Windows: PuTTY

PuTTY is a free terminal emulation program for Windows. It supports ssh encryption and X forwarding. It was developed by Simon Tatham and maintained by him and collaborators in Cambridge, England, who have graciously offered it to the public free of charge. The current download site is on Tatham's website, but if you don't find it there, search Google for PuTTY. The software you want is called putty.exe. Be sure to select the version appropriate for your computer.

With an X-window server installed on your PC (see Xming below), you can configure PuTTY so it displays X-windows on your screen. This is called X11 forwarding. This is nice for simple graphics, such as displaying graphs generated by gnuplot. However, for applications with heavyweight displays, such as xmaple and the X-windows mode of emacs, the display is very slow, so you are much better off using the remote desktop application described above.

Here are the steps for configuring PuTTY with X-windows display:

  1. When you start PuTTY you should see the session configuration screen.
  2. In the Host Name box, type (or any other lab server.)
  3. Make sure the SSH radio button is selected.
  4. Type in a name, such as orion in the Saved Sessions box
  5. In the left panel, click the + SSH button to expand the options.
  6. Then click X11 to display options for X11 forwarding.
  7. Click the check-box called Enable X11 forwarding. Note that you will need an X-windows server on your PC to make this work.
  8. In the left panel, go back to the Sessions screen.
  9. Click Save to save the session.
  10. You are then ready to click Open to log in.

Once you have made a successful connection, you must log in with your Physics Department username and password. You may open as many PuTTY sessions as you need.

If you are running PuTTY with X11 forwarding, you can display graphs produced by gnuplot. We don't recommend running emacs this way, however. So start it in dumb-terminal mode by typing emacs -nw. In dumb-terminal mode the mouse does not interact with the remote machine-it interacts only with PuTTY. So emacs does not see mouse functions. This means you have to use the keyboard and the emacs keyboard shortcuts. It does not take long to learn them. If you need any of the emacs pull-down menu-bar options, use the <F10> key. With a little practice, you will find it quite easy to operate in this environment.