X-Win 32-Computing Services - Carnegie Mellon University

Using X-Win 32

X-Win32 is X terminal application software for Windows. X-Win32 allows Windows users to connect to Linux/Unix servers on a network and run the applications from those servers on their Windows desktop. Users can copy and paste data between the X and Windows applications. The program allows individuals to use graphics-based applications with a mouse rather than doing only command line work.

Note: X-Win 32 is not available for Macintosh computers.


  1. Download X-Win 32 from the Computing Services licensed software pages.
  2. Unzip the file into the desired folder.
    Note: Remember where you placed these files; you will need to access these when configuring a connection for the first time on a computer.
  3. Double-click the executable file to begin the installation wizard.


  1. From a Windows computer, select Start > All Programs > X-Win 32 > X-Config.
  2. In the My Connections window, click Wizard to start the Connection Wizard.
  3. In the Name field, give your connection a nickname (i.e. "Linux timeshares").
  4. Select ssh as the Type.
  5. Click Next.
  6. In the Host field, type linux.andrew.cmu.edu.
  7. Click Next.
  8. Log in with your Andrew userID and password.
  9. Click Next.
  10. In the Command window, select Linux.
  11. Click Finish.
  12. You will now see the newly-created connection in the My Connections list.


  1. Select Start > All Programs > X-Win 32 > X-Win 32.
  2. If this is the first time you are accessing X-Win 32 on your computer, the License Activation window will appear.
  3. Navigate to the folder where you unzipped the downloaded X-Win 32 files. Locate the file named VN.txt.
  4. Paste the activation number from the VN.txt file into the License Activation window.
  5. Click OK.
  6. You may need to re-open X-Win 32 to continue.
  7. From the X-Win32 Configuration screen, select the connection you previously set up from the My Connections list.
  8. Click Launch.
    Note: You may be prompted to accept a host key. Click Accept to continue.
  9. If your connection is successful, a terminal window will open and a UNIX prompt will display ([YourAndrewuserID@unix12 ~]$).
  10. To access a software package, type the name of the software followed by a space and &. It may take a few moments for the chosen software to load.
  11. To end your session, close any software you have opened. In the terminal window, type exit.

Updating X-Win 32

When updating to a new version of X-Win32 you must delete the older version's license key to apply tne new license key.

To remove the older license key:

  1. Close all X-Win32 sessions.
  2. Locate the license.lic file and delete it (usually located at C:\Users\LOGIN-ID\AppData\Local\StarNet Communications\X-Win32).
  3. Relaunch X-Win32. The application will prompt for the activation key. 
  4. Enter the new license key that was included in the download (VN.txt).

Additional instructions included in a Microsoft Word file (in the compressed file you download).