Xming as an X Window System display server [was Re: X11 in a browser?]

Mark Daniel wrote:
Larry Kilgallen wrote:

In article <fhp4vi$bph$1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, david20@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:

In article <473F4E4A.5040201@xxxxxxxxxxx>, "Richard B. Gilbert" <rgilbert88@xxxxxxxxxxx> writes:

Since the user could almost certainly get PC software that will handle X windows for $400-$600 that's probably the way to go. If he needs fifty or a hundred copies of the PC software, that could get a little expensive and it might actually be worth writing a web interface.

Alternatively if the user is not averse to using public domain software on his
PCs then he could use the free Xming X windows software see




What if the customer needs some third alternative to:

a) pay money

b) get it for free

? :-)

With Xming you can do both/either. Note the donation link


(In fact it would appear you cannot obtain the latest release without donating!)

Seriously ... I evaluated the Cygwin/X package some time ago and found it unusable for my purposes. I have been using X-Win32


with great satisfaction for some time now but an alternative, which licence doesn't regularly expire, would be serious contender. I just downloaded the Xming package, have installed it, and am composing the VMS Mozilla newsreader reply using it as the X-Window Server.

First impressions: fast, lightweight, stable (at least it hasn't crashed yet with five DECterms and one Mozilla running; I also ran up DECwindows Mail, clock, etc., just to check) and seems to be handling the keyboard mapping from PC to VT-style for TPU., etc., adequately (with a little xmodmap-ing in my LOGIN.COM).


Impressions after running the public domain release (not the
latest) for a fortnight: fast, lightweight and very stable (in over 14 days of continuous use with DECterms and Mozilla not one problem). Keyboard mapping (as described above) fine. Three button mouse support and cut-and-paste fine. The default is to run without backing store which (even on my LAN) exhibits a little latency in refreshing various panes on something like Mozilla. Enabling backing store by starting Xming with the additional switches

+bs -wm

(in the 'target' field of the Xming desktop shortcut) remedies this - but unfortunately is buggy (at least in my public domain release). Some components of some application 'get lost' after using it for a while (e.g. DECterm pull-down menus; you can still pull them down - if you can find them :-)

My only gripe so far (and this is one that also criticises VMS' 'detached' application creation infrastructure) is the lack of what I would call a real application launcher (X-Win32's is superb). It's a bit of a pain SSHing to the VMS box to launch (detached) DECterms and having to maintain them for applications such as Mozilla. Still, with a little judicous command-prompt batch programming that might be made less irksome.

Application launch remains a little cumbersome. I have a couple of
elementary batch icons to ssh sessions on my VMS systems. This has
worked well enough for the evaluation.

If there's any interest I'll report back after using it for a period.

All-in-all, for the hard currency spent on it, and with the caveat I'm
not a power X Window System user, I'd give it two thumbs up.

The documentation claims it can be copied to removeable media (e.g. USB
drive, iPod) and without installation on the underlying PC be used as a
stand-alone X Window System display environment. Might try that next.

In science it often happens that scientists say, "You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken," and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time someting like that happened in politics or religion.
[Carl Sagan; The Demon Haunted World]

I maintain there is much more wonder in science than in pseudoscience.
And in addition, to whatever measure this term has any meaning, science
has the additional virtue, and it is not an inconsiderable one, of being
true. [Carl Sagan; The Burden Of Skepticism]