Installation of CygwinX (X-Windows software -- September 24, 2005).


Prior to the installation


You must have permission to do the installation on the machine of interest.


While you probably will not encounter problems, prior to installing any software it is a good idea to be sure you have backed the machine up recently. 

In addition, it is probably a good idea to reboot the system prior to installing the software.  Rebooting helps to verify that the system does not have some pre-existing problem that you should deal with first.


1.  Go to and click on “Install or update now! (using setup.exe)”                 


2.  Click  “Run”, and if a security warning says “Unknown Publisher”, click “Run” again.

3.  Close Internet Explorer and any other programs that you have open such as “Microsoft Word” etc.  Then click “next”.

4.  Select “Install from Internet”, and click "next".


5.  Leave the Root installation directory as  “c:\cygwin”, leave Install for “all users”, leave Default text file type as “unix”, and click "next".


6.  Leave the default given for the local package directory, and click "next".


7.  Leave the Internet connection choice as “Direct Connection”. 

8.  For the download mirror site, I used “”.  Then click “next”.

9.  Here's the part that is not obvious:  under the packages to be selected, all of them should be left as is except for “X11” (and you'll have to scroll way down to the end of the list to see "X11").  "X11" should be changed from “Default” to “Install” by clicking on the word “Default”.

10.  After clicking “next”, the installation will begin.  This will take 20 minutes or so.


11.  At the conclusion of the installation, you can choose to have an icon left on your desktop.  This icon is not useful to us -- it's a shortcut to the general Cygwin environment which we will not use.  Having the icon won't hurt, except if its presence becomes confusing.

12.  On the desktop, create the shortcut that will be useful.  The useful shortcut will be to startxwin.bat which has the full path of:


13.  Now you can click on the shortcut to startxwin.bat, and the X server will start.


14.  Start PuTTY, enabling X11 forwarding at the SSH/Tunnels tab.  You will now be able to run emacs on the Unix machines in the labs and have the display appear on your PC.


15.  The installation may leave a file folder on your desktop.  The folder will have a very ugly name, but at the end of the name you will see "Cygwin".  You can delete that folder from your desktop.


Good luck,

Carl Reynolds


(I created these instructions by editing those I found at