Non VNC and VNC $Display confusion

by confused   Last Updated July 17, 2018 16:01 PM

I have an Ubuntu 16.06LTS system (let's call it Fred) that I use while sitting in front of it and on that same system I run a VNC server (FredVNC). My problem is that when I've started an application in one environment (i.e. Fred), it ONLY runs in that environment. For example, if I start Libre Office and work on a document at home on Fred, then leave the house and want to open a .doc file in an email I'm checking remotely via a VNC client connection (to FredVNC), that .doc file does not open within VNC, but rather on my local desktop...Fred. I have to return HOME to see it. Or (alternatively) I can kill -9 Libre Office, then open the application in VNC. But then any open docs that were on Fred risk losing data.

What I would LIKE is a way to have two parallel instances of apps open up that I could be working in Libre Office in VNC, while simultaneously having Libre Office documents open on Fred.

I am assuming (perhaps naively) that there's a command line way to open up an instance of a program that will assign it to the VNC or the Fred Display. I've tried searching for this and unfortunately am in a keyword nightmare. Nothing seems to be selecting the right terms and I get totally off topic results.

If anyone knows what I need to do that would be hugely helpful. Thanks in advance!

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