Access Linux From Windows XP / Vista / 7 Systems

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How do I access Linux from Windows Vista or XP or 7 operating systems?

Windows and Linux are different operating system but both can talk to each other using TCP/IP networking and special software program such as Samba. Samba is used for sharing files and printers with Linux and vise versa. Following list summaries the application name which you can use to access Your Linux server/system from Windows system.

Linux Command line access from Windows XP / vista / 7

You need to use special program called PuTTY. It is a free SSH, Telnet, rlogin, and raw TCP client for Windows system.

Step # 1: Download putty

Download putty.exe from Save putty.exe file on your desktop.

Step #2: How do I use putty?

Linux (UNIX) runs special program/service called Secure Shell (SSH) which is designed for logging into system and executing commands on a networked computer. By default ssh server runs on all Linux server. You just need to use putty.exe to connect Linux server from Windows XP.

(a) Double click on putty.exe
A window will open as follows:

Fig.01: Windows Pc Accessing Linux Server Via Putty SSH Client

Specify your connection name by typing hostname (such as or IP address (such as of Linux server. Click on Open button to connect to remote Linux server via SSH.

Fig.02: Putty Login Confirmation

Click on Yes button to accept server’s host key and cache the same key.

Fig.03: User Logged into Linux Server Via Putty client

Type your username (such as vivek) and password to connect to Linux server.

Linux GUI/Desktop Access from Windows XP

You need to use TightVNC server software on Linux and TightVNC client on Windows XP desktop. TightVNC is a free remote control software package derived from the popular VNC software. With TightVNC, you can see the desktop of a remote Linux machine and control it with your local mouse and keyboard, just like you would do it sitting in the front of that computer.

Step # 1: Install tightvncserver on Linux

Download tightvncserver here. If you are using Debian Linux, use following command to install tightvncserver (login as the root user):

# apt-get install tightvncserver

Start your vncserver (it needs to setup a new password to access your desktop from Windows XP), so type following command:

$ tightvncserver


You will require a password to access your desktops.


New 'X' desktop is debian:1

Creating default startup script /home/tv/.vnc/xstartup
Starting applications specified in /home/tv/.vnc/xstartup

How do I connect from Windows XP to Linux Desktop?
You need to download VNC Viewer client. Select the viewer executable file for Windows, which does not require installation. Download and extract file on your desktop.

a) Double click on vncviewer.exe
Type IP address:1 ( of hostname:1 (debian:1) to connect to Linux desktop

Fig.04: Connecting To Linux Desktop

b) Type the password you have created while setting vncserver command.

Fig.05: Authenticating Session

c) And within few seconds you should able to access your Linux server desktop from Windows XP. Here is screen shot of my KDE desktop:

Fig.06 Linux Desktop

Posted by: SXI ADMIN

The author is the creator of SXI LLC and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

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