Did you ever get a GUI bug report which you couldn't replicate on any desktop at your disposal?
Source: Flickr, Image by Krystian "Krane" Schneidewind
Setup an AWS instance identical to the user's desktop.
In my case my student had a Debian 7 with a Gnome desktop: ami-d0318eb8
Install VNC server on the instance.
# apt-get update
#tasksel install gnome-desktop --new-install
# apt-get install vnc4server
Start the VNC server on the instance.To start the server you'll run something like this:
# vnc4server -geometry 1024x768 -depth 24
Log file is /root/.vnc/ip-10-29-240-166:1.log
Find out which port the VNC server is listening on...The log file generated above contains the port number
# grep port /root/.vnc/ip-10-29-240-166:1.log
In my case it was port 5901
... and make that port accessible.Make sure that port is accessible via TCP by updating the instance's AWS security group
Install a VNC viewer on your desktop...My desktop is Ubuntu so I just called
$ sudo apt-get install xvnc4viewer
... and run it!I called
$ xvnc4viewer ec2-54-146-137-134.compute-1.amazonaws.com:5901
where ec2-54-146-137-134.compute-1.amazonaws.com was the public URI of the AWS instance and 5901 was the port the vnc4 server was listening on.
Hey presto! I had a virtual desktop with very little installed on my desktop host. (Ok, I admit that I had to change the terminal's profile so that the background colour was different from the text...:)