Linux GUI on Your Windows Desktop Through the Magic of Xming
I decided to write down a short introduction to Xming. For those not in the know Xming is an implementation of the X Window System for Microsoft Windows operating systems. This means that you can install this software on Windows, run a remote linux program that requires a graphical interface and see the result on your local computer. Visit the Xming home page and see the screenshots if it seems difficult to wrap your mind around the concept.
Download the latest version of Xming software from their home page and install it. Prepare the remote linux machine by connecting to it via SSH and checking if the file /etc/ssh/sshd_config contains an uncommented line
If not, fix it by adding it and restarting the SSH server.
Now you’re ready. First, let’s configure a link to a remote program.
- Find and start the Xlaunch executable
- Choose the Multiple windows option and click Next
- Choose Start a program option, click Next
- Enter the name of the GUI program, like xclock
- Choose the Using PuTTY (plink.exe) option
- Enter address and other information required to connect to the remote server, click Next twice
- Now click the Save configuration button (I would recommend not checking the box for saving the password in clear text, but it’s up to you)
- Click Finish
That’s it. Now just double-click your saved configuration and enter the password if asked. This way you’ll be launching a remote linux program among other native Windows programs.
If you would like to use the window manager or desktop environment I suggest you follow the steps above, but instead of Multiple windows choose the option Fullscreen and replace the xclock with some WM like gnome. It’s as simple as that. I recommend that you don’t abuse this feature by doing all the server configurations in a GUI environment that can be done using PuTTY as this can produce unnecessary load on the remote machine.