… here’s how to decrease the security of your mac….
It was one of those situations that are hard to explain, but I wanted to execute an X program on a remote system and have it show up on my Mac’s screen WITHOUT using ssh. This was on Snow Leopard with the XQuartz X server, but probably similar in most macs.
Back in the age of dinosaurs you could just do “xhost +” (for complete suicide) or “xhost +ip-addr-or-hostname” to allow specific hosts to connect to your system (when XQuartz is installed xhost and its friends are located in /opt/X11/bin/ by default.) Even if you do this, however, OS X by default doesn’t listen to the network; to really kill your security you have to modify /opt/X11/bin/startx – on mine it’s line 111 or so, you’ll see 3 lines:
defaultserverargs="$defaultserverargs -nolisten tcp"
Kill the “-nolisten tcp” bit, so it looks like:
(Alternately set the environ variable.)
Change the file, restart the X server, and you’re good to go. Just turn this off when you’re done :)
Just in case anyone else is feeling their security is too good, or need a hack like I did.
(Using xhost is generally a bad idea, security-wise, but sometimes you just have to do what’s necessary to do the job.)
It really is amazing how long X11 has been around – almost 30 years (thanks for the correction, I had 20 earlier!), as of this writing, with no end in sight.