This directory contains an installation of Cygwin/X that has been
edited down to just the pieces needed for the X11 server to run.
It was created starting from the Cygwin version that was current
on 06/07/13. It has only been tested on Windows XP SP3 and some
of the directions below may need to be modified for other
versions of Windows. This distribution is intended to be used with
an X11 tunnel provided by putty - there is no ssh program in
Built from Cygwin 1.7.20(0.266/5/3)
X11 server 1.14.1
This is minimal cygwin/X 0.0.3 06/07/13.
0. Login as an administrator
1. Unpack the zip file into C:\cygwinX
2a. XP Double click this file in that directory: access_and_shortcuts.bat
This will create a "working" subdirectory and modify file protections
on it so that everybody can write to it.
Add a desktop icon for everybody.
Add a program menu entry for everybody.
If you don't want one or the other of these, edit the bat
file before running it.
2b. Vista and up:
Right click on: access_and_shortcuts.bat
select "run as Administrator"
(otherwise the same as 2a)
as these are not needed once the distribution is installed.
If the shortcut creation scripts do not work for some reason these can also be
created manually. First create the short cut.
From an administrator account open windows explorer and navigate to
Right click: new -> shortcut
Location (browse to): C:\cygwinX\startX11_server.bat
Right click on the shortcut -> properties
Set the icon: C:\cygwinX\Cygwin.ico.
On XP, stay in the Explorer window and copy that shortcut to:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Desktop
Then delete the shortcut in the cygwinX directory.
On Vista and up, close that Windows Explorer window. Then as an
Right click on "Command Shell"
Select "run as Administrator"
In the command shell type:
copy C:\cygwinX\CygwinX.lnk C:\Users\Public\Desktop\
copy C:\cygwinX\CygwinX.lnk C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\
Using the server:
1. start putty or another ssh program capable of providing
2. login to a remote system with X11 tunneling enabled.
The first time this is run the firewall will ask if an exception
should be made, answer NO - all network IO will be through
the SSh tunnel.
4. xdpyinfo in the ssh window should now show the server. Other
X11 programs should also work.
5. To turn the X11 server off, right click on its icon on the
right side of the task bar and select "exit".
Other than accepting one particular type of bug report (see below)
I do not support this product in any way shape or form, use at your
own risk, standard disclaimers etc. Most likely any issues you
find with the X11 server are in the underyling software from Cygwin
and so should be reported there. This can be verified by also
installing Cygwin/X (comes to around 250MB) from
and rerunning whatever problem program you are using against that
version of the X11 server.
If you do find an instance where a remote X11 application
requires part of Cygwin/X which was deleted in this distribution,
and you have narrowed it down to specifically which files are
missing, please let me know. Email to my last name at caltech.edu.
0.0.5 05/01/2013 revised instructions
0.0.4 12/11/2013 revised instructions and scripts
0.0.3 6/7/2013 rebuilt using a newer Cygwin and X11 release
0.0.2 1/19/2012 added Type1 font support
0.0.1 11/8/2011 first release