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How to Forward an X11 Session to Windows over SSH?

By on March 1st, 2009 
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This article is also your answer to: How to access a Linux system GUI remotely via SSH from Windows?linux networking digitizor (photo courtesy- LUG Manipal)

Accessing the GUI in Linux remotely from another Linux box via SSH is very simple. But if you are at your workplace (where you most probably run windows) and want to access the Linux GUI at your Home from your office, via Windows, then you need to configure and set up a few softwares and tweaks which will do the job for you.

For setting the entire thing up you need Three (3) things to be installed on your computer:

Xming X Server for Windows, Xming Fonts, PUTTY - SSH Client for Windows.

The Xming server is a 2.5 MB download and the Xming Fonts package is a ~35 MB Download. The Putty client is an executable, you just need to download and run it. Now follow these steps. We have included a screencast at the end so that you can speed up the installation process.

1) Goto the program properties of Xming (right click on the Xming icon and select properties). In the target field, add -ac to the end of the target string. This switch sets the Xming server to allow anonymous connections. Now Start the Xming X server. Once it starts, you will see a X icon in the system tray.X11 forwarding for windows via ssh - digitizor

2) Now open the Putty Client. From the Menu on the left hand side, select Connection > SSH >X11. Check Enable X11 Forwarding. Enter your X Display location. This is generally localhost:O.O (if your remote desktop on tty7 - the GUI). Now goto Session and key in the ip address of your rmote server and the port on which the remote SSHD server is listening (22 by default). Make sure you have started the Xming X Server as described in step no.1. Now start the SSH session by clicking on Open.

3) In the terminal that opens, type a command such as xterm or xclock or try to launch any GUI application. Wait for a few seconds and your remote GUI will start. Thus you have now successfully forwarded X11 Session to windows over SSH!!

Here is the screencast, that will make things much easier for you: http://blip.tv/file/1827992/

Related: How to securely transfer files between two computers in Linux?

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How to Forward an X11 Session to Windows over SSH? was originally published on Digitizor.com on March 1, 2009 - 1:14 pm (Indian Standard Time)