Putty, Sqlplus, and Cygwin:
I’m often working with my laptop. And I use putty and sqlplus to connect to the server. They both work fabulous! First time, every time. Do exactly as they are told. No surprises. Very reliable. And you can do most everything that you need to do.
I’ve also used cygwin for years, and have it installed on all my Windows machines. Although the cygwin installation could use improvement. Such as a button for: Install every last thing! Currently, installing everything requires a LOT of mouse clicks!
It’s such a pleasure to work with software that works right out of the box. No wonder I use putty, sqlplus, and cywin so much.
Recently I figured I would just install some X Windows software to connect to the 64 bit Redhat 5.5 Linux server. Shouldn’t take long. Yeah right.
A few queries told me that XMing (with XLaunch) seem to be the most popular X Windows software. So I downloaded and installed Xming. But it just wouldn’t work. After many tries. Sometimes I got a black blank screen. But never a login prompt. Bizarre!
Pre-Requisite: Linux Server Must Be Configured First:
Intuitively, I suspected that perhaps the Redhat box needs to be configured first to accept the connections. Similar to the listener to a database needs to be running before you can connect. After many searches, I discovered, that my hunch was correct. Why is this not mentioned in the docs?
There were two great webpages that I came across on how to configure the Linux server.
Clear. Concise. To the point. And it works! (But unfortunately not for XMing.)
Oracle Forums seem to get archived. And just in case Jeff Hunter ever stops hosting his website, I’ll recite the relevant points here:
configure the file:
Add these entries:
Run the GUI: gdmsetup
Go to tab: Remote
Set to: same as local
Go to tab: security
Allow local system administrator login
Allow remote system administrator login
Jeff notes that you avoid rebooting the server with:
But I always reboot just to be sure.
Thanks Jeff for such fabulous docs. I was going to leave a comment, but you don’t have this enabled.
Zack on the Oracle Forum says:
In Linux, /etc/ssh, modify sshd_config with :
I did these as well.
But no matter how many blogs and websites I went to, and instructions I tried, XMing just didn’t work.
Finally I gave up and downloaded mobaxterm. It installed in a few mintues. It was intuitively obvious to connect. No documentation or reading required. There was only one screen to enter data in, similar to putty. And it worked perfectly fine. That’s what software is supposed to do.
What more could you ask for? Well it turns out that mobaxterm also has a whole lot more for the PC. Games. Utilites. Cool.
Interestingly enough, mobaxterm seems fully self contained. Like putty, you just unzip the file, and double click it to start using it. No installation that modifies the Windows registry.
Mobaxterm is highly recommended.
Unimpressed with XMing:
Again, as part of my few reviews on software, and poor or non existent documentation, the official docs for Xming have 3500 words!!!!
But the Xming docs say absolutely nothing on configuring the Linux server! Why is something this important, not mentioned at all?
To be fair, I also can’t find anything on the official website for mobaxterm. Hey guys, those prerequisites are important! Document them!
Putty: I had already installed putty and was connecting fine with it, when I decided to install the software for Xming. What I noticed is that most all XMing documents talk about configuring putty first. Which I did. Is Xming not a self contained program? It’s not clear if putty is a prerequisite for Xming. Is it? Or not? If so, why is it not in the documentation?
And, to login to the remote server, why does Xming need five screens to login, while mobaxterm requires only one?
But, even though I do exactly what the docs say, I never get a login prompt. Not even a screen. All other variations of login attempts also fail. But I never get a meaningful error message!
And, why are there so many ways to login? What is the basic way?
Back to work:
One of my characteristics is that I’m very persistent in overcoming pesky little tech issues. So I’m left thinking, what are the secrets to get Xming to work? Do you know? If so, please respond with very clear instructions. Including ALL the fundamental prerequisites. In a few dozen words or less.
In the meantime, mobaxterm rocks!
Update – November 2013:
This year, I installed Redhat 6.4 on my server. This week I went to connect to it with MobaXterm 4, using the above instructions.
Unfortunately, the instructions didn’t work completely. The reason, Redhat 6.4 no longer has the utility, gdmsetup. Nor is it possible to download the package. Surprise! Again.
Should I write a blog post on this kind of thing: software updates or upgrades rendering all your previous work and knowledge base obsolete? Requiring that you develop it all over again. How’s that for efficiency?
I emailed the good folks at MobaXterm, and got the solution soon enough. Here it is.
In addition to upgrading Redhat to 6.4, upgrade MobaXterm to 6.6. When creating a session:
- click on the “New session” button
- Choose “SSH” session type
- Enter your “remote host” name or IP address
- check “specify username” box and enter your login
- In the advanced settings (just below), you will see a “remote environment” field. Choose the “Gnome desktop” entry and save
Then connect. It works great!
BTW, this is just my home server with non critical data on it. In production environments, you may not want to allow full remote desktop sessions at all.