DataScience Workbook / 07. Data Acquisition and Wrangling / 1. Remote Data Access / 1.3 Remote Data Preview without Downloading / 1.3.2 Viewing PDF Files using X11 SSH connection


PDF files

Most HPC’s allows X11 forwarding. You can enable this when you are logging in to the remote host using the -X option. For eg.,

ssh -X

Once logged in, you can now open any GUI interface programs on the remote-host and it appears as a new window in your local machine. Although, there are plenty of program options to open a pdf file, you can almost always find the firefox browser in every machine. This should be sufficient to open a PDF file. To get started, type:


A new window will open, then go to file » open file » select the pdf file you want to open . If you don’t find the menu tab, pressing alt + f should bring up the file menu

PNG files

Again, you need X11 forwarding enabled to do this. If your machine has imagemagick module installed, load it:

module load imagemagick

To open any picture files, you can just do:

display filename.png

If you don’t have this program installed, you can try the firefox method. Although, to view png files, you may have to install the addon before you open the file. Addons are easy to add, once the firefox is opened, press ctrl + shift + A, that will open add-ons page (you can also just type about:addons to open this). Search for Perfect View add-on, and add it to your firefox. Now you can open the file normally as you opened the pdf files.

Further Reading

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