Launching X-Windows Session

How to start an X-Windows Session

Once you have installed X-Windows two programs will appear in your Program Files: PuTTY and Xming.

  1. In the Start Menu/Xming launch "Configure X-Windows Session"
    Xming Congifure X-Windows Session.jpg
  2. Name the "Session Name:" anything you would like.
  3. For "Server Name:" enter the server you will be accessing. For example:,
  4. Check the "Use Windows system colors..." if you would like to have black text on a white background. Otherwise, not checking the box will open a black command prompt background with white.
  5. Click OK -- you will receive an alert saying "Session successfully created. Define another session?" You may choose to click No if you only need to access the server you inputted.
  6. Launch the "Start X-Windows Session." Start Menu/Xming/Start X-Windows Session. !! It may only open in Notepad, if so right click and choose "Open with Command Prompt" Note: Make sure you utilize the Start X-Windows Session client icon which will launch both Xming and Putty. If you use Putty alone many GUIs will not work.
    Start X-Windows Session.jpg
  7. Select the Session you would like to access
  8. Click Load. The Host Name text box will fill with the serve you inputted during configuration.
  9. In the Category window click on SSH then X11 and select Enable X11 forwarding
  10. Click OK and a new window will open prompting for the log in. You will only need to input your ID and then password
    Login Screen for xming.jpg
    You will receive the CRC welcome notes upon each successful login.
  11. WELCOME! You are now logged in and have successfully established a connection through Windows to the CRC headnode machines.

To exit: make sure to logout before closing the window or you will remain connected. By typing logout to logout and close the window.

GO BACK TO Establishing a Connection from Windows

Secondary Instructions for Launching a Session on Windows

  • First, start Xming (which allows a graphical interface). It will appear as though nothing happened/opened, but it should be running. You can see if an X appears when you click the tiny up arrow at the bottom right of your screen.
  • Next, you need to open PuTTY in order to connect.
  • In the PuTTY configuration, enter the Host Name (for example: You can choose to save this configuration for future connections (see below).
  • Now we need to tell PuTTY to communicate with Xming. Do this by expanding the SSH menu in the left-hand column, click on X11, and check "Enable X11 forwarding."


  • That's it. Now you can open your connection.
  • HOW TO SAVE: Type Host Name, Enable X11 forwarding, give it a name in "Saved Sessions", click "Save". Done. In the future, you can simply click on your saved session, load it, then open it.


  • It's important to remember to first open Xming, then PuTTY, then enable X11 forwarding. Happy connecting.