X-Win32 Installation Instructions

Overview

X-Win32 is software which VCU Technology Services has obtained under a site license agreement with StarNet Communications.  The X-Win32 software allows you to connect a Windows PC to a remote Unix or Linux server and run windowing applications on the server. 

The license permits current VCU faculty, staff, and students to install X-Win32 for University teaching, research or administrative use.  The license agreement prohibits distribution of copies to anyone else and for any other purpose. 

The default license key that is distributed for X-Win32 only allows you to use X-Win32 from a PC on the VCU network (128.172.x.x).  To use off campus, first start a VCU VPN session -- for more information, please see RamsVPN


Download X-Win32

To download X-Win32:

Register and download X-Win32

After you download the file, check your VCU email account for an email from softwarelic@vcu.edu
After Installing X-Win32,  use the license key contained in the email to license X-Win32


Install X-Win32

To install X-Win32, double click on the file that you downloaded (x-win140-54sf.exe).  This will launch the installation wizard.  Follow the on-screen instructions to install X-Win32.

License X-Win32

Please note:

  • You MUST license X-Win32, or it will only allow you to run a 30 minute "demo" session.
  • You MUST be connected to the Internet to license X-Win32.


1.  Begin by launching X-Win32, as follows:

  • If you have a Windows Start button, select the Start / Programs / X-Win32 / X-Win32
  • If not, type X-Win32 in your Windows screen or search box.  In the list of applications that is displayed, select X-Win32.

[IF YOU ARE PROMPTED to install an update for X-Win32 (you may not be), do proceed with installing the update.  Allow a system reboot, if requested.]

The first time you launch X-Win32, the following two screens will be displayed:

X-Win32X-Win32

If you do not see the smaller License Wizard screen, it may be behind the larger screen.  To see it, you may have to move the larger screen to the side.

In the smaller License Wizard screen, select "License your copy using an activation key", as circled in red above.  Then click Next.

The License Activation screen will be displayed:

X-Win32

In the textbox of this screen, copy/paste (or carefully type) the license activation key that was emailed to your VCU email address, when you registered and downloaded the X-Win32 software.  Then click Next.

In the final screen below, click Finish to complete the licensing procedure.

X-Win32
 

Configure X-Win32

Before you can use X-Win32 to connect to a remote server, you must configure an "SSH connection" for that server.  This process is done once for each server and is described below.

In the example screens shown below, we will be configuring a connection for the Koti server (koti.vcu.edu).

1. Launch X-Win32, as follows:

  • If you have a Windows Start button, select the Start / Programs / X-Win32 / X-Win32
  • If not, type X-Win32 in your Windows screen or search box.  In the list of applications that is displayed, select X-Win32.

[IF YOU ARE PROMPTED to install an update for X-Win32 (you may not be), do proceed with installing the update.  Allow a system reboot, if requested.]

2. In the Configuration screen that appears:

    A.  Select the Connections tab. 
    B.  Select My Connections
    C.  Select the the Wizard... button.

In the subsequent screen shown below, type a name for the new connection (we have typed "Koti") and select ssh for connection type, then click Next:

X-Win32

In the subsequent screen, enter the server's address (e.g., koti.vcu.edu), then click Next:

X-Win32

In the subsequent screen shown below, type the login name (i.e., the user or account name) with which you wish to login on the server (we have typed "jdoe"), then click Next:.  For security purposes, leave the Password box empty, so that you will be prompted for your password each time you login:

X-Win32

In the subsequent screen shown below, select the operating system used on the server (for Koti, we have selected "Linux XTERM").  When you do so, the Command box will be automatically filled in.  Now click Finish:

X-Win32

After creating the connection for the Koti server, the X-Win32 Configuration screen will look like the following (you may have to expand the My Connections item by clicking the small arrow just to the left of My Connections):

Use X-Win32

1. Launch X-Win32, as follows:

  • If you have a Windows Start button, select the Start / Programs / X-Win32 / X-Win32
  • If not, type X-Win32 in your Windows screen or search box.  In the list of applications that is displayed, select X-Win32.

2. The X-Win32 2012 Configuration screen will be displayed (as shown immediately above).

Note:  If the above Configuration screen does not automatically appear, then X-Win32 is already running on your system.  To display the Configuration screen, find the X-win32  icon in your Windows task bar (you may have to first click the "Show hidden icons" arrow in your task bar), and then click that  icon.

3.  To connect to a server so you can login, in the Configuration screen:

          A.  Select the server you wish to use (for example, Koti)
          B.  Click the Launch button. 

4.  When prompted, type your password, then click OK.

A session window for the server will appear, as shown immediately below.  It will present you with your server's command prompt (shown as ">" in the example screen below), at which you may type commands to be performed on the server.


Note that you can issue commands that run "windowing" applications on the server (applications that will open a window).  

For example, if it is a Linux or Unix server, you can type the command:

xclock &

as shown in the window below, and press the Enter key.

 

A window for the xclock application will be displayed on your PC's screen:

When finished, you may close the application's window. 

 

Note:  As with the xclock command shown above, an ampersand "&" may be optionally typed at the end of most application commands on the Koti server (and on most other Linux / UNIX servers).  The ampersand will cause that application to run "in the background" on the server.  You will immediately receive another command prompt, so you can issue further commands on the server, or even logout, if desired.  That application will continue to run in the background until finished   This feature is useful, for example, for launching applications that you expect will require a long time to finish execution.

 

When finished with your remote session:

  1. Logout from the remote server by typing the appropriate command (if unsure, try typing exit)::
  2. If desired, you may then also exit X-Win32 by right-clicking the X-Win32  icon in your Windows task bar and selecting Exit.


Warning:  If you exit X-Win32 while windowing applications (such as xclock) are still running in the background, those applications will immediately terminate.

 

 

This article was updated: 03/22/2019