Cygwin X Server – A better alternative to Xming

Posted: February 12, 2012 in Productivity
Tags: , ,

I used to use Xming for an X server for my Windows 7 PC. I started looking out for other X servers for Windows because of a particularly irritating bug of Xming. Sometime Xming interferes with the clipboard, so that cut/copy/paste no longer works. The bug blocks the clipboard not only for X applications but also for native Windows applications. Quitting Xming doesn’t get the clipboard functionality back. Even after quitting Xming, a residual process would still be running which continues to block the clipboard. It has to be manually killed from the task manager.

Finally, I found an alternative that is as capable as Xming but doesn’t block the clipboard from time to time. Cygwin comes with an X server among many other things. Grab your copy here. It is an installer stub and will download additional stuff from the internet based on the components selected for installation. Cygwin/X which has the X server is not selected for installation by default. You can do it manually by selecting the Xinit package from the X11 section as shown. Cygwin has so many packages, that it is easier to search for what you want.

Screenshot of Cygwin X Server Installation

Cygwin installs a whole bunch of stuff (standard Unixy stuff). It is after all meant to provide a Unix style native environment in Windows. Even if you don’t use any of the other Cygwin stuff, it is worth it just for the X server. I am using Cygwin X Server for over a year now and it has never failed me. Also I put a shortcut to Cygwin X Server in my Startup folder so that it is automatically started whenever my PC boots.

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Comments
  1. [...] Cygwin X Server – A better alternative to Xming [...]

  2. simon says:

    I used to use Cygwin server, but I moved to Windows 8 and this won’t work there, so we’re stuck with Xming.

  3. simon says:

    Just upgraded Cywin and X now works like a charm on Windows 8.

  4. Kata says:

    when running netbeans in xming, i can’t press
    CTRL-SHIFT-W to close all tabs.

    but in cygwin server, i can press and it closes all tabs in netbeans.

  5. Xavier Flix says:

    I used to use Cygwin (a long time ago), but haven’t had the need for it until I saw your post.
    Every single problem I was having with the free/community edition of Xming, has been solved by installing Cygwin.

    Thank you so very much!

  6. Mitja says:

    Great post. I was banging my head with Xming when using Oracle DBCA. It was constantly freezing due to clipboard problems. After switching to Cygwin xserver all the problems were gone. Thanx

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