure user access to the X server running on Linux. The article is intended for Linux System Administrators wishing to selectively allow only named user access to the local X server.

All excerpts and examples provided are based on Oracle Linux 4 (OL4U4), but similarly apply to Red Hat/Oracle Linux 5 (RH/OL5) with only minor modification. The following OL4 X-related (xorg) packages and versions happened to be used:

  • xorg-x11-libs-6.8.2-1.EL.13.37
  • xorg-x11-xfs-6.8.2-1.EL.13.37
  • xorg-x11-xauth-6.8.2-1.EL.13.37
  • xorg-x11-deprecated-libs-6.8.2-1.EL.13.37
  • xorg-x11-Mesa-libGL-6.8.2-1.EL.13.37
  • xorg-x11-font-utils-6.8.2-1.EL.13.37
  • xorg-x11-Mesa-libGLU-6.8.2-1.EL.13.37
  • xorg-x11-twm-6.8.2-1.EL.13.37
  • xorg-x11-6.8.2-1.EL.13.37
  • xorg-x11-tools-6.8.2-1.EL.13.37



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In this Document
 1. Introduction
 2. xhost
 3. xhost and Remote Connectivity to the X Server
 4. Limitations of xhost
 5. xhost Persistency
 6. xauth
 7. xauth by Example
 8. Limitations of xauth
 9. xauth Persistency
 9.1 ACL
 9.2 Explicit Grant of MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1
 10. Ssh - a Supplement to xhost/xauth
 11. Summary

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