I've been struggling with Xming and putty for a while and I can't make it work; I enabled X11 forwarding in putty, updated xauth list on the client side with the xauth list of the server side.

Currently I can run xclock from the client machine on the server machine when the DISPLAY is set to :0.0 (it shows xclock on the server machine), but I can't run it locally on the client machine; in other words, xming window doesn't pop up at all.

I already changed the DISPLAY to localhost:0.0, myip:0.0, and none has worked. When I run xclock (when display is set to myip:0.0) it starts (I don't get "can't find Display" error) but still xming doesn't show anything.

P.S. In my sshd_config I have the following lines:

X11Forwarding yes X11Displayoffset 10 X11UseLocalhost yes

2 Answers 2


Try this:

  • First, unset any DISPLAY variable, as this will make puTTY take that value as it's target display.
  • Execute XLaunch (bundled with the Xming installer) with the default display (:0.0)
  • Next, launch puTTY as:

    putty -X {user}@{host}

    replacing {user} and {host} with your username and the hostname or ip address of your remote computer

  • Launch xeyes or any other x application in the puTTY console.

When you use puTTY with -X flag, it automatically creates a bridge between a local display in the remote computer, and the :0.0 display in the local one. You can also use -X <display> to user a non-default local display.

The -X flag can also be set in the configuration window of puTTY under the section: Connection -> SSH -> X11 -> Enable X11 Forwarding


The simiplest way to use X11 remotely with Xming, is to install Xming server on your desktop. Then connect to the remote server with your ssh client (that supports X11 forwarding), once connected, set the DISPLAY variable to be, the IP address your ssh connection came from, with :0 at the end, and export the variable. eg:

export DISPLAY

then run the X11 application from the cmd line. If you want to run an application, and contunie to use the shell for other work, add & at the end of the cmd, to run it in the background. eg:

xfce4-terminal &

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