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Thread: Howto Easily run an Xserver under Windows

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Howto Easily run an Xserver under Windows

    Sometimes, you need to connect from Windows to a Unix or Linux system just to run a specific software. For example, if you want to run some Linux open source program under windows and you have a Linux machine in your network or accessible from the Internet, there is an easy way to do it: Xming.

    Xming is a open source X server that runs under windows, easy to install and use. Just go to the homepage: http://freedesktop.org/wiki/Xming.

    The installation is pretty forward. Once installed, the easiest way to use is to run it straight away. You have an X icon on your windows desktop, run it.

    Then you need a remote terminal connection software, the best open source is Putty.
    It is an executable, just download it and lunch it. Depending from the remote terminal service that is running on your server, configure Putty to use it. I suggest OpenSSH. You have also to configure the X11 Forwarding setting in Putty to forward the X session to your windows machine IP address. Done.

    You will get a console, login in on your Linux server and lunch the application you want. Magically, it will appear on your windows desktop. I use this method to run application like Kivio (no need to buy Visio ) or other good open source that I will mention in other articles, on my office notebook when I am at home. The server is my Linux machine.

    I repeat the instruction:

    1) Install under Windows Xming and Putty

    2) Have a terminal server running under Linux, like OpenSSH

    3) Execute Xming under windows: double click the X icon

    4) Execute Putty: configure it to connect your server Ip and to forward the X11 to your Windows machine IP.

    5) Login and run the Linux application.

    Here the website where you can find this and other usefull article: http://ubuntufriends.wordpress.com/

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Howto Easily run an Xserver under Windows

    I'm going to append to this as I had a few issues and headaches before finding a solution that worked for me.

    Get Putty http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~s.../download.html and
    Xming http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/x...p.exe?download

    Note, both of these applications are "portable" and can be copied to a thumbdrive and run on any machine you may have access to.

    Launch Xming and select the style you wish to display the X server output. Hint: Select Multiple Windows and your X applications will look like they were launched from Windows. Leave Display number set to 0
    Click Next. Select Start No Client and click Next.
    On Server Options, check the box title Disable Server Control. Leaving the box unchecked can give you an "unspecified protocol error" later down the road.
    Click Next and save your configuration. This will create a quick way to launch Xming later.

    Once you see the X in the systray you can launch Putty.
    Enter the address of the machine you are trying to connect to. Be sure to select SSH as the protocol.

    Now connect. With luck you will be asked to log in. Enter your credentials.
    Now to actually forward the ports. There is an option in Putty for this but it never seems to work for me.. so I type:

    DISPLAY=your.windows.ip.address:0.0
    export DISPLAY

    Subsitute the IP address of the windows machine you are running Putty on. DISPLAY must be typed in uppercase! If everything is going correctly your Ubuntu box will say nothing back when you enter these commands.

    Now, the test. Type

    xclock &

    and an analog clock should appear. Try

    mozilla-firefox &

    and your web browser should appear. Looking for your email? Try

    evolution &

    or

    mozilla-thunderbird &

    Be sure to use the amperstand after each command so that you can launch multiple apps. Otherwise, the terminal "hold" the commands until the application is closed.

    When you're done, type exit in Putty and it all goes away!

    Neat thing is that the clipboard works and you can copy and paste from system to another.

    You won't be able to see your desktop, so you'll have to know the names of the apps you want to run. To see the desktop requires XDMCP, which is easy to set up but is NOT secure.
    Why can't life have a sudo apt-get install -f command?
    Install VMWare Server 2 on a text-only system
    Need help getting your printer working in Linux?
    It's all about choice, right? Then stop flaming Windows users.

  3. #3
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    Re: Howto Easily run an Xserver under Windows

    Wow cool i just tried this out of boredom and it works like a charm thanks both

  4. #4
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    Re: Howto Easily run an Xserver under Windows

    Bump for coolness.

  5. #5
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    Re: Howto Easily run an Xserver under Windows

    Yes, this has worked very nicely and easily on my home and work XP machines.
    Linux & MythTV 4 Life
    Running ubuntu on an Atom 330, Atom D525, Turion 64 X2 TL-56, X2 3800, X2 4200, X2 4600, E2180, Core i5 450M, and a Core i7-2600
    My Hardware

  6. #6
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    Re: Howto Easily run an Xserver under Windows

    I'm having trouble getting this to work.

    I have X11forwarding enabled on my dapper install. But when I try the connection (ie xclock &) after a couple of minutes I get an error that there is no connection to the computer running xming.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

    Re: Howto Easily run an Xserver under Windows

    ok, i got this to work on my local network. but i really want to be able to access my machine from anywhere. i really need help with my router and configuring that pos. any help is greatly appreciated.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Re: Howto Easily run an Xserver under Windows

    SSH is port 22 and you might have to forward that from your router to the Ubuntu box.

    You need a way to know you external IP address. Create an accout at dyndns.org, install a dynamic dns client on a machine (windows or linux box, it doesnt matter, but only pick one) and you can find your machine by a name instead of a changing IP.
    Why can't life have a sudo apt-get install -f command?
    Install VMWare Server 2 on a text-only system
    Need help getting your printer working in Linux?
    It's all about choice, right? Then stop flaming Windows users.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Melbourne
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    Kubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn

    Re: Howto Easily run an Xserver under Windows

    Never mind i figured it out!!

    Anyway if you want to forward the X11 through putty (no need for typing Display) you first need to install xauth ( sudo apt-get install xauth ) then reconnect and it should work!
    Last edited by Gruelius; July 6th, 2007 at 02:38 PM.
    Opensuse | E4400 @ 3.1 Ghz | 2GB DDR2 800 | Gigabtye P35 DS3 | x1950pro | 250gb Sata2
    Debian Etch | AMD X2 3800+ | Nforce 430 | 1GB DDR2 667 | 1.5TB Raid5 , 200GB Raid1

  10. #10
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    Re: Howto Easily run an Xserver under Windows

    agreed. xming is great, i use it at work quite a bit. putty is also great. open source on windows - not something my work likes (can't figure out why they want to spend hundreds of dollars on reflection x when xming works better).

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