Using VcXsrv and PuTTY (remote X for Windows)

 Published On September 04, 2013

I used to use Xming (alongside PuTTY) to display X11 applications from a remote Linux machine from Windows 7.

However, recently I discovered VcXsrv when looking for other X Server for Windows. VcXsrv is 'better' than Xming (the free version of Xming is over 6 years old, but you get the latest version if you donate) as it's based on the same source code (compiled using Visual Studio as Xming (the paid for version) but 'free' (as in open source)!

Besides, you don't have to use PuTTY with VcXsrv, as it has the facility to log on via ssh built in; I prefer to use PuTTY as I always have used it!

Configuring VcXsrv and PuTTY

  1. First things first, if you haven't already done so,
  2. Start VcXsrv either by clicking on the Start menu (Windows Vista or Windows 7) and typing 'Xlaunch' and pressing enter. Windows 8 users press the Windows key* (to get the the metro interface) and again type 'Xlaunch' and press enter.

    *Assuming you have a Windows button on your keyboard ;-)

  3. In the display settings select multiple windows, and set the display number to 10select Multiple Windows and set Display number to 10
  4. Select "Start no client" XLaunch-Display-settings2
  5. Press next (accept the defaults already checked in the wizard)" XLaunch-Display-settings3
  6. Press finish, and VcXsrv should start (if it has started successfully, a new icon will appear in the system tray): Press finish
  7. Launch Putty, in the host name box, type the host name (or IP address) of the remote Linux machine you're connecting to: enter the host name in PuTTY
  8. From the configuration options (on the left hand side on the Window)Expand "Connection" and "SSH", select X11. Check the "Enable X11 forwarding" option box and set the X display location to and press "Open" configuring x11 forwarding in PuTTY
  9. You should then be prompted to log into the remote server, enter your credentials, once authenticated, type the name of a program you wish to use e.g gedit, and if configured correctly, the program should launch with a GUI: putty3

Tags: Linux Microsoft Windows Cygwin Linux PuTTY ssh x window x11 Xming


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