Sunday, February 10, 2008

HOWTO: XDMCP with Windows XP

For those of you that aren't in the know, XDMCP (X Desktop Management Control Protocol, if I recall correctly) allows you to log in to a linux machine, as if you were sitting -at- the computer itself. Basically it works like this, I click a shortcut on my desktop, and my secondary (17" monitor) comes alive as the login screen for my linux machine. Yay right?

(Note the KDE on the left, and the XP on the right?)

It's fairly easy to set up. If you are using Gnome (and I'd recommend it for setting this up, as KDE seems to be harder (IE: You need to edit text files, and there are a billion HOWTOS out there for it)), you go to System->Administration-Login Window. Click the remote tab, and choose Style: Plain. THIS IS IMPORTANT. THERE IS A BUG WITH THE CURRENT GNOME VERSION THAT WILL REFUSE CONNECTIONS IF THIS IS NOT PLAIN.

Most of the other options can be left at default. From your windows machine:

Download xming. Yes, you can use cygwin, but it's harder to set up and is only really needed if you want a hell of a lot more linux stuff then you need for this app. Xming is basically a little xserver with a nifty app to let you connect via xdmcp.

Once you get xming set up, open up the xlaunch dialog. Now, for xdmcp you will want to choose One window, or one window without border. If you want the linux window to take up your entire monitor (this is the closest to physically being at the linux machine), you'd choose fullscreen.

Click next, click XDMCP, type your hostname, click next. Under addition options for xming, you can set things like the size of the window, or what monitor it appears on:
-screen 0 @2 -> This will put it on your second monitor, taking up the whole screen
-screen 0 1024 768 -> this will make a window that is 1024x768 (ignored if fullscreen is picked earlier)

After you finish that, you have the option to save it, and the button for finish. Clicking finish will start the connection, hopefully giving you this:
Log in as normal, and viola! Then, you can get really geeky and do something like this!

Yes, I'm running XP, which is connected to Ubuntu 7.10, which is running a Virtual Machine of XP.

And hey, if you found this helpful - by all means leave a comment.


Anonymous said...

I was stuck on the GNOME bug you mentioned. I have my dual monitor linux windows setup running now :)

ankur said...

You forgot one thing my man, gotta restart GDM ! Spent lot of time trying to figure that out! But thanks for this.

Mark V said...

A most useful blog my friend! this is just what I need as I have my server a long way away from my other systems so it is great to access from xp. mostly have used remote desktop but reboot and you lose the connection!

Anonymous said...

where can I download XDMCP?
Google sends me always to a download site with corrupt links :(

shockwaver said...

XDMCP is the protocol - the software you want to use it with windows is called Xming.