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Quick article about how to transfer GUI display on local machine over SSH using PuTTY (or KiTTY) and XServer like Xming/VcXsrv.

Before starting, you'll need
- A windows machine (as local machine)
- A Linux machine (as a remote server)

On local Windows

X Server

Install one of the X Server below on your local Windows:

XDISPLAY over SSH with Putty & Xming/VcXsrv

 

Once install, just click on the program recently installed and a X logo (as below) will appear on the bottom right notification icons.

Xming Server Logo

It means that the XServer is running in the background.

SSH/Telnet client

Install one of theses SSH/Telnet client on your local Windows:

Run the program, and configure it as follow:

XDISPLAY over SSH with Putty & Xming/VcXsrv

Under Connection > SSH > X11 :

  • Check Enable X11 forwarding
  • Enter localhost:0 for "X display location"
  • Check MIT-Magic-Cookie-1

 

XDISPLAY over SSH with Putty & Xming/VcXsrv

Under Session:

  • Select SSH
  • Select "Default Settings"
  • Click Save button

On remote Linux

SSH session

From your local Windows, Open ssh remote session on your Linux machine with PuTTY/KiTTY

  • Check that MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1 key has been added with: xauth list
  • Make sure DISPLAY is set to: export DISPLAY=localhost:10
  • Try to display something like: xclock & (if not present, install it with yum install xorg-x11-apps.x86_64)
# Check if MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1 key has been added 
[[email protected]]$ xauth list
    oralab01.uxora.com/unix:10  MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1  1a1f7af9b7ca3c11183b529e51529e51

# Make sure DISPLAY variable is set
[[email protected]]$ env | grep DISPLAY=
    DISPLAY=localhost:10.0

# Display a x11 gui app
[[email protected]]$ xclock &

An xclock like below should display on your windows desktop :

Note
Please note that display number DISPLAY=localhost:10
should match with the one in xauth list.
Because it can be different from 10.

Tips

SU command

After a su command, you may have the following error if you try to xdisplay something:

    KiTTY X11 proxy: Unsupported authorisation protocol
    Error: Can't open display: localhost:10.0

su open a new session and it does not transfer the session key, so you'll need to manually add the MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1 key after the su command.

# Check if MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1 key has been added 
[[email protected]]$ xauth list
    oralab01.uxora.com/unix:10  MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1  1a1f7af9b7ca3c11183b529e51529e51

# Change user with su
[[email protected]]$ su - oracle

# Add the MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1 from previous command
[[email protected]]$ xauth add oralab01.uxora.com/unix:10  MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1  1a1f7af9b7ca3c11183b529e51529e51
    xauth:  file /home/oracle/.Xauthority does not exist 

# Check if MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1 key has been added 
[[email protected]]$ xauth list
    oralab01.uxora.com/unix:10  MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1  1a1f7af9b7ca3c11183b529e51529e51

# Set DISPLAY variable
[[email protected]]$ export DISPLAY=localhost:10

# Display a x11 gui app
[[email protected]]$ xclock &

Or you can use the following command before executing the su command:

    su - oracle -c "xauth add $(xauth list | grep MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1 | head -1)"
    su - oracle

Or do not use su, but open a new PuTTY/KiTTY session and login with the right user.

Missing charsets warning

    Warning: Missing charsets in String to FontSet conversion
    Warning: Unable to load any usable fontset

If you encounter this warning, set export LC_ALL=C to remove it.

HTH,
Michel.

About MIT-MAGIC-COOKIE-1
A key is only available during the current session open by PuTTY/KiTTY.
For each new PuTTY session, a new key will be generated and display number incremented if already used.

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