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I remember a few years back, I was able to edit some shell script and then create a shortcut to it, so that anytime I needed an xterm I just used to click on the shortcut which would start the X Server and starts an XTerm client.

it used to be called startxwin.bat or or something like that. I used to edit that file and add a command like xterm to the end of the file

anyone knows how to do that?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The scripts are gone now. To start X, you have to run startxwin.exe.

For me, I have a shortcut to the following in both my QuickStart and my StartUp:

C:\cygwin\bin\run.exe /usr/bin/bash.exe -l -c /usr/bin/startxwin.exe

This will then execute whatever's in your .startxwinrc file, which you can make your choice of terminal.

You'll get the X menu in the lower right-hand corner. You can configure the contents of that by editing your .XWinrc file.

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thanks a lot, any examples of .startxwinrc/ – Charbel Feb 16 '11 at 17:00
You can just have xterm & to start a terminal. – JohnMcG Feb 18 '11 at 19:57

I think you mean startxwin which is both a Cygwin script and should be in your Windows "Start->Programs-> X server" menu. I think the file you're thinking of editing is $HOME/.startwinrc, where you can add clients. I think you also need to make sure you have a window manager, something like WindowMaker (wmaker.exe)

If you're primarily running Cygwin X Clients, then the cygwin X server probably makes the most sense. If you're running clients from UNIX/Linux, it may be easier to run Xming. This is basically a port of the Cygwin XServer code to run as native Windows using mingw.

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thanks for your tip, I now configured my startxwin and it works fine (I also added a command line argument to get the clipboard working as well) – Charbel Feb 21 '11 at 11:10

I don't know much about Cygwin, but suggest you look into It is similar to Cygwin (Linux integrated with Windows) but is much easier to install, maintain, and use.

The X server starts automatically. Bring up a terminal (from the desktop shortcut), type xeyes, and it just works...

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andlinux setup is moren than half a gig! that's way too much for what I need! – Charbel Feb 15 '11 at 18:36

Consider using the mintty terminal instead, which offers xterm-compatible terminal emulation with a native Windows UI, i.e. it doesn't require an X server. Installing it through Cygwin's setup.exe creates a start menu shortcut in the Cygwin folder.

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