Running Remote X11 Applications from Windows

One of the nice features of X11 is that you can remotely run X11 applications. To take advantage of this feature we need 2 additional pieces of software.

1.  SSH Client

We need a SSH client to tunnel our X11 connection over a secure protocol since X11 transmit in clear-text. We will use Putty as our SSH client, you can download Putty here!

2.  X-Server

Naturally we will also need a X-Server to display our X11 applications. For this setup we will use the Xming X-Server, another option is to use Cygwin/X. We will leave the setup of Cygwin/X as a exercise for the user.

o  Xming X-Server for Windows

o  Cygwin/X

Be sure to download and install the additional fonts for Xming.

Now assuming Putty and Xming are both installed we can now connect to our remote Unix/Linux server and run a X11 application

1.  Double click on the Xming shortcut on the desktop (see figure below)

Note: If you have a firewall installed on your computer you will need to allow remote hosts access to the X-server

2.  After a short while, you will see the X logo in the system tray (see figure below)

3.  Launch Putty and enable X11 forwarding by enabling Enable X11 forwarding under the Tunnels options. The Tunnels options is located here: Under the Category panel expand Connection, then expand SSH and finally click on Tunnels. (see figure below