I own a Mac and ssh into a Linux server. How can I view a file on the Linux server using the Preview program on my Mac, without having to explicitly copy it to my Mac beforehand?

  • Would it work for you to open a VNC window and view on the remote machine that way? Anything else is going to transfer the file before you can view it. – beroe Dec 11 '14 at 8:19
  • @beroe However the server needs to run VNC and X11 which it seems not to be doing - but the last part is correct – mmmmmm Dec 11 '14 at 12:32

You could use the file transfer application CyberDuck to connect to the Linux server, using your ssh credentials, and then thanks to Quick Look you can preview your images and many other file types without explicitly copying them, altough you are in effect downloading the data to have the preview.


You cannot as Preview runs on the Mac and loads all the data into itself before rendering it.

In general this is how all OS X programs work, the data has to be transferred into the app running in the Macs memeory

What can be done is using X11 the normal Linux display mechanism, which was designed to work across a network. You can have X11 programs running on the server that display on another machine. Unfortunately Apple's GUI does not support this (an earlier version did but we suspect for the cost of licensing this was replaced)

  • I think the guy who runs my server doesn't have X11 running. which Xorg returns /usr/bin/Xorg but ps -e | grep "X" returns nothing. – Jessica Dec 11 '14 at 0:54
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    So basically you can't do anything here but copy the file - but networks are fast enough that the speed should not matter – mmmmmm Dec 11 '14 at 12:31

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