Linux on Windows – With Putty & XMing

Hello everyone. Today I will show you how you can run Linux applications with a GUI on Windows by using Putty and XMing.

What operating systems you need:

  • A machine running a Linux operating system (for example: Ubuntu)
  • A machine running a Windows operating system (I used Windows 7)

What software you need:

Both will be run from your Windows machine. The only prerequisite you need to fulfill on your Linux machine is a running SSH server. When you use a debian system you can achieve this by simply running the following command:

sudo apt-get install openssh-server

Now log on to your Windows machine and install XMing. Simply click through the wizard and keep the default settings.


After the installation finished you need to allow XMing to bypass your firewall. To do so simply click on “Allow Access” when you run XMing.


Now you need to configure Putty. Run Putty and enter the IP address or hostname of your Linux Machine and the number of the SSH Port you are using on this machine (The Default Port is 22). Enter a name for this Session in the textbox below “Saved Sessions” and click on Save.


The next step is to configure the X11 forwarding. Go to Connection -> SSH -> X11. Check the checkbox next to “Enable X11 forwarding” and check the radio button next to MIT-Magic-Cookie-1 below Remote X11 authentication protocol. Now go back to Session and click on Save.

Now start the session by clicking on Open.


To test if everything is working you can run the following command:


Now this window will open up.


Important: If you try this and nothing happens, make sure that XMing is running and it can bypass your firewall.

That´s it. Now you can run Linux applications with a GUI via SSH on Windows.



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