How to manage X Windows on SLES10 Tunneled with SSH from Windows XP Client

By: cemshort

March 23, 2007 9:06 pm






I wanted to install a VMware workstation running NetWare 6.5 SP6 on a SLES 10 host server to build a virtual test rig. I needed to manage the X Window VMware servers through tunneled SSH VNC from my Windows XP desktop.


1. VMware Installation on SLES10 Host

  1. download VMware workstation 5.5.3 for Linux from
  2. rpm -ivh VMware-workstation-5.5.3-34685.i386.rpm
  3. run /usr/bin/ and accept the defaults. You will need to Shift:q out of the licence agreements and other similar files.

VMware workstation should now be installed and configured. It can be run from ‘more applications‘ in X Windows.

2. Install VNC on SLES10

  1. download source rpm’s for x11vnc – wget…
  2. rpmbuild –rebuild
  3. resolve dependencies with Yast
  4. rpmbuild –rebuild
  5. rpm -ivh /usr/src/packages/RPMS/i586/
  6. Add TCP port 5900and ssh to SuSE firewall (run from yast or edit etc/sysconfig/SuSEfirewall2), then restart the firewall

3. Windows XP Client

  1. on a Windows XP client download and install latest versions of putty and vnc viewer.


  3. open putty
  4. goto Session and add host name, port 22 SSH selected
  5. goto Connections/SSH/Tunnels and add X display location as ‘localhost:0’ add Source port as 5900 and destination as host server ipaddress:5900. Make sure local is selected at bottom.
  6. save putty settings
  7. open putty session and log into server and then type x11vnc -display :0 to start x11vnc
  8. minimise the putty session
  9. run vnc viewer on XP with login ‘localhost:0’

You should now be able to manage X Windows on your SLES10 server tunneled with SSH from your Windows XP client.

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Disclaimer: As with everything else in the SUSE Blog, this content is definitely not supported by SUSE (so don't even think of calling Support if you try something and it blows up).  It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test, test, test before you do anything drastic with it.