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Access Linux From Windows XP / Vista / 7 Systems

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 greenend.org.uk. 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

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

Specify your connection name by typing hostname (such as ras.nixcraft.in) 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

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

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

Fig.04: Connecting To Linux Desktop

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

Fig.05: Authenticating Session

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

Fig.06 Linux Desktop

{ 39 comments… add one }

  • maarten December 22, 2006, 2:03 pm

    i screwed my HD out of my VCR. it is ide and runs on my windows computer. but i cant access it at all?!
    how to?

    • nee mogudu April 21, 2012, 6:02 am

      sell it to scrap shop and get money buy one child bear. then sleep well

      • Chii April 25, 2012, 3:01 am


      • Woo April 29, 2015, 4:58 am

        Nop, even if he can’t by a beer with this.., he can only get a child water bottle :)

  • Amanya frank March 21, 2007, 11:05 am

    Keep it up.
    Mine is just a request.
    Am intrested in using linux but
    am not well conversant with it.
    would you help and keep on emailing
    some guidelines on how to access the system,
    how to open the files and how to use the system in general.
    Thank you for your coperation.

  • nixCraft March 21, 2007, 4:54 pm


    If you have more question feel free to use our forum.

  • huge December 8, 2007, 3:43 am

    this sent me into X, cant see my desktop at all.

  • jeswinder January 21, 2008, 2:25 pm

    i want to add mp3 tags to my mp3 that are uploaded to my host server which is remote.How’s that possible .help me.

  • shaik January 31, 2008, 7:21 am

    Please send me troubleshooting of system like windows and linux

  • shaik January 31, 2008, 7:23 am

    send me growth of information for windows and linux based

  • Jeff August 17, 2008, 1:54 pm

    I receive the “Request timed out” error when trying to login.

    What is the workaround?

    • C.Govintharaj May 18, 2011, 5:29 am

      Check,….have u given proper IP address and host name..

  • vishal August 28, 2008, 7:31 am

    hello that stuf is too good

  • Desmond Dodson January 14, 2009, 8:53 pm

    How can I access my linux server over the internet with putty, yes the SSH server is up and runnuing in linux and I can login from my Win XP system but when I’m away from home and would like to work on my linux server I can’t .
    Thank you for your help

    Kind Regards

  • bhargav February 10, 2009, 11:29 am

    i want to configure system in which server is linux machine and clients are xp machines. after configuration, i want to fire commands of sql and pl/sql on server from client to server. How is it possible ?

    • Shamala November 11, 2010, 4:54 am

      Just download SQLDeveloper to clients on windows. Use that to connect to Oracle (i am assuming so coz u said pl/sql) host. Create connection with id,password, sid and ur good to go!

  • syed hussain March 16, 2009, 6:09 am

    Hi ,

    My name is syed hussain i am desktop engineer l1 from india. i done BE now am looking for change on server LINUX. to learn LINUX which os should i take .

    syed hussain

    • RobVanDam August 13, 2010, 9:10 am


      According to my experience Open SUSE is a better OS for Linux Server than others.
      Its a very user friendly one to use any one without prior knowledge.



  • Dheeraj singh July 9, 2009, 4:12 am

    thanks a lot …………………

  • Andrée August 8, 2009, 2:15 pm

    hi.. thank you for a nice guide !! But i have a problem!! when i type from my xp client on the vnsserver (obuntu) the keys are all wrong !!! why ?? the keybordlayouts are on both pc:s swedish.. thanx..

  • ajay August 17, 2009, 6:48 am

    how to use client from linux server sendmail

  • sagar October 2, 2009, 8:43 pm

    Can we access a desktop through internet in linux?
    Like in windows operating system, we can access the desktop through internet by using a software software called teamviewer. Is there any software or third party tool to access a desktop through internet in linux?

  • M.Akilan January 16, 2010, 9:42 am

    how to access the linux pc to windows xp

    • C.Govintharaj May 18, 2011, 5:34 am

      first of all download the putty (software tool) and then instal that to your XP system then through putty u can connect your linux system in xp…. before making connection in putty u have to give linux system ip address and port number…. do this properly

  • Helio February 11, 2010, 12:54 pm

    I have connected to the Linux Server via Putty and i can login.

    But i want to be able to access the share via typing \\ (Linux Server IP) and it should show me the shares.

    But then asked me for login details which i enter correctly but it keeps on asking over and over.

    What am i doing wrong?

  • ramesh May 13, 2010, 8:20 am

    Hi i have installed putty in my vista.. i am not able to enter my host name.. how to find the host name?? what are the ways to make my vista to communicate with linux in the same pc

    • C.Govintharaj May 18, 2011, 5:44 am

      host name in the sense IP address… u can give ur linux system ip address use this command ifconfig.to find your linux system ip address

  • abhinay May 26, 2011, 3:43 pm

    Can we copy and access the files of linux in windows using this putty software?

  • Narendra June 10, 2011, 10:57 am

    Hi Friends,
    I am using vmware workstation on windows. And i have installed “Ubuntu” in vmware (on same machine). I am able to ping from windows to Linux(Ubuntu) and vice-versa. But when i try to connect using “putty.exe” i am unable to access my linux machine.
    so please guide me.

    – Narendra.

  • shubham June 23, 2011, 4:59 pm

    just thanks

  • Pradeep June 25, 2011, 3:50 pm

    Hi Guys, I have Sony NSZ-GT1 which is a BD player with Google TV platform. This is based on Linux system. Unfortunately it does not allow to install any outside applications. For Example certain video player plugins to watch web based video. This device is on a home network. What I want to do is to access this device through my desktop via PUTTY etc so that I can add some plugins. But I could not get access to that device through PUTTY. Is there any one who can help me out. Thanks.

  • sunshine July 26, 2011, 8:16 am

    Hi, i m using tightvnc server on debian to which i connect through tighvncviewer from windows xp. Everything is fine i get access to debian pc but not able to access the top and bottom taskbars on remote debian machine. Can anyone please help me out.


  • tips August 16, 2011, 2:00 pm

    i tried to find easy and simple tutorials of putty.exe for long time. thanx for these tutorial.

  • Paulo Ricardo Stradioti December 1, 2011, 6:25 pm

    It’s working. Thank you for sharing!

  • saleem December 28, 2011, 7:15 am

    Im working as a system admin in an engineering college.We using squid for internet sharing to clients and open ip to admin office,Principal,etc.. without squid as direct ip giving dns servers ips. The problem we resist is we cannot monitor/control those people through squid.
    Please help me control those Direct IP clients by Linux Server.
    Anticipating !!!

  • sachin January 10, 2012, 12:56 pm

    hello sir
    i’m very confused after using putty
    then i’m very happy for using putty soft

    thnx sir

  • Hundeep July 12, 2012, 7:36 am

    After giving the IP adress , no security alert window shows but it directly enters the black command line window and gets timed out!! HELP

  • rahul August 7, 2012, 5:18 pm

    I am using Windows xp and suse server
    Earlier i my friend make connect between a server and client which perfectly working
    but unfortunately i had format my windows xp now i try to connect my ping from my computer to server its shows request time out and also i tied with putty it shows request time out
    my computer is directly connected to server through lan cable
    please suggest me what is problem qand suggest me the solution

  • Pretty October 25, 2013, 8:15 am

    I’m using a Linux server in the university (I installed tight vnc server on it), and I want to remote access it from home (I installed tight vnc viewer on a windows machine).
    so I suppose that I have to pass through Internet ?? if so, what address should I use??? I tried the IP adress 10.XX.XX.XX but it didn’t work, I also tried to pass through university server: blabla.univ-blabla.com/10.XX.XX.XX and it didn’t work neither.
    Any ideas please
    Thank you

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