Putty and X applications

These instructions describe how to run X applications such as emacs when connecting via PuTTY from a Windows desktop to a Linux system.

Why not use Hummingbird Connectivity
Using Exceed via Hummingbird Connectivity to connect to blackgrouse is a good choice if you need a full Linux desktop session. See here for more information. However, if you are connecting to a Linux system to run single applications then the following method is much quicker and more flexible as you can access any Departmental or group Linux server directly.

What version of PuTTY and Hummingbird do I need?
Before starting check that you have
- PuTTY version v 0.53b or later. More about PuTTY.
- Hummingbird Exceed (or Connectivity) v7.1 or later. More about Hummingbird.

What do I do next?
First you must start Hummingbird Connectivity in passive mode. To do this use

Start > All Programs > Hummingbird Connectivity 2008 > Exceed

A small window like this should appear.

Hummingbird Passive Window 


You should leave this running until you have closed all PuTTY sessions.

OK, now what do I do? 
Now start PuTTY. You should see a window like this.

Initial PuTTY window

Two changes need to be made before you can connect to a Linux server.

1. Enter the hostname in the box labelled Host Name (or IP address). For example

Choosing the hostname

sets up a connection to blackgrouse. See the Compute Services page for more information about Linux servers.

2. Finally the session needs to be configured to allow X11 forwarding. It is this change that ensures that you will be able to open Linux applications on your Windows desktop.

- Cick on X11 in the panel on the lefthand side.
- Check the Enable X11 forwarding box.

Your PuTTY window should look like this:

Now click on Open to start the session. The first time you connect to a system you will see a PuTTY Security Alert like this.

PuTTY security alert 

Once you have connected a login window appears.

Standard login window

A simple test that your connections is working is to start the xclock application. At the command prompt enter

xclock &

and a clock should appear on your desktop.

An xclock window