PuTTY/Xming Tutorial

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PuTTY/Xming Tutorial

These instructions are for Windows® users only!!

In the screenshots, I use Windows 7 64-bit as an example in order to cover all special cases, but the instructions should work on any version of Windows.

This guide will demonstrate how to connect to using PuTTY for remote access and Xming for displaying Linux GUI programs on your local computer screen.
*Any programs run from Linux in this way are still running on the server. So if you save files, they will be saved to the server. This is the same as if you were using a computer in the lab room.*

1. Download PuTTY

Scroll down to Binaries and download PuTTY. This is the program you will use to connect remotely to the server at Hunter.
Save the file putty.exe to a convenient location. Don't run it yet.

2. Download Xming

Scroll down to Releases and download the two files shown in the screenshot below:
xming download page
First, run the Xming-6-9-0-31-setup.exe file. Click "Run" if it asks you if you are sure you want to run the software.
Click "Next" through the installer to install with all defaults. However, uncheck the "Launch Xming" checkbox at the end.
make sure launch xming is unchecked
Now run the Xming-fonts-7-5-0-22-setup.exe file. Again, click "Run" if it asks if you are sure.
Click "Next" until it asks you to pick what to install. This part is optional, but it is highly recommended you install the Dejavu Fonts, as shown in the screenshot below:
Continue to click "Next" until the install is finished, then "Finish" to exit setup.
Now find Xming on your start menu, and run the program called XLaunch.
Make sure you run XLaunch and not Xming, to set defaults
Click through the defaults and Finish to run Xming at the end. *Use XLaunch each time to run Xming.*
***Windows 7 or Vista users doing this for the first time may get a firewall warning here. If you are using Xming on a laptop which you carry around with you, you might want to check both checkboxes off. If you are using from a home computer, make sure at least the first checkbox is checked.***
win7 xming firewall warning
Xming will now appear as an icon in your system tray beside your clock, along with any other programs. On some systems, it may be hidden behind the system tray arrow.
xming in the system tray

3. Configure PuTTY to use Xming

OK, now run putty.exe. Again, click "Run" if it asks if you are sure (you might also want to uncheck the box which says to ask you each time).
Before you fill in any information about the server, first click on the '+' sign next to "SSH" on the left-hand side, then on "X11" and change it to look like this:
Configure PuTTY to use Xming
 Make sure the "Enable X11 Forwarding" checkbox is checked, and that the "X display location" box reads localhost:0

4. Set up connection, save settings, and connect.

Now click on "Session" at the very top of the left-hand side, and fill in
for the Host Name box.
Save these settings by filling in a name for them and clicking the "Save" button. I named my session "eniac". In the future, you can just pick your session from the choices and load it to connect.
PuTTY configuration for enaic
After saving, click "Open" to connect.
The first time you try to connect, you will get this message. Simply hit "Yes" to continue.
You will then be asked to "login as:" Here, put in your username. Hit "enter" and you will be asked for your password.
Hit enter again and you will be logged in.

5. Test X forwarding is working. Rejoice.

You can test that Xming is working by running this command:
gedit &
You should get a new window for the Text Editor which you can use like a regular window on your computer.

6. Exit when finished. Exit, alright? Remember that. EXIT.

When you are finished with your session, enter the command
to disconnect. Putty will close completely after this, but Xming will continue running in the background.

After following these instructions, all you have to do in the future is:

1. Launch XLaunch and click through until you launch Xming.
2. Run putty.exe, select your saved session, and click "Load" (or double click the session name to connect with those settings).
3. Enter your user name and password.
And you will be connected!

Advanced usage of Xming and putty

It is possible to save Xming's configuration so that you won't have to use XLaunch each time, but I won't cover it here.
You can learn more about both applications from their respective websites if you are so inclined. They both have many options and it may be useful to learn it for the future if you ever need to connect to other systems using UNIX while working from a Windows machine.

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