Xserver Setup

From Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology - University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
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MAC OSX[edit]

OSX 10.5 through OS X 10.7[edit]

  • XServer is already built into OSX

OSX 10.8 and newer[edit]


  • Open a terminal client and type in
ssh -X [yournetid]@[destination.server].edu
    • The -X after "ssh" tells the computer to connect using xserver
    • yournetid - is your university netid
    • destination.server.edu - the server you would like to connect too (example: biocluster.igb.illinois.edu)

Windows with MobaXterm[edit]

Windows with PuTTY[edit]

  • For users who prefer PuTTY. You will need to setup the program XMing

Download the following files[edit]

Installing Xming[edit]

  • Run "Xming-6-9-0-31-setup.exe" installer. Follow the screenshots below.
  • Click Next

Xming install1.jpg

  • Click Next

Xming install2.jpg

  • Click Next

Xming install3.jpg

  • Click Next

Xming install4.jpg

  • Uncheck everything except for "Associate XLaunch.exe with the .xlaunch file extension"

Xming install5.jpg

  • Click Install

Xming install6.jpg

  • Uncheck "Launch Xming". Click finish

Xming install7.jpg

Installing PuTTy[edit]

  • Run "putty-0.60-installer.exe" installer. Follow the screenshots below.
  • Click Next

Putty install1.jpg

  • Click Next

Putty install2.jpg

  • Click Next

Putty install3.jpg

  • Click Next

Putty install4.jpg

  • Click Install

Putty install5.jpg

  • Click Finish

Putty install6.jpg

  • Run "putty.reg". At the warning that pops up click Yes. It will be similar to the following screenshot


Connecting to X Server[edit]

  • Run "xserver.xlaunch". This is the Xming profile that is needed to connect properly use Xming with a server
  • Run PuTTY by going to Start->Programs->PuTTY->PuTTY
  • Type in the hostname you are connecting to then click Open.
  • Login with the username/password for this host.
  • You are now connected. You should be able to run any xserver capable program.


  • A good test is to run the program "xterm". Most hosts will have this installed. It will open up a graphical terminal box.
[username@hostname ~]$ xterm