Does an application that supplies a general purpose GUI to all SSH logins from the cmdline exist?

I notice that people are not always good at using the cmdline and think this would be a good tool. Also, simply using some remote desktop application is not always feasible as, in my experience, servers don't supply a GUI.

I wanted to ask this question before creating anything of the sort.

EDIT: I know there are file transfer applications that enable this use (WinSCP, filezilla, etc.), but I was wondering if there was a more general purpose application that existed that provided minimum read, write, and execute operations on the data (like any file system on a host OS). Once the client interacts with the server, I would want a user to have a window that they can see file icons (read and write data).

  • If you don't like command line you can always install the various X libraries and such and whatever GUI applications you want and tunnel X clients over ssh to a local-to-you X server ... otherwise, I have no idea as to what a GUI app would do as a replacement for command line...
    – ivanivan
    Apr 18 '19 at 1:04
  • @ivanivan Cool, thanks for your reply! Mostly, it would be nice for a person to do what they do on regular machines: read, write, and execute files. Using the cmdline can be slow for some people (I'm a CS major and like using it), so I think it'd be helpful. I'll check out your suggestion and see what I can find. Apr 18 '19 at 5:52
  • Which operating system? Must it be gratis, or do you have a budget? Welcome aboard, but please read How to Ask Apr 18 '19 at 7:36
  • The idea is that a) it provides minimum read, write, and execute operations on the data. Just like any GUI for a file system. OS or whether it is free or not is not important, and thus is not a part of my question. I am only concerned if there is an existence of such a product for the purposes of creating my own. Apr 18 '19 at 19:51

If you simply want file system like access, on a *nix system you can use sshfs and mount a remote file system and the various GUI file managers, application based file-pickers ("open file..." "save as..." etc) all see it as just another directory on the tree. A quick google shows Win10 supporting it as well. http://makerlab.cs.hku.hk/index.php/en/mapping-network-drive-over-ssh-in-windows

The ultimate in GUI access to remote files via ssh though is to simply tunnel X over the ssh connection and use a local to you X sever for the remote running X clients.


You want PuTTY - World's Most Popular Free SSH Client. It’s the only SSH GUI I have ever used in industry.

From Wikipedia :

PuTTY (/ˈpʌti/) is a free and open-source terminal emulator, serial console and network file transfer application. It supports several network protocols, including SCP, SSH, Telnet, rlogin, and raw socket connection. It can also connect to a serial port. The name "PuTTY" has no official meaning.

PuTTY was originally written for Microsoft Windows, but it has been ported to various other operating systems. Official ports are available for some Unix-like platforms, with work-in-progress ports to Classic Mac OS and macOS, and unofficial ports have been contributed to platforms such as Symbian, Windows Mobile and Windows Phone.

Read more here, and Windows specific stuff (since you don’t state an o/s, but did mention Winsftp) here

  • Thanks for your response. I added in the question more of what I am looking for. Mainly a minimum read, write, and execute operations on the data -- like a file system that the user can interact with. PuTTY only SSHs into the client. Once the client interacts with the server, I would want a user to have a window that they can see file icons (read and write data). Apr 18 '19 at 19:56

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