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Xming is the leading free X Window Server for Microsoft Windows (XP/2003/Vista).  Unlike Cygwin/X it does not depend on the Cygwin environment. It is fully featured, small and fast because it is standalone native Microsoft Windows application.

Xming is secure when used with SSH and optionally includes an enhanced PuTTY Link SSH client and a portable PuTTY replacement package. Xming can work completely independent of the Window's registry when used with Xming-portablePuTTY. Interactive 3D graphics capability is provided compatible with OpenGL/ GLX.

Xming is cross-compiled on Linux for Microsoft Windows (32-bit x86), using MinGW, mainly from the canonical X.Org source code with patches applied. Public Domain version can be distributed and used without restriction.


Links and release status
Website Releases Version State/Notes Released MD5 signatures Size MB
Xming (+Mesa) Latest release 19 Apr 2009 MD5 signatures 3.39
Xming Latest release 19 Apr 2009 MD5 signatures 3.45
Xming-portablePuTTY Latest release 27 Apr 2009 MD5 signatures 1.39
Parallel development occurs in both 7.5 and 7.4 series. See Donations for how to obtain a Donor Password.
Public Domain Releases Version State/Notes Released MD5 signature Size MB
Xming-fonts Latest release 10 Mar 2009 54e15f944a986456f3293ebe84d89a85 30.3
Xming-mesa Superseded 4 May 2007 4cd12b9bec0ae19b95584650bbaf534a
Xming-portablePuTTY Superseded 3 Oct 2008 5b8196d91df4337d8794590bb15b35c1 1.50
Xming-tools-and-clients Superseded 23 Mar 2007 4b9b2ab58da77898dcd882035fbed11c 7.41

Installers for 32-bit Windows

These installers make it child's play to quickly install Xming components, interactively, with a few mouse clicks. They will also install/uninstall, silently, using command line parameters.


This essential installer includes the XLaunch wizard. Optional extras include the PuTTY Link for Xming SSH client and Tools and clients.

If you intend to use PuTTY make sure you correctly pick the PuTTY Link SSH client (plink), either for use with standard PuTTY or Xming-portablePuTTY (i.e. there are two different plink's in the installer).

You must associate XLaunch.exe with the .xlaunch file extension (an installer option, that is enabled by default) to get the X server quickstart feature (i.e. just one click runs Xming, the way you want, via a saved .xlaunch configuration file).

Xming uses Microsoft's OpenGL renderer interface as standard (i.e. unless a Mesa version). You need the Mesa libraries or a Mesa version when you have an awkward X client that's failing to display. Xming Mesa versions usually render most clients that use OpenGL.

The Xming executable has an absolute minimum of fonts; the so-called built-ins. X clients usually need extra fonts to supplement these...


This additional installer provides standard core X fonts (which are usually required) and optional extended Bitstream Vera replacement fonts from DejaVue. You must install Xming-fonts in the same directory you installed Xming.

I separated these fonts from the Xming installer, above, since they have a high installed footprint, don't change very often and modern X applications use client side fonts instead. Xming-fonts are however needed by traditional X applications e.g. emacs. Also if you have a correctly configured X font server on your network you can use it instead of this package.

Since these standard X Window fonts tend to be ugly, you could use better TrueType fonts from your Microsoft system like this.


This optional installer provides a fully portable replacement for PuTTY. You don't have to install portablePuTTY in the same directory you installed Xming as it is completely autonomous.

Xming-portablePuTTY works without requiring access to the Windows registry. The portable plink executable also incorporates the changes from the PuTTY Link for Xming SSH client.

Using Xming

  Most operating systems have an X Window Server, why not Microsoft Windows?  
Note this website convention: Window = X Window    Windows = Microsoft Windows

What can you use Xming for?

All the normal X Window Server functions and some you might not have thought of


Using X servers can be difficult and complex, so if you want to use Xming "quick and easy" start it with XLaunch. The learning curve for seamlessly combining X, Microsoft Windows, SSH and Linux/Unix can be pretty steep for novices. Documentation here just scratches the surface of many topics so be prepared to read more elsewhere and to try options out. Also this documentation is constantly being updated and may be incorrect for old versions.

Xming Manual. This doesn't contain any X server commands. You could view these with -help or run this XLaunch file. These online X.Org Manual pages also give more detail on server and client options, however they may be out-of-date. Note that not all generic options are logical for Windows or honoured by Xming.

Other manuals are available for XLaunch, Xmingrc, portablePuTTY, Xmon, the Run Utility and command line use of Xming's install and uninstall programs.

To simply start Xming in -multiwindow mode, with no access control, from Command Prompt or Start/Run.../Open:

"C:\Program Files\Xming\Xming.exe" -ac -multiwindow -clipboard
  Note: -ac is totally unsafe but simplifies server startup
This gives you a rootless X server on display-number :0 (the default), with an integrated Windows window manager, in its easiest to use form. This is as simple as it gets, but is totally unsafe (see Access control), so start the X server without -ac and only use X-Forwarding to display remote clients. Note: you cannot run two X servers with the same display-number; use the :display-number option if you want multiple instances.

If you have installed portablePuTTY or PuTTY, have a configured SSH server on your remote Linux/Unix machine, and have then tested and saved some PuTTY sessions, you could safely display an xterm like this

>Xming :0 -multiwindow -clipboard                   start Xming Server:0.0, then run
>plink -ssh -X -pw <password> <user@host> xterm     either, plink using <user@host>
>plink -pw <password> -load <sessname> xterm        or, plink using a PuTTY saved session <sessname>
  Note: pre-empt the need for the -pw <password> entries by using PuTTY's pageant key manager
or use a Windows SSH client, like Cygwin's OpenSSH, to do the same
>Xming :0 -multiwindow -clipboard                   start Xming Server:0.0, then run
>C:\cygwin\bin\ssh -Y <user@host> xterm             ssh using <user@host> (no saved sessions possible)
  Note: pre-empt getting a password/passphrase entry prompt by using keychain and a Cygwin shell
XLaunch makes using Xming with PuTTY's plink and generic Windows ssh clients easy...

The XLaunch wizard

XLaunch is a wizard for simplifying the startup of an Xming server. Its re-usable XML configuration files can also act as mini-session managers. One X client can be selected for concurrent display from a local or remote machine. When remote, the X client is accessed securely via PuTTY (e.g. via the PuTTY Link for Xming SSH client) or SSH (e.g. using Cygwin OpenSSH) with plink.exe or ssh.exe respectively.

Remote login using XDMCP is also provided as well as a host finder and chooser via the -find command and XPing button...

Also use XLaunch to just simply start the X server and then run several X clients later by hand, or from Xmingrc menu entries.

Example .xlaunch configuration files for a remote xterm via PuTTY, a remote login via XDMCP and a remote xcalc via SSH.
Using the wizard to get a remote xcalc via PuTTY in -multiwindow mode...

You can select the windowing mode, the way sessions are started and save the configuration for later reuse. An XLaunch configuration file can be just clicked to rerun saved settings without having to go through the wizard pages. Also automatic validation of configuration files against the XLaunch XML Schema Definition is selectable when starting the wizard. Additionally, automatic display-number (i.e. server) allocation is provided for the first twenty instances.

XLaunch Help pages...
Display settings    Session type    Start program    XDMCP settings    Additional parameters    Finish configuration

International versions of XLaunch

Language Strings Released MD5 signature
Chinese text 16 Sep 2007 170ded8b1a73c6de249ab649c9a90a76
Czech text 25 Oct 2007 f0f3d8ed7df9c59c70d5dce9296966d5
Deutsches text 16 Sep 2007 aea61e52eb6e3428f36b655993c7a346
EspaŮol text 16 Sep 2007 6a8bfd1f7f14258d1aed79775c2ad4b4
Finnish text 16 Sep 2007 e5a7019bb34d70b476c011c506edd7b6
FranÁais text 16 Sep 2007 1de51c6d718a05dcb487d0a24420aaf2
Italiano text 16 Sep 2007 a0aa263e36495a14b90809c547cf741e
Japanese text 27 Nov 2007 b71ec8ab186a2e7779d6c98a7d72d9cc
Korean text 15 Nov 2007 8d01a7aa7630ff174781f8f20118abf4
Nederlandse text 16 Sep 2007 d8348188a842044f6e3592684b7adfd2
Polish text 07 Nov 2007 b080f196019135d23f883260d6e2504b
Russian text 16 Sep 2007 38c6c74f51b7ceefa24aa7e66ca32b73
Slovenskż text 16 Sep 2007 e58bd86935be6738d008f1443fe2ba18
Currently these do not include the XDMCP finder/chooser

Xmingrc and the X icon menu

You can configure the X toolbar icon menu (i.e. the right-click menu on the Xming system tray icon), Windows icons, styles and system menus (i.e. the right-click menu on a Window's title bar) using an Xmingrc file. Additionally, on the icon menu, a Host Finder is provided for listing, choosing and then accessing any responding XDMCP hosts on your network, as well as a log file viewer. I use this Xmingrc file to open X Window clients (singly or combined in session files), PuTTY, Cygwin or Command Prompt terminals and EsounD, and to control access to the X server.

Any program (local Microsoft Windows, local or remote X client) can be run from an Xmingrc menu item.

Xmingrc is a structured text file so to avoid errors, try the installed example_Xmingrc file, study my example and read the Xmingrc Manual.

Tools and clients

Many X.Org tools and clients have been ported to Microsoft Windows console applications using MinGW. These include appres, atobm, bitmap, bmtoa, cxpm, editres, ico, listres, mkfontscale, oclock, setxkbmap, sxpm, twm, viewres, xauth, xcalc, xclock, xdpyinfo, xev, xeyes, xfontsel, xhost, xkbcomp, xkill, xlogo, xlsatoms, xlsclients, xlsfonts, xmessage, xmodmap, Xmon (xmond + xmonui), xprop, xset, xsetroot, xwininfo. Note that xkbcomp is built without a console as it is used by Xming during server startup.

glxgears and glxinfo are supplied separately along with many other GLX and OpenGL test clients for Windows.

Examples, from Command Prompt

>set DISPLAY=localhost:0
>set LANG=en_gb
>xsetroot -cursor_name left_ptr -fg white -bg black -solid SteelBlue
>setxkbmap de -model pc105
Xmon example
>xmonui | xmond             Xmonui graphics front-end piped to an xmond console providing trace,
                            for display 1 clients, while a server is running display 0.
>xclock -display :1
>xcalc -display :1          Monitoring two clients started from separate Command Prompt windows...

These Windows X clients are not the complete X.Org set. Since MinGW does not provide a POSIX API some clients just can't compile (e.g. xterm), also a few need client-side fonts or are useless on Windows. Their absence is not really significant, and most users don't need to install 'Tools and clients' anyway. Using PuTTY with Xming is however highly recommended as it provides SSH for Win32, xterm emulation and plink is especially useful...

PuTTY Link for Xming SSH client

PuTTY Link (plink) is a command line connection tool similar to Unix ssh.

The Xming plink SSH client is made with MinGW from patched PuTTY code. The modifications substitute Windows prompts for most console ones, which are helpful when used with XLaunch or Xming (both run console free and so console messages are hidden). An original (i.e. PuTTY project supplied) plink works just fine with XLaunch/Xming when no interactive input is required or errors encountered.

Debug XLaunch via plink with this XLaunch file (i.e. a test is triggered by the tags ClientStart="PuTTY" + Program="testplink") and get help by just clicking the plink.exe file. Note: plink is built as a console application, as it runs from the command line and accepts input from stdin.

The Run Utility

The Run Utility is an autonomous tool used to start Windows programs with a hidden console command window. This is the Manual for run. Its binary and source code are supplied separately from Project Xming; and licensed GPLv2.
Here is an example Desktop Shortcut using run and plink to display a remote konsole; but you could alternatively just use this code in a .js script file...
//Konsole.js - alternative to the Run Utility example provided above
//JavaScript to display a remote konsole without a local Command Prompt
var wshell = new ActiveXObject('WScript.Shell');
wshell.Run('"C:\\Program Files\\Xming\\plink.exe" -load colin konsole --ls',0);


Without updating equipment my Xming development can't continue or advance, hence this hardware funding initiative...

By donating you will get a Donor Password sent by return email, enabling access to Xming Website Releases and Development Snapshots for private individuals. This will be sent to the email address in the PayPal payment history, so please make sure it works! If you have contributed in other ways (e.g. code or patches), or not received your password, contact me. Also if you can't use PayPal, again contact me by email (colin dot harrison at virgin dot net) for alternatives. The suggested PayPal donation is £10 since less has a high percentage loss due to transfer charges. Note: You don't need a PayPal account to use PayPal from the button above, but the link does need cookies enabled.

I greatly appreciate contributions towards improving Xming's development and hosting resources. Plus, if you found Xming useful, a little thanks gives me the motivation to make it even better.

Xming Website Builds include...

Other projects also benefit from Xming developments. These are freely available for their use when correctly cited in accordance with  conditions.


I get so much email that I literally do not have time to answer it all. I regret this, but there's nothing I can do about it. So if you can possibly avoid sending mail to me, I recommend you do so. In particular, support requests are probably better sent to newsgroups, or passed to a local expert if possible. Problem reports will always be ignored by me if not accompanied by a complete Xming log file (with a full Dr. Watson Drwtsn32.log if a crash report) and are imprecise as to what you are doing. That said; I do appreciate well formulated reports and suggestions.

Terms and Conditions

Here are the terms and conditions including component licenses and all other non-technical clarifications.

Table of Contents

  1. Screenshots
  2. Releases
    1. Links and release status
  3. Installers for 32-bit Windows
    1. Xming
    2. Xming-fonts
    3. Xming-portablePuTTY
  4. Using Xming
    1. What can you use Xming for?
    2. Manuals
    3. The XLaunch wizard
      1. International versions of XLaunch
    4. Xmingrc and the X icon menu
    5. Tools and clients
    6. PuTTY Link for Xming SSH client
    7. The Run Utility
  5. Donations
  6. Support
  7. Terms and Conditions
The Xming website, documentation and images are licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.


Old News

Xming - PC X Server

Secure SSH & SSL Server
Secure, Compliant & Scalable File Transfer Solution. Free Eval!

I recently upgraded my Cygwin install and noticed that Cygwin has switched itís X server XWin.exe from the XFree86 codebase to the Xorg codebase. Besides an updated logo, it also has some other side-effects.

The first one I noticed is that the xterm now has a menu turned on by default. If this annoys you (like it did me), you can turn it off by adding the following to your ~/.Xdefaults:

XTerm*toolBar: off

The next side-effect I havenít yet solved. I use the XWin menu to define some links to the servers I look after at work. I use plink.exe (part of PuTTY) to launch an xterm on the remote host, displayed locally, and using pagent.exe to do the authentication. For example:

    "Content Server" exec "D:/Programs/PuTTY/plink.exe -ssh -X -C -load someserverdef /usr/openwin/bin/xterm -name greenbackground -ls"

This used to work, but now nothing happens. Interestingly, the command will work if you execute it directly from a bash shell. If anyone has an idea, Iíd be grateful for their help

UPDATE: - 20081217 ó Use Xming, maybe

I havenít yet figured out ssh-agent. However one work-around that I tried earlier and added in the comments was no good: the X clients started in a terminal that is forked off this way donít come through for some reason, to do with the way the X packets are tunnelled I think. So, I was motivated to try Xming.

Xming is being used quite successfully by my work colleagues who donít have a whole Cygwin stack on their machines. Itís a lightweight X11 server for Windows, and it even uses Microsoftís OpenGL apparently. Iíll have to try out some 3D clients from home soon to see what that gets me, but it could be good.

Anyway, for work, it seems to integrate very well with PuTTY. Thereís even a stand-alone putty you can download thatís pre-integrated, though it seems to also require the Xming server.

I also found that itíll serve my local X clients quite well. The most important of these is my emacs, of course. For that to work well, I had to download the extra fonts since emacs uses servers-side fonts. But it works and is indistinguishable from the X11 server thatís built into Cygwin.

I havenít yet un-installed Cygwinís X server: I fear it could also remove clients and libraries, and I donít want the hastle just now of figuring that out.

A final note: Itís menu config file is Xmingrc (no dot), which lives in Windowís HOME %USERPROFILE%. Also, because itís got no Cygwin dependency, you canít launch local Cygwin X clients from this menu. At least, not without wrapping them in calls to Cygwinís run.exe, e.g.

d:\cygwin\bin\run.exe -p /usr/X11R6/bin emacs -display --debug-init

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Last modified: June 04, 2016