x11 help

William Stein edited this page Nov 14, 2018 · 48 revisions

Running Graphical Linux X11 Applications in CoCalc

See this blog post for some screenshots.

Getting started

In your project, create an X11 Desktop file – with the ending *.x11 – or use the corresponding button in + New. You should see a split frame editor with a terminal on one side, and tabs for X11 windows on the other side.


  • Desktop (works well):
    • Chrome version 66+ is fully supported
    • Copy does not work on Firefox or Safari
  • Mobile (does NOT work):
    • Viewing the desktop should mostly work
    • Touch events barely work at all.
    • Even an external keyboard will NOT work on an iPad (keys will be stuck, etc.).

Keyboard Layout

CoCalc will try (badly) to guess your keyboard layout based on your browser's default language settings. This does NOT work well. Instead, you should explicitly select your keyboard layout in Account preferences:

Account --> Preferences --> Account Settings --> Editor Settings --> Keyboard layout (for X11 Desktop).

Installed Applications

Name Description Category Status
auctex latex ?
avogadro Advanced molecule editor and visualizer chem OK
blender 3D graphics (to visualize wireframes) graphics OK
code Visual Studio code code OK
darktable photography workflow application and raw developer paint OK
google-chrome Chrome Web-browser web Crashes due to Docker security requirements
dia Drawing graphics graphics ?
emacs Text editor, IDE, everything edit OK
OpenModelica Modeling and simulation environment. Command: OMEdit & co. physics OK
gvim Graphical version of the famous VIM editor edit OK
firefox Web-browser web Crashes
gchempaint Draw chemical formulas (no single-window mode, though) chem ?
gitk Explore Git repository (in current directory) git OK
gitg git ?
gimp Draw and edit images. Select single window mode: paint OK
Main window → open "Window" menu → enable single-window
gnome-calculator Classical calculator math OK
gnumeric Spreadsheet calculations and statistics stats OK
gschem schematic capture program/tool part of gEDA physics OK
gvim Graphical version of the famous VIM editor edit OK
idle Minimalistic Python IDE code ?
inkscape graphics OK
jedit edit ?
kexi-3.1 "Microsoft Access for Linux" db OK
kile LaTeX editor, but maybe try texmaker instead ... latex ?
krita Painting tool designed for concept artists paint OK
latexdraw Draw PSTricks, etc. latex flickers
libreoffice Office suite consisting of office OK
localc, lowriter, loimpress, lobase, ...
lyx LaTeX editor latex OK
meld Visual "diff" of text files code OK
nteract Jupyter Notebook compatible UI calc OK
okular PDF reader and annotator (Tools → Review) pdf OK
pcb-gtk printed circuit board editor physics OK
pinta simple paint app for images paint OK
psppire PSPP is an open-source version of SPSS stats ?
RCommander in R: require(Rcmdr) stats OK
rstudio Open source R IDE stats OK
It helps to set Tools -> Global Options -> Appearance --> Zoom --> 200% on Retina
scribus office ?
Snappy in Sage sage -python -m snappy.app math Arrow keys
spyder3 math FAIL
texmacs LaTeX editor OK
texmaker "Powerful, easy to use and elegant" LaTeX editor latex OK
texstudio "Make writing LaTeX as easy and comfortable as possible" latex OK
thunderbird Email client office OK
tikzit graphics ?
tuxpaint Children's paint program paint OK
wxmaxima Computer algebra system Maxima math OK
xedit Old graphical text editor in X edit OK
xournal draw notes or annotate a PDF pdf OK
xpaint Old paint program paint OK


Category Description
math mathematics
chem chemistry applications
statis statistics, data analysis, ...
physics tools for physics, engineering, modeling, etc.
office productivity tools for authoring text, presentations, spreadsheets, etc. (doc, docx, odt, ppt, xml, xmlx, ods, ...)
latex editor for working with LaTeX documents
edit general purpose text editors
code graphical interfaces for programming (IDE)
git working with Git
db graphical database interfaces
paint raster graphics editor
graphics vector grpahics editor
pdf for reading and maybe also annotating PDFs
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