Dec 222008
 

If you are a UNIX/Linux system admin or a developer who  constantly works on Linux/Unix systems , then propably be interested in Xming. Xming is a fully featured free unlimited X Window Server for Microsoft Windows (XP/2003/Vista).Because it is standalone native Microsoft Windows, easily transported portable as a Pocket PC X server. Xming can be used secure with SSH optionally includes an enhanced PuTTY Link SSH client and a portable PuTTY replacement package. Xming can work completely independent of the Window's registry when used with Xming-portablePuTTY.


Xming is an ideal replacement for commercial X Windows servers like Exceed which is both expensive and bloated. Xming server released in the public domain is free to use.

Xming public release can be downloaded here

Xming is easy to install and you can get it to work in no time. There is one important thing that you need to do before getting Xming starts working for you.  Once installed, browse to the installation folder (default is C:\Program Files\Xming\) and look for the file x0.host. This is the Access List Host file for the Display 0. If you use multiple displays like 1,2, etc then each of these displays will have its own host file as x1.host, x2.host

etc. Edit the file with notepad and enter the IP address or hostname of the unix/linux host (one per line) whose display will be exported to this Windows PC.

For example,

localhost
127.0.0.1
192.168.0.1
172.10.10.1

The above indicates that the localhost (127.0.0.1) and IPs 192.168.0.1 & 172.10.10.1 will be allowed to export their displays. Also, you can restrict this further to the users on those unix/linux hosts as follows,

192.168.0.1:devuser

This means a user named “devuser” on the host 192.168.0.1 can export the display to this windows PC. No other user on that host will be allowed (no mention of user as earlier means all users on that host are allowed to export the display)

Failing to update the host files can cause the following errors on the unix/linux hosts:

Xlib: connection to “x.x.x.x:0.0″ refused by server

Xlib: Invalid MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1 key

Error: Can't open display: x.x.x.x:0

or

Xlib: connection to “x.x.x.x:0.0″ refused by server

Error: Can't open display: x.x.x.x:0

Xming comes with Xlaunch which can allow you to configure X Window settings like multiple windows in one screen etc.

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