I would like to setup a small computer (Raspberry Pi) running Arch Linux to accept remote X sessions. Doing this usually means setting up Xorg server and running one of the Display Managers. I have done this before, and I will go this route if I have to. However, since the machine is very underpowered, and it is actually not connected to a physical monitor, I was hoping to setup the X server to accept only remote sessions. This way no memory would be wasted on managing the local graphics card, video memory etc, since they are not being used. Is it possible to setup the X server to accept only remote sessions without going into local graphical mode? And how?
It's possible to set up a *ix to remote display to a system you're sitting in front of, without an X server on the machine running the app.
You need X11 libraries, one or more X11 applications, and you probably want openssh set up for remote X11 forwarding - all on the raspberry pi. You'll also want an X server running on the machine you're sitting in front of.
On the Raspberry Pi, change your sshd_config to include "X11Forwarding yes". After making this change, restart sshd or reboot.
Then apt-get or yum your X11 libraries and app(s).
When you connect to the Raspberry Pi machine, use "ssh -Y" instead of just ssh to pass along xauth data.
Disable automatic start of the login manager and X server, instructions are googlable, say http://www.debianadmin.com/howto-boot-debian-in-text-mode-instead-of-graphical-mode-gui.html. From personal experience running X apps on raspberry remotely is not too good either.