Linux and X11

I run my Linux servers with a minimal install and no user interface. This usually doesn’t cause an issue because I can do 99+% of my work from the command line. Even most of the applications I use have “-console” interfaces.

However, every once in a while, like once/year, I run into an application that only runs with a graphical user interface. When this happens I go into my “how did I do this the last time.” Very simply, it turns out.

I run RHEL 7.x on VMware Workstation 10 on a Windows 7 laptop. It is an i7 quad-core CPUwith 32 GB RAM and (2) 1 Tb SSD drives. It does the job fairly well.

A solution to the problem that works well for me is:

1) Download and install XMing (notes are available here) on Windows 7 laptop.

2) Run XMing and then view the log file.

Xming view log

The IP address is shown in the file as “XdmcpRegisterConnection: newAddress”. It is also the IP (one of them anyways) for the laptop that can be determined in several ways.

The DISPLAY value is shown in the file as “DISPLAY=”.

Combine the 2 so that you get DISPLAY=

3) Use Putty, from Windows 7 laptop, y to open a SSH connection with X11 forwarding.


4) On the Linux server enter “export DISPLAY=” on the command line.

5) Now you can run the application that requires a graphical user interface.


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