I'm using Windows 10 Insider Preview with Windows subsystem for Linux enabled

I'm wondering what's the true differences between VcXsrv and Xming to view windows from Ubuntu in windows

I know the immediate differences with the settings, I meaning more specifics, like what's less resource intensive and maybe things to don't work on one but do with the other

The Windows-10 tag does apply as this has existed since the AU in normal builds

  • 2
    Which version of Xming? The really out of Date FOSS version, or the maintained non-free version? The old foss version of xming acts buggy and unstable for me.
    – Zoredache
    Jan 9, 2017 at 20:34
  • @Zoredache, The one available here is the one that I mean
    – DanHolli
    Jan 9, 2017 at 21:17
  • 6
    Right, the Foss version, whose newest build is almost 10 years old, compared to the non-free version that is straightrunning.com/XmingNotes which was last built yesterday. Or the VcXsrv which was last updated about six months ago. Anyway the point is that one major difference is that free xming is ancient, and in my experience buggy.
    – Zoredache
    Jan 9, 2017 at 21:38
  • 1
    @Zoredache, VcXsrv isn't as well known because It didn't get much popularity and thus mainly unknown, but could you test it out?
    – DanHolli
    Feb 8, 2017 at 16:56
  • 1
    for those of you who tried Xming, what kinds of bugs did you get? I just started using Xming on Win10, because I had somehow heard about Xming. Not sure whether I am headed for big headaches..
    – alpha_989
    Nov 4, 2017 at 14:40

2 Answers 2


VcXsrv is a open source project under GPLv3 license about building reliable X Server using Visual Studio in potentially optimal manner. It's common knowledge Microsoft Compilers are very good for Windows platform, since there are free variants it's tempting option. It was my first choice for X Server when I tried Windows Subsystem for Linux for the first time in Windows 10.

Xming is a weird project which under term Donation hides a price for the installable binaries. I always though donations are voluntary, but it seems the author has different perception. This project was the only option to have X Server on Windows natively for very long time, but since we have VcXsrv, there is choice.

I personally have very good experience with VcXsrc, it's easy to install and works very fast. I'm surprised it's not more popular. As far as I know their code is more clean version of original X server and doesn't relate to Cygwin.

  • 7
    To put it in clearer terms: Xming's "donation", where you give its maker a fixed amount of 10 GBP and you get access to the download of the current major version of the software, seems exactly like a sale and very little like a donation.
    – rakslice
    Jul 8, 2019 at 18:51
  • 3
    I've used the "donation-ware" Xming for many years without any significant problems. Your "donation" should cover all future releases, but your credentials for downloading often "get's lost" and the support from the maintainer is flaky, so I have moved over to Vcxsrv and don't regret it.
    – thoni56
    Jun 11, 2020 at 15:31

Both are compiled from modified X.org source code.

VcXsrv handles screen-shots correctly when you Alt-Tab between windows, and puts proper icons in the task-bar. I haven't got that working with the Xming public domain version.

Xming comes with more programs to start-up, VcXsrv relies on Xlaunch.

On my Samsung Notebook 9 pen with Intel UHD 620 graphics, VcXsrv tries to do hardware acceleration by default, which doesn't work, don't know why. I had to unclick the option when running Xlaunch. Xming defaults straight to software OpenGL.

I had trouble with both version switching monitors on a Surface Book. VcXsrv crashed, Xming just didn't display properly.

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