run linux application from windows



debian 6  
windows xp

I have a linux without desktop installed (gnome, kde, etc.), but I need run GUI application on this linux machine, from my windows workstation! How to to that?

Most linux use X window system for GUI display, so does debian. X uses a client-server moduel through network. linux applications running on linux are client, your workstation(keyboard, mouse, screen) are the server - they provide service to applications.

So all we need are:

  • X server
  • client
  • connection between X server and client

X server

Most *nix shiped with X server, there are many X server implementations for windows too. Such as xming(oos) and x-win32(commerical).
I choose xming.
Download and install xming. start Xming by just click the Xming icon.


Applications I’d like to run are already installed on linux machine.

connection between X server and client

putty is a widely used ssh client on windows, it can be used to forward X Widnow System application over your ssh connection.

putty config X11

after login to your linux, check if X forward works fine.

bianbian@server:~$ echo $DISPLAY

If this works, just run the application from shell! :)

xterm running from windows

But if it doesn’t work…
check if X11Forwarding yes specified in /etc/ssh/sshd_config and if xauth application installed on linux.. fix problems and restart sshd if necessary, re-ssh to linux and make sure the DISPLAY variable is set properly.


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