Novell is now a part of Micro Focus

Remotely getting a X Window System session from a NetWare server using Cygwin

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By Richard Stubbs

Digg This - Slashdot This

Posted: 6 Aug 2003

Using Cygwin as an X server for a NetWare box works like a charm: it is fast and there are no refresh problems that I can see. Why use Cygwin? Well -- it is free! In order to get it working do the following.

At your PC

  1. Download and install Cygwin from (Make sure you include the X11 stuff and bash.)
  2. Download the Ice Window Manager from and follow the instuctions to install. (See my example.)
  3. Start the X Window System session by running

    --login /usr/X11R6/bin/ "

    Put in your path to bash.exe instead of e:\Cygwin\bin\bash.exe". You can make this a Windows shortcut for your convenience.
  4. When you run this shortcut you will get a terminal window. If you right-click on the X in your taskbar and select 'show root menu' this will bring the X Window System session to the foreground.
  5. In the terminal session window, enter

    xhost x.x.x.x

    where x.x.x.x is the IP address of the NetWare server. This gives the NetWare server permission to send screen updates to your X server.

At the NetWare Server

  1. Load java (if it is not loaded), if X is loaded unload it.
  2. Use the following commands to send the X session to the pc:
    envset display=x.x.x.x:0.0
    where x.x.x.x is the ip address of your pc.

Presto! You should have the full-blown NetWare session on your PC.

TID 10060342 contains more info about remote X Window System sessions.


MY stripped file

#! /bin/sh
export DISPLAY=
# Cleanup from last run.
rm -rf /tmp/.X11-unix
# Startup the programs
# Startup the X Server with the integrated Windows-based window manager.
XWin -multiwindow -screen 0 800 600 &
# Startup an xterm, using bash as the shell.
xterm -sl 1000 -sb -rightbar -ms red -fg yellow -bg black -e /usr/bin/bash &
# Startup the twm window manager.
# WARNING: Do not use an external window manager in conjunction with
# the ``-multiwindow'' command-line parameter for XWin.  Doing so
# would start two window managers, which is never supposed to happen.
icewm &  
# Set a background color.  Only needed when not using -multwindow for XWin.
# xsetroot -solid aquamarine4
# Return from sh.

About Cygwin

Cygwin is a Linux-like environment for Windows. It consists of two parts:

  • A DLL (Cygwin1.dll) which acts as a Linux emulation layer providing substantial Linux API functionality.
  • A collection of tools, which provide a Linux look and feel.

For more info, see the Cygwin FAQ

If you have any questions you may contact Richard at

Novell Cool Solutions (corporate web communities) are produced by WebWise Solutions.

© Copyright Micro Focus or one of its affiliates