Oracle DBAs working on windows laptops and connecting to unix/linux environments need an Xwindows server. An Xwindows server is the software you need on your laptop in order to run the GUI interfaces for Oracle installation programs on unix. My favorite Xwindows server is Xming, whose home site is located here, and whose binaries are here.

I’ve used the Exceed product before for an Xwindows server, but have always found the software cumbersome and confusing. It contains many more features and utilities than I need and takes up a fair amount of disk space too. Xming is easy to install, tiny in size and just does one thing: Xwindows server. Configuring it to work with putty is simple. Putty seems to be known to just about everybody in IT that ever had to login to a remote machine via telnet or ssh, but I think Xming is probably a bit less famous.

Installing Xming is simple. I accepted all defaults, which lets use run multiple separate programs from your remote host, each in its own window. Xming also provides some choices of automated integration with putty, which I haven’t used.

To get Xming and putty correctly configured to work with SSH, here’s what I had to do in my environment.

After installing Xming, I ran the Xlaunch utility that comes with Xming. Xlaunch controls the manner in which Xming starts. Xlaunch has a wizard interface, and I accepted the defaults, except on this screen.
Xlaunch screen
Here I made sure the “No access control” check box was checked.

On the putty front, I enabled X11 port forwarding for your session. See the below picture on how to do that. In my environment, I don’t have to set the DISPLAY variable at the unix prompt after making the above two settings.
X11 port forwarding in putty.

With the above two settings in place, I can login via ssh using putty from my windows laptop to remote unix sessions and then successfully start Xwindows programs.