Network access to PWF Linux from Microsoft Windows
If your local machine is running some version of MS Windows, then
the route to a secure X Windows connection to the PWF Linux server is
more complicated. You will need an X server program for Windows (such
as Exceed, available for institutional use from Computing Service Sales for a
small licence fee); and also an SSH client, such as PuTTy.
Note that the alternative Tera
Term with the TTSSH extension,
which was previously recommended, only supports version 1 of the SSH
protocol and is no longer compatible with the PWF Linux systems.
Exceed and PuTTy may already be installed on your college machines,
and are installed with Windows XP on the Physics PWF workstations if
you want to see them in action: look in the PWF Programs ->
Communications and Networking folder.
The X server should be configured to start up in passive mode,
accepting connections from the local host only. Run the Exceed
configuration tool xconfig and:
- Select Security, set "Host access control list" to "File", select
"Edit" and add the single line "localhost"
to the end of the
xhost.txt file in the notepad window that opens.
This should be the only line in the
file that does not start with
the comment character `#'.
Save the contents and close the notepad window.
- Select Communications, and set the startup mode to "Passive".
- Select Screen Definition, and set the window mode to "Multiple".
Now when you start Exceed, it should run in the background without offering
any direct login prompt.
PuTTy is a small program written by a team of Cambridge programmers.
When you have downloaded and installed it from the link above, configure it
- Run putty.exe. Depending on how you have installed it, there may
be an entry for Putty in the Program menu.
The left-hand pane of
the putty window contains links to various configuration options. They
form a tree arrangement, where branches are expanded by selecting the
- Select the "Connection" -> "SSH" -> "Tunnels" screen.
- Check "Enable X11 forwarding".
- Select the "Connection" -> "SSH" screen.
- Select "2" as the "Preferred SSH protocol version".
- Select the "Session" screen.
- Select "SSH" as the "Protocol".
- Highlight "Default Settings" and select "Save" to save all of these
changes as the defaults for next
time you open PuTTy.
Now you should be able to start up a remote X windows session on
the PWF server:
- Start Exceed, which should run passively in the background.
- Start PuTTy, and make sure that SSH is the selected protocol.
Enter linux.phy.pwf.cam.ac.uk in the hostname box, and click "Open".
- You should then get a login box for the PWF Linux server:
enter your username and password and click "OK".
- You should now be logged in with the usual shell prompt, and be able to run X windows
applications such as xterm and emacs
to your local screen.
If you have problems gaining access via MS Windows from your
college machines, then your College Computer Officer may be able to