Connecting to a Linux Machine from Windows

Access from Windows to Central Filesystems

For a comprehensive list of available filesystems, please see https://www.classe.cornell.edu/private/computing/filesystems.html .

To check if your file system is currently being backed up, see BackupSchedule. To request changes to this schedule, please open a ServiceRequest.


  • For information about where you should be keeping your files, please see CLASSE's Data Stewardship information.
  • From a non-CLASSE network (like RedRover), you first need to connect to our virtual private network (see OpenVPN -- CLASSE login required).
  • From a non-CLASSE system, you may need to replace samba below with samba.classe.cornell.edu. You will also need to tell your system to authenticate via the CLASSE domain.
    • For Windows, you can do this by entering your username as CLASSE\classeid instead of just classeid.
  • Many of our unix filesystems are available from Windows using our samba server. You can browse to these filesystems by typing
    into the address bar of any Windows Explorer window and then double clicking on a filesystem in the resulting list.
  • You can directly access to your Unix home directory (where files are stored by default for many Linux Applications) by typing
    into the address bar of any Windows Explorer window. Please be aware that there is a 1GB quota on your home disk.

Data Stewardship Video

This video discussing Data Stewardship under Windows at CLASSE is about 10 minutes long.


For simple access to Linux programs from Windows, we have created the CLASSE GRID script.

Interactive login from Windows to Linux (Manual methods, Advanced Users)

LNX201 is our general purpose Linux Interactive node. If you need to remotely access a Linux computer, you should connect to LNX201. Others are available, but only with special arrangements.

Video (Running XClock and Matlab)

Default Method 2008.07 (XMing with multiple windows)

XMing should already be installed on all CLASSE Windows computers. (It has been included in all new CLASSE Windows computers from July 2008 on.) If it is missing from your computer, please contact the CLASSE computer group. Once XMing has been installed, you can follow these instructions:
  1. Double Click the "RunXMing" shortcut on your desktop. PuTTY will open.
    • On a non-CLASSE Windows system, you can download your own PuTTY executable (see here).
  2. Type in a computer name [1] (for example, LNX201). Click Open[2].
    • LOTS of additional configuration details are available from the help button on the main screen. NOTE: Some information is very technical.
  3. You have a terminal open. If you want to run an X program, type the name (for example xclock) and press enter.
  4. You can open multiple terminals by Double Clicking on the desktop icon again. You will need to log in to the remote computer again however.

Preconfigured shortcuts

Use the shortcut on your desktop CreateXMingShortcut.
  1. The first choice, "Computer" will save what computer you are connecting to. First it will ask for the computer name, such as lnx201. Then you will want to name the shortcut (whatever you want here).
  2. The second choice is for selecting a PuTTY Session - see below under Manual configuration for help with that.

Manual Configuration

There are two ways to pre-configure XMing. Both use shortcuts or command line arguments.
  1. To just configure the host to connect to with a shortcut, create a new shortcut and point it to the RunXMing executable. Add the host you want to connect to afterwards. The command line should be
    RunXMing.exe computername
  2. Alternatively, you can use PuTTY sessions. Start PuTTY (you can use the desktop shortcut RunXMing). Set any configuration you want using PuTTYs configuration window. Then go back to the first screen and name the session[1]. Then click on Save[2].
  3. You can then create a shortcut using the form:
    RunXMing.exe -l puttysessionname


XMing Display fails when moved to another monitor in 2+ monitor configuration

Check the display color depth and ensure it is set the same for both monitors (we've tested with 32bit color).

Using ICE, a Linux X Window manager (in a single X display window)

Sometimes it is more convenient to use a Linux X Window manager instead of the MS Windows multi-window manager. Although KDE and GNOME are popular, they can only be used on the display connected to the computer where they run. They make complex assumptions which cause problems when run from several remote displays simultaneously. In contrast, multiple copies of ICE can be run from several different X displays by the same person, connecting to the same computer at the same time.
  1. If necessary, put a shortcut on your Windows Desktop which points to the program \\Program Filex\XMing\XLaunch.exe
  2. Use XLaunch to initate a single-window Xming session
    1. Double-click on the XLaunch icon
    2. Select its "One Window" option
    3. Optionally specify the Display number (0 is the default)
    4. Click on "Next" three times (accept the defaults for each step)
    5. Click on "Finish" 2010-06-28 154249 xlaunch1.png
    6. A large black X display window will appear, occupying most of the screen
    7. Select the "Iconize to Taskbar" ( _ ) icon in its upper right corner.
  3. Use PuTTY to login on LNX201 (or some other Linux computer, if necessary)
    1. , Double-click on the PuTTY icon
      1. Expand the SSH entry
      2. Select the X11 entry
        1. Select "Enable X11 forwarding"
        2. Type "localhost:0.0" in the display location field 2010-06-28 155336 putty x11.png
      3. Select the "Session" entry
        1. Type LNX201 in the Host field.
      4. Click on the Open button 2010-06-28 155438 putty host.png
      5. Provide your Linux userid and password to login
        • for most people, but not all, their Linux and CLASSE userids are the same as their NetIDs.
  4. Start icewm
    1. type the command "printenv DISPLAY" to verify that an SSH X display has been defined
    2. type the command "icewm" to start the ICE window manager 2010-06-28 155144 start ice.png
  5. expand the X display window and use Linux

2010-06-28 155651 ice.jpg

Deprecated Default Method (for systems not updated after July 2008)

  1. Download, then run Xwindow.exe when you want to connect (ManualMethod)
  2. Enter the computer name (for example, LNX201) you want to connect to. Click open.
  3. Once connected (you might have to accept a fingerprint if you have never connected to this computer before) log in with your interactive credentials.
  4. Run the X program you need, xterm or xclock for instance. NOTE - backspace may not work correctly: try Ctrl-H

Legacy Method (2006 or before)

If you used the legacy method or the backup configuration method described here please consider reconfiguring to use the default method.

Double click on the configuration file shortcut.
Topic revision: r40 - 12 Aug 2019, AdminJamesPulver
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