Xming and Linux Programs on your Windows PC

As a computer science major, I spend a fair amount of time in the Science Center on Linux machines working on homework and projects. With the semester wearing on, the trek over there and the time spent in the lab have become more and more of an annoyance.

Solutions for my laziness? I could go through the trouble of setting up Linux on my machine, duel boot or otherwise, or I could use an SSH or VNC connection to log in remotely to the lab machines. Better though, is a program I just came across called Xming.

Xming is one of a number programs available that allow a windows machine to accept and display X11 window forwarding from a Linux machine.

Here’s how it’s done:

  • Download and install Xming server
  • Install the following font packages (without which programs like emacs have compatibility issues)
  • Run Putty to connect to the Linux machine (check the “Enable X11 forwarding” under the left menu system SSH -> X11)

And with that, you’re done! Any windowed linux programs you open from the shell will be natively displayed on your windows machine. Other options such as Cygwin offer some of the same capabilities.

Sure beats the hell out of trekking across campus…

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