Xming + Putty = Run your home linux apps on a remote windows machine

June 29, 2007 at 3:05 pm | Posted in Linux, putty, Windows, xming | 5 Comments

Search on the internet, and you see tonnes of pages and complaints and rants on “I can’t run my windows programs on linux!” Well, what if you’ve never been comfortable in windows, or you’ve finally transitioned to linux and you need to use your linux apps? In actual fact, there is a solution to this, a quick, easy and portable one.

(note: this tutorial is not how to install linux apps on your windows installation; rather it deals with running your linux apps remotely from your linux box using ssh – so it does not work if you dual boot. Although this method does have its disadvantages, such as the need to have your linux machine on, it is useful for remote administrating, and it allows almost any linux app to run with your local settings stored in your home directory)

Equipment needed:

  • Xming – a X11 server for windows (tis is portable so you can carry it around on your flash drive)
  • Xming Portable PuTTY – SSH client for windows (in case you hadn’t noticed, also portable)
  • openSSH Server for linux
  • A linux machine
  1. First off, make sure openSSH server is installed on your linux machine, and if not install it (this differs for each distro; on ubuntu use sudo apt-get install openssh-server or use synaptic)
  2. Thats it, its set up on the linux end! test it by opening up a terminal and typing “ssh -X user@localhost” where user is your username. It should prompt you for a password and start a new session.
  3. If you want to ssh into your linux machine remotely (over the internet) be sure to set up port forwarding to forward port 22 from your router to your linux server.
  4. Now, in windows download and install Xming and Xming Portable PuTTY. Once done navigate to your Xming directory as shown below

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

5. Click on Xlaunch and the following wizard should appear – follow the screenshots to setup your X-server

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

6. Here type in the name of your terminal emulator (gnome-terminal if you’re using gnome or konsole if you’re using KDE). Then select PuTTY and in connect to computer type in either: the ip address of the local computer if you are in your local area network OR type in the IP address of your LAN if you are accessing it over the internet (this can be found by going to http://www.whatsmyip.org from your LAN). Then enter your usename and password OF YOUR LINUX MACHINE and click next.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

7. A dialog will pop up looking for PuTTY. Navigate to the directory you installed it to and double click on plink.exe

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

8. Finish the wizard, and accept the security certificate, click ok to the error that always seems to come up and your terminal should appear! (click pic to enlarge)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

9. From this terminal you can launch any of the apps you’ve got installed on your linux machine. ITS THAT EASY!




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  1. […] Link to Article linux Xming + Putty = Run your home linux apps on a remote windows machine » […]

  2. Nice .. helped me.

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