2012-06-10

Remote X11 on Windows using SSH Tunneling

I hadn't used remote X11 for so long I'd just about forgotten how to go about setting it up, so I thought I'd knock up a quick guide (nothing seems to cement something in my head quite like doing a short howto).

Firstly, grab the software you'll need:
  1. Download PuTTY and PuTTYGen from the PuTTY Download Page
  2. Download and install XMing 

Run PuTTYGen and generate a new key (SSH-2 RSA)



Save the private key on your client machine and copy the text from public key to ~/.ssh/authorized_keys on the X11 host.






Launch XMing and then run PuTTY and enter the IP of the X11 server:


Enter your username into the auto-login field:


Add the private key file saved earlier to the Auth section:



Enable X11 Forwarding:


Click Open and PuTTY should connect using the auto-login username along with the key and then present you with the usual prompt.

Run an X11 application from the prompt, XTerm for example (make sure to background the task by appending the "&":

# xterm &

An XTerm window should appear on your desktop:


And for good measure, another test showing Iceweasel (Firefox):

# iceweasel &







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