install a Linux-like environment and an X server on MS Windows.

Download this file 49MB (available locally at \\kadenix\public
It has a minimal install of cygwin and X. (Go to for more packages).

  1. unzip it,
  2. run the Setup.exe,
  3. tell it to Install from Local Directory.
  4. install in default C:cygwin as Root directory (or D:\cygwin if are not Admin)
  5. when the Install Packages comes up, click open the X11, scroll down to xorg-11-base and click Skip so that all the packages have X's and so will be installed (they won't by default)
Start a bash shell terminal by the Cygwin desktop icon or the Programs menu choice or cygwin/cygwin.bat

Start the X server by cygwin/usr/X11R6/bin/startxwin.bat
Notice the icon in system tray, indicating the X server is running. An xterm will be started. From there start, for example, an xclock by: xclock&
The X server is running in multi-window mode where each X client gets its own window in MS Windows desktop. The startxwin.bat can be edited; there are many options when starting the server.

This installation has a limited number of X clients and only a limited number of Linux/Unix apps have been re-written to run in this environment so a better use of Cygwin/X is to run the X server, connect to and login to a Unix/Linux system and run all the apps and a desktop there but have the I/O done at your workstation running X, turning the MS Windows into an X terminal.
To do so, edit the cygwin/usr/X11R6/bin/startxdmcp.bat to indicate the IP or hostname of the system to connect to. Run this to start the X server.
The system you're connecting to must allow remote conenctions (via the XDMCP protocol). One way to allow is GNOME's "Login Screen" | Remote tab | un-disable it. The default configuration of XDMCP works ok. Firewall has to allow UDP port 177 and TCPport 6000 in.