MobaXterm documentation







1. General







2. Terminal features






3. Global settings






4. Sessions settings











5. How to





6. Frequently Asked Questions



















1. General





1.1. Presentation


MobaXterm is a toolbox for working in a professional computer environment: it contains a complete set of remote clients (SSH, Telnet, Rlogin, RDP, VNC, XDMCP, FTP, SFTP, Serial), an X11 server and several Unix commands packaged in a multitab environment. The aim of MobaXterm is to allow professional users such as system administrators, developers, website designers and all other computer users to perform remote tasks easily.


MobaXterm main window

MobaXterm main window









1.2. Sessions


MobaXterm allows you to launch remote sessions. You just have to click on the "Sessions" button to start a new session.

The Session button

The Session button




You can then choose to create a new SSH, Telnet, Rlogin, RDP, VNC, XDMCP, FTP, SFTP or Serial session. Every session you start is automatically saved.

The sessions manager window

The sessions manager window




You can edit, delete, move, import or export sessions by right-clicking on them in the left MobaXterm sidebar. You can also create a desktop shortcut in order to automatically launch a session or a group of sessions at MobaXterm startup.
Right-clicking on a session folder allows you to launch several sessions at once. It can be really useful when you often work using the same environment and the same opened sessions.







1.3. Unix-like terminal with bash shell


MobaXterm features a great terminal with a bash shell script which allows users to run Unix commands as if they were logged on a GNU/Linux computer. There are several Unix commands available inside the terminal: ssh, telnet, rlogin, rsh, rsync, wget, vim, corkscrew, httping, fdupes, iperf, mathomatic, xhost, xprop, xdpyinfo, xmodmap, xkill, Xorg...
If you need an Unix command that is not included into MobaXterm, you can ask us to develop a plugin containing the required program(s)

The terminal (based on MinTTY and PuTTY by Andy Koppe and Simon Tatham) provides a bunch of settings that can be tuned in order to suit your needs (font, background/foreground colors, antialiasing, old keyboards compatibility, ...). The default terminal parameters can be set by clicking on the "Settings" button.

The settings button

The settings button










1.4. Multitab environment


The multitab environment allows you to work with several terminals or remote sessions at the same time. You can toggle between "multitab" mode, "2-terminals" mode and "4-terminals" mode by clicking on the "Split" button.

The "Split mode" button

The "Split mode" button




MobaXterm brings another really useful mode called "Multi-execution" mode. This mode allows you to display all your terminals at the same time and to write your commands to all of them at once: when you press a keyboard key, it will write the same letters on all your terminals at once. This mode can be activated by pressing the "MultiExec" button.

The "MultiExec mode" button

The "MultiExec mode" button











1.5. Built-in graphical tools


MobaXterm comes with useful Unix command-line utilities, but also built-in graphical tools such as a fast picture viewer, a developers text editor, a file/folder comparison tool, a ports analyzer and a packet capture tool.
The feature which is in our opinion the most useful may be the graphical SFTP browser: when you log to a remote server using SSH, a graphical SFTP browser pops up on in the left sidebar allowing you to drag and drop files directly from or to the remote server using a secure SFTP connection.
In the SFTP side browser, you can double-click on a remote file in order to edit it directly using your favorite program. Your changes will be saved to the remote server automatically!













2. Terminal features





2.1. Windows interactions





  • open command

  • This command allows you to open your local files. This command will open your documents using the Windows default association for your document type.
    open http://www.google.com
    open MyDocuments/MyWork.pdf
    You can open files, directories or URL directly from the terminal by simply Ctrl+clicking on them.




  • cygpath command

  • This command allows you to work with dos/unix paths. You can obtain the Dos path from a given Unix path and vice-versa. You can also list your computer paths like the Windows, System, Desktop, Profiles and Start Menu paths.
    echo "/bin PATH = $(cygpath -w /bin)"
    echo "System PATH = $(cygpath -u -S)"




  • /drives mount path

  • This directory contains a mount point for each drive of your computer. You can for example browse your system drive by cd to /drives/c/
    cat /drives/c/Windows/win.ini
    PicView /drives/d/MyPhotos/Photo36.jpg




  • /registry virtual folder

  • This folder is a virtual directory containing your registry keys and values. You can open and read a registry key by doing a simple "cat" of these virtual files.
    cat /registry/HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/DevicePath
    cat "/registry/HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Explorer/Shell Folders/CommonPictures"




  • // mount point

  • You can also browse computers from your network neighborhood by typing //<remote_computer>
    PicView //server1/share1/Photo36.jpg
    edit //server2/Documents/program.c




  • Executing native Windows programs

  • You can execute native Windows programs from MobaXterm as you would in a "cmd" console.
    ipconfig /all
    netsh -c interface dump
    regedit
    net user
    calc
    notepad




  • Other useful commands

  • There are several other useful commands for interacting with Windows, like editrights, shutdown, regtool, ps, passwd, MobaControl, mkshortcut, MobaSwInfo, MobaHwInfo, MobaTaskList, MobaKillTask, MobaControl[...]







    2.2. Network utilities




  • Remote computing

  • MobaXterm includes some useful command line clients for executing commands on remote computers:
    . ssh (utility to access shell accounts using a secure crypted connection)
    . telnet (useful to login to remote system hosts)
    . rlogin (same aim as telnet but using a different protocol)
    . rsh (useful for sending commands on remote computers, especially using the passwordless feature)
    Do not forget that you can bookmark your connections using the bookmarks feature (see the corresponding section for more information). You can also set up passwordless connections with rsh or ssh, there is also a corresponding section to this feature.




  • DISPLAY settings

  • MobaXterm includes an X server so that it can display X11-based graphical programs.
    By default, an X server is started at MobaXterm startup. Your DISPLAY environment variable is automatically set and it is written in your terminal startup message. When you use a remote computing client to connect to a Unix computer, you can export your DISPLAY to your local Windows desktop thanks to MobaXterm. When you use a SSH connection, if the remote server supports X11-Forwarding, your DISPLAY is automatically set and it will be sent through the SSH connection to your Windows desktop.

    With this icon, you can monitor the X-server state

    With this icon, you can monitor the X-server state



    telnet remoteserver1
    export DISPLAY=localcomputer1:0.0
    nedit
    exit
    ssh -l root remoteserver1
    nedit




  • File transfer

  • MobaXterm includes some useful clients for transferring files
    . ftp (File Transfert Protocol)
    . sftp/scp (File Transfert using a secure crypted SSH connection)
    . rcp (Copy files to/from remote computers using the rsh protocol)
    . wget (download files through http/ftp protocol with enhanced settings)
    . rsync (synchronize directories through a network with incremental capabilities and enhanced options)
    scp /drives/c/Photo36.jpg root@server1:/tmp/




  • Network monitoring

  • MobaXterm includes 2 useful utilities for monitoring your network:
    . TCPCapture (allows you to capture network packets)
    . MobaListPorts (allows you to list all open ports with their current state)
    . httping (monitor your web server)
    . iperf (monitor the available bandwidth on your network)







    2.3. MobaXterm interface




  • Tab interface

  • MobaXterm can start several independent terminals thanks to a tab-based interface.
    Use the appropriate button to create new tabs, close existing tabs, cycling through tabs or rename tabs.




  • Split modes

  • MobaXterm allows you to display some terminals in the same Window just as you would do using the "screen" utility.
    You can display 2 terminals in horizontal or vertical mode, or even 4 terminals in the same Window

    The "Split mode" button

    The "Split mode" button





  • Detach tab feature

  • MobaXterm allows you to detach tabs in order to display them in a separate window. You can detach, reattach tabs or go fullscreen using the right-click menu on your tab.





  • Services

  • MobaXterm allows you to launch some light daemons (TFTP, HTTP, FTP, SSH/SFTP, TELNET) from the main interface. You can manage these daemons by clicking on the appropriate button from the top toolbar.

    The "Services" button

    The "Services" button






  • SSH tunnels (port forwarding)

  • MobaXterm allows you to create some SSH tunnels (a.k.a. "port forwarding") with a nice and intuitive interface: you can manage these SSH tunnels by clicking on the appropriate button from the top toolbar.

    The "Tunneling" button

    The "Tunneling" button






  • Options dialog

  • You can edit your options using the corresponding button from the top toolbar. Your options will be saved to an INI file. You can select a persistent home directory for keeping your files and parameters instead of having your home directory in a temporary folder. You can also select the terminal fonts, colors, skin, transparency, keyboard shortcuts, specify a font server, etc...

    The "Settings" button

    The "Settings" button



    The settings dialog

    The settings dialog






  • Sessions

  • You can store your connection settings in bookmarks that are stored in your INI file. Sessions can be accessed easily through the corresponding menu in the top toolbar or in the left sidebar, but you can also create a desktop shortcut to each session in order to launch them easily.

    The "sessions" button

    The "sessions" button



    The "sessions" window

    The "sessions" window









    2.4. Other utilities




  • Editors

  • MobaXterm includes everything you need to edit text files: vi on command line, nedit for a graphical editor or MobaTextEditor which is a light but powerful editor for developers with textdiff utilities.




  • Miscellaneous

  • . MobaPictureViewer (Display pictures in fullscreen with zoom features)
    . MobaTextDiff (Diff utility for text files)
    . MobaFoldersDiff (Diff utility for folders)
    . fdupes (Find and erase duplicate files)
    . mathomatic (computer algebra system)




  • Plugins

  • Some commands can be added to MobaXterm thanks to the use of plugins. You can download some ready-to-use plugins at http://mobaxterm.mobatek.net/download/plugins.html .




  • MobApt package manager

  • If you want to add more embedded tools to MobaXterm, you can download them easily using the "MobApt" package manager.












    3. Global settings



    The "global settings" window can be accessed through the "Settings" menu.
    In this window, you can configure and tune MobaXterm parameters in order to better suit your needs.


    The global settings window

    The global settings window






    3.1. "General" tab settings


  • Persistent home directory
  • Choose a folder that MobaXterm will use as its HOME directory (/home/mobaxterm). This directory will persist upon MobaXterm restarts, so you can store your SSH keys in it.



  • Default text editor program
  • Define the text editor that will be used for text files edition. By default, MobaXterm will use its embedded text editor "MobaTextEditor".



  • Right-click menu on Windows folders
  • Put a new entry to the right-click menu of Windows explorer "Start MobaXterm here".



  • MobaXterm passwords management
  • Configure MobaXterm password management:
    - Define whether MobaXterm should store passwords
    - Define a master password
    - Manage MobaXterm stored passwords



  • MobaXterm keyboard shortcuts
  • Define MobaXterm hotkeys



  • Persistent root (/) directory
  • Choose a folder that MobaXterm will use as its ROOT directory ("/" folder).
    This directory will persist upon MobaXterm restarts, so you can store your programs in it.

    This is especially useful if you use the "MobApt" tool.











    3.2. "Terminal" tab settings


  • Log all terminal activity to the following directory
  • Check this option if you want to copy all terminal activity to a text file for further analyzis



  • Show confirmation on terminal exit
  • Show a confirmation dialog on terminal close request
    when a command is still running inside it



  • Paste using right-click
  • Use the right mouse button for pasting
    When this option is checked, contextual menu is still available using
    Ctrl+Right-click or Shift+Right-click



  • Append Windows "PATH" environment variable to MobaXterm
  • Append Windows PATH to the shell environment
    This allows you to launch Windows commands like "ipconfig"



  • Charset
  • Define MobaXterm terminal default charset. This setting can be overriden in each session.



  • Font
  • Define MobaXterm terminal font. This setting can be overriden in each session.











    3.3. "X11" tab settings


  • Engine
  • Choose rendering engine for X11 server



  • Keyboard
  • Choose keyboard language



  • Unix-compatible keyboard
  • Use a keyboard compatible with old Unix systems
    (for instance, erase key performs a "^H" instead of "^?")



  • Automatically start X server at MobaXterm start up
  • Check this option in order to start X11 server at each MobaXterm startup.



  • Access control
  • Activates the X11 access controls. You will have to use the "xhost +" command in order to export your display.



  • Hardware OpenGL acceleration
  • Use hardware acceleration when rendering OpenGL

    If you face some problems with OpenGL or hardware acceleration, you can also try another safer implementation of OpenGL by unchecking this option.



  • Run on monitor
  • Run X11 server on the selected monitor
    Warning: fullscreen mode only work on first screen.



  • Display offset
  • Starting offset for the "DISPLAY" parameter.

    By default, MobaXterm will try to open the ":0.0" DISPLAY, and will increment this variable if another X server already exists on this port.

    If you choose the "36" offset for instance, MobaXterm will start probing at DISPLAY ":36.0".



  • Clipboard
  • Define the way MobaXterm will handle copy/paste operations between X11 applications and Windows applications:

    - disabled: copy/paste from and to X11 applications will not work

    - enabled: copy/paste from and to X11 applications will work

    - disable "copy on select": selecting some text will not automatically copy it, only explicit requests to copy text will be handled.











    3.4. "SSH" tab settings


  • Forward SSH Agent
  • This feature allows SSH-agent or Pageant keys to be available
    on your remote hosts in order to connect to other hosts.



  • Use SSH-Agent
  • Use OpenSSH mechanism "ssh-agent" in order to type
    your SSH key passphrase only once at MobaXterm startup.




  • Use Pageant
  • Use PuTTY SSH key manager "Pageant" in order to
    connect to your remote servers.

    If you check this option, then for each SSH session,
    MobaXterm will try to authenticate using Pageant keys,
    then it will fallback to "normal" password or key authentication.



  • Workaround for "connection reset by peer" issue (stripped-down encryption algorithms list)
  • This setting prevents the "Connection reset by peer" issue encountered with some older SSH servers or encryption libraries.
    Leave this setting unchecked if you want SSH to use the full list of available encryption algorithms

















    4. Sessions settings



    The "sessions manager" window can be accessed through the "Session" menu.
    The session manager window allows you you to create remote sessions, configure them using advanced settings and save them for further use.


    The session manager window

    The session manager window






    4.1. SSH settings


  • Remote host
  • SSH server name or IP address



  • Specify username
  • Check this option if you do not want to see
    the "Login:" prompt before connect



  • Port
  • SSH server listening port








  • Display SFTP browser
  • Automatically show a SFTP browser which allows you to browse your remote server content



  • Do not exit after command ends
  • Stay connected to the remote server after command has been executed



  • Execute command
  • Specified command will be executed on the remote server after connect
    You can specify multiple commands and separate them with ";" or "&&".

    For instance:
    pwd; ls -al; date; uname -a



  • X11-Forwarding
  • Automatically redirect X11 display through the secure SSH channel.

    Check this option if you want to redirect your remote graphical applications
    to your local Windows desktop.



  • Compression
  • Compress data transfered through the SSH channel
    This is useful for slow connections (WAN)



  • Connect through SSH gateway (jump host)
  • Use a gateway SSH server in order to reach your end server

    MobaXterm will
    1. open a SSH tunnel to your gateway SSH server
    2. use this tunnel to connect directly to the end server

    --> if you use X11-forwarding, DISPLAY will be automatically redirected
    --> if you use the SFTP browser, it will also be automatically redirected



  • Remote environment
  • Start a full desktop from your remote server in a new window.
    For instance, on Raspberry Pi device, you can start LXDE.



  • Use private key
  • Specify a private key for passwordless login.

    A new key can be generated using the following command:
    ssh-keygen -t rsa
    or
    ssh-keygen -t dsa



  • Follow SSH path (experimental)
  • Automatically place SFTP browser in the same directory than the current directory of the SSH terminal.

    This feature is experimental and it will not work on old Unix systems.



  • 2-step authentication
  • Automatically apply settings for compatibility with Google "2-step verification" authentication

    Warning:
    Passwords saving feature and automatic SFTP browser are not fully compatible with this kind of authentication



  • Use proxy (experimental)
  • Connect through a proxy server



  • Host
  • Proxy server name or IP address



  • Port
  • Proxy server port






    4.2. Telnet settings


  • Remote host
  • Telnet Remote Hostname



  • Username
  • Type telnet username or leave this field empty if you want to use the "Login:" prompt instead.
    Some telnet servers do not support this feature: even if you choose a login, they will still prompt you at each connection.



  • Port
  • Telnet server listening port








  • Connect through SSH gateway (jump host)
  • Use a gateway SSH server in order to reach your end server

    MobaXterm will
    1. open a SSH tunnel to your gateway SSH server
    2. use this tunnel to connect directly to the end server using telnet protocol




  • Prevent MobaXterm from closing when this session is active
  • If you check this setting, you will not be able to close MobaXterm as long as this session is running.






    4.3. Xdmcp settings


  • Connect to any server
  • Use this setting if you want to connect to the first available server



  • Specify server to connect to
  • Choose this option if you want to specify the server name or IP address you want to connect to








  • Start XDMCP on screen number
  • Warning: fullscreen mode only work on first screen.



  • Set Numlock off
  • Some old Unix systems (AIX, Solaris, HP-UX) need this in order to properly work



  • Clipboard
  • Define the way MobaXterm will handle copy/paste operations between X11 applications and Windows applications:

    - disabled: copy/paste from and to X11 applications will not work

    - enabled: copy/paste from and to X11 applications will work

    - disable "copy on select": selecting some text will not automatically copy it, only explicit requests to copy text will be handled.






    4.4. Rdp settings


  • Remote host
  • RDP server name or IP address



  • Port
  • RDP server listening port



  • Username
  • RDP user name
    leave this field empty if you want to use the remote logon screen








  • Connect to console (/admin)
  • Connect to server console



  • Redirect ports
  • Show local ports on remote server



  • Redirect drives
  • Show local drives on remote server



  • Redirect audio
  • Play remote server sounds on local computer



  • Connect through SSH gateway (jump host)
  • Use a gateway SSH server in order to reach your end server

    MobaXterm will
    1. open a SSH tunnel to your gateway SSH server
    2. use this tunnel to connect directly to the end server



  • Use smartcard for login
  • Use smartcard for remote server authentication



  • Redirect printers
  • Show local printers on remote server



  • Enhanced graphics
  • Use Enhanced settings for remote desktop



  • Redirect clipboard
  • Allow copy/paste from/to RDP tab



  • Forward keyboard shortcuts
  • Use Enhanced settings for remote desktop






    4.5. Vnc settings


  • Remote hostname or IP address
  • VNC Remote Hostname








  • Connect through SSH gateway (jump host)
  • Use a gateway SSH server in order to reach your end server

    MobaXterm will
    1. open a SSH tunnel to your gateway SSH server
    2. use this tunnel to connect directly to the end server






    4.6. Ftp settings


  • Remote host
  • FTP Remote Hostname








  • Passive mode
  • This mode is recommended, especially if you are behind a firewall.
    In this mode, FTP client initiates the 2 connections (control and data),
    whereas in active mode, control connection is initiated by the client
    and data connection by the server.




  • FTPS mode
  • If this option is checked, MobaXterm will attempt to perform a FTPS connection to the server.



  • Encrypt data channel
  • If this option is checked, the channel used for data transfer (files, directory listings) will be encrypted, otherwise only command channel will be encrypted.



  • ASCII mode
  • Text files will be converted to Unix/Dos format during transfer.
    This feature is not suitable for binary files!!






    4.7. Sftp settings


  • Remote host
  • SFTP Remote Hostname








  • ASCII mode
  • Text files will be converted to Unix/Dos format during transfer.
    This feature is not suitable for binary files!!



  • Use private key
  • Specify a private key for passwordless login.

    A new key can be generated using the following command:
    ssh-keygen -t rsa
    or
    ssh-keygen -t dsa






    4.8. Mosh settings


  • Remote host
  • Remote hostname
    (mosh-server must be installed on this server)








  • Use SSH private key
  • Specify a private key for passwordless login.

    A new key can be generated using the following command:
    ssh-keygen -t rsa
    or
    ssh-keygen -t dsa



  • SSH port
  • SSH server listening port






    4.9. Terminal settings


  • Display reconnection message at session end
  • A message will be shown after session end asking you if you want to restart the session



  • Unix-compatible keyboard
  • Use a keyboard compatible with old Unix systems
    (for instance, erase key performs a "^H" instead of "^?")



  • Use Windows PATH
  • Append Windows PATH to the shell environment
    This allows you to launch Windows commands like "ipconfig"



  • Log terminal output to the following directory
  • Check this option if you want to copy all terminal activity to a text file for further analyzis



  • Lock terminal title
  • Terminal title will be set to the session name

    If you check this option, any attempt by the shell to set tab title will fail.
    Uncheck this option if you want to allow the shell to change tab title.

















    5. How to





    5.1. Set up a passwordless ssh connection



    You can connect to an SSH server without supplying any password: this is useful if you want to run shell scripts that are not interactive. This can be done in 2 steps:



  • On client side

  • You will have to generate a public rsa key on the client. This can be done by typing
    ssh-keygen -t rsa -N '' -q -f ~/.ssh/id_rsa




  • On server side

  • Copy the file that has been generated on the client (".ssh/id_rsa.pub") to the ~/.ssh/ directory of the server and rename it to "authorized_keys".
    scp .ssh/id_rsa.pub user1@server1:.ssh/authorized_keys







    5.2. Set up a passwordless rsh connection



    You can connect to an RSH server without supplying any password: this is useful if you want to run shell scripts that are not interactive. This can be done in 1 step:



  • Using /etc/hosts.equiv

  • Edit the /etc/hosts.equiv file on server side: you can specify in this file the authorized users that will be able to connect to the server without supplying any password. The file syntax is:
    <computer_name> <user_name>




  • Using ~/.rhosts

  • Edit the ~/.rhosts file on server side: you can specify in this file the authorized users that will be able to connect to the server using the current account without supplying any password. The file syntax is:
    <computer_name> <user_name>







    5.3. Execute a shell script at MobaXterm startup





  • Using commandline parameters

  • You can edit a shell script (be careful, it has to be in Unix and not Dos format) and run it at MobaXterm startup. You just have to launch MobaXterm with the following command line:
    MobaXterm.exe <script_file>

    MobaXterm also uses some internal commandline parameters that can be used by advanced users in order to integrate MobaXterm in their own environment:
    MobaXterm.exe -exec "<Command>"
    This command can be used to start a new instance of MobaXterm and immediately execute a given MobaXterm command

    MobaXterm.exe -newtab ["<Command>"]
    This command can be used to start a new tab inside a running instance of MobaXterm (or start a new instance of MobaXterm if no other instance is running) and immediately execute a given MobaXterm command

    MobaXterm.exe -bookmark "<Bookmark_name>"
    This command can be used to start a bookmark by specifying its name. (Note: this only work for 1st level bookmarks: bookmarks from subfolders can not be invoked by this command)

    MobaXterm.exe -runmacro "<Macro_name>"
    This command can be used to start a macro by specifying its name.

    MobaXterm.exe -openfolder "<Folder_name>"
    This command can be used to start MobaXterm in the specified folder

    MobaXterm.exe -hideterm
    This command can be used to start MobaXterm that is immediately minimized into the system tray

    MobaXterm.exe -exitwhendone
    This command can be used to exit MobaXterm when the given action is finished. This parameter should be combined with -bookmark or -exec

    MobaXterm.exe -i "<Ini_file_path>"
    This command can be used to specify a path for MobaXterm configuration file (MobaXterm.ini)

    MobaXterm.exe -log
    This command can be used to write down some debug information in a log file

    MobaXterm.exe -installshellext
    This command can be used to install the right-click context menu in Windows explorer

    MobaXterm.exe -installprotohandler
    This command can be used to install the URL protocol handler, in order for MobaXterm to be able to execute sessions from HTML pages

    MobaXterm.exe -config
    This command can be used to start MobaXterm configuration window

    MobaXterm.exe -shortcuts
    This command can be used to start MobaXterm keyboard shortcuts configuration window

    MobaXterm.exe -doc
    This command can be used to start MobaXterm documentation

    MobaXterm.exe -picview
    This command can be used to start MobaXterm embedded picture viewer program

    MobaXterm.exe -edit "<File1>"
    This command can be used to start MobaXterm embedded text editor (MobaTextEditor)

    MobaXterm.exe -compfiles "<File1>" "<File2>"
    This command can be used to start MobaXterm embedded diff tool

    MobaXterm.exe -compfolders
    This command can be used to start MobaXterm embedded folders-diff tool

    MobaXterm.exe -portforwarding
    This command can be used to start MobaXterm embedded port forwarding tool

    MobaXterm.exe -noX
    This command can be used to disable X server for the given MobaXterm instance





  • Using bookmarks

  • Create a new bookmark, select the "Custom shell script" option in the dropdown menu and edit your shell script. You can then click on your bookmark and choose to create a desktop shortcut to this bookmark.












    6. Frequently Asked Questions





    6.1. General





  • What is the purpose of MobaXterm?

  • MobaXterm is an enhanced terminal for Windows with an X11 server, several network tools for remote computing and all the essential Unix commands packaged into a single portable exe file. MobaXterm has been designed to suit the needs of computer users, sysadmins, developers and webmasters by providing:
    - a multitab terminal with embedded Unix commands (ls, cd, cat, sed, grep, awk, rsync, wget, ...)
    - an embedded X11 server for easily exporting your Unix/Linux display
    - a session manager with several network utilities: SSH, RDP, VNC, SFTP, FTP, Mosh, Telnet, Rlogin, FTP, SFTP and XDMCP
    - some basic network daemons (TFTP, FTP, HTTP, SSH, VNC, Telnet)
    - a graphical SSH tunnels builder






  • What are the main advantages of using MobaXterm over other SSH/SFTP/FTP/RDP/VNC/X11 solutions in Windows?

  • MobaXterm has several advantages over its competitors:
    - a full All-In-One solution: it features an X11 server, a terminal with embedded Unix/Linux commands and a complete collection of network tools (SSH, SFTP, telnet, rlogin, RDP, VNC, XDMCP, FTP and Serial console)
    - a portable solution without the need to install and without the need of administrator privileges: MobaXterm is a single executable self-contained file which does not need to be installed or run with administrator privileges
    - no complex settings: there is no need to set up your environment or to tune settings: MobaXterm default parameters have been chosen in order for it to be immediately usable
    - some unique features like the remote sessions with saved passwords or the SFTP browser: when you connect to a remote server through SSH, a graphical remote file browser will automatically be displayed allowing you to transfer files or to edit them directly using the integrated text editor “MobaTextEditor”
    - a robust terminal based on PuTTY/MinTTY with clean fonts, tabs, split modes (2 or 4 terminals side by side), Multi-execution (write once, execute everywhere), copy/paste, save/print text and much more
    - a non-intrusive program: MobaXterm does not connect to the Internet or write entries into your Windows registry without asking before. It does not automatically check for updates. There is no time limit for using it.






  • Does MobaXterm perform unwanted internet connections?

  • No, MobaXterm has been designed to just perform the connections you request: no background internet connection is done without your consent. Even the update mechanism is manual: MobaXterm will not search for updates if you do not click on the "Check for updates" menu entry.







    6.2. X11 server





  • What is X11? Why would I need an X server?

  • The X server (a.k.a. X11) is something very important in an Unix/Linux environment: it is the graphical layer on which all graphical applications are based.
    As X11 is a network protocol, applications that can display their graphical interface on a Linux/Unix desktop can also display it through the network on another computer as well. This 2nd computer only needs to run an X11 server to display them.
    MobaXterm includes an X11 server, based on "X.Org", that allows you to display remote graphical Linux/Unix applications on your local Windows computer with great speed and performances.
    Example: On your remote Unix/Linux computer, you just have to perform the following command:
    DISPLAY=MY_WINDOWS_HOST_RUNNING_MOBAXTERM:0.0 xclock
    ...and you will see the "xclock" interface on your Windows desktop






  • What does X11-Forwarding means?

  • X11-Forwarding is a mechanism that allows the X11 protocol to be routed through an existing SSH channel. The main advantages of this solution are:
    - X11 protocol will be encrypted
    - X11 protocol can be compressed
    - There is no need to set up a new communication channel (and to open communication ports in your firewall) for X11: the network packets go through the already existing SSH connection






  • How does X11-Forwarding work?

  • With MobaXterm, it is really easy to use X11-Forwarding: just connect to your server using "ssh -Y MYSERVER" or "ssh MYSERVER" (the -Y option is automatically on by default). Then, from the remote server prompt, run "xclock". You will see the "xclock" interface which has been transfered through SSH on your Windows desktop.






  • Why is my remote DISPLAY variable configured to "localhost:10.0"?

  • If you check the "DISPLAY" environment variable on your remote server, you will notice that it is set to something like "DISPLAY=localhost:10.0". This is the standard behaviour for X11-Forwarding: it means that any program will use a local virtual display (:10.0) which is created by SSH and which will be automatically forwarded trhough the SSH connection to MobaXterm display.






  • I have an issue with an X11 remote program (Java/X11/Motif) which does not accept keyboard input: everytime I press a keyboard key, nothing is written on the text field

  • This problem can generally be solved easily by using X11 with a window manager instead of using X11 in "multiwindow" (transparent) mode: go to MobaXterm "Settings" window --> "X11" tab --> select "Windowed mode with Fvwm" setting in the combo box and apply. Restart your remote program and it should take keyboard input correctly.
    If you want to use the standard "multiwindow" (transparent) X11 server and occasionally use the windowed X11 server with the window manager, you can go to MobaXterm "Settings" window --> "X11" tab --> select "Multiwindow mode" setting in the combo box and apply, then open the "tools" menu and select either "X11 tab with Dwm" or "X11 window with Fvwm2".






  • How do the X11 tabs with DWM work? Why does MobaXterm include this "tiling" window manager?

  • DWM is a powerful and robust window manager which implements a smart way of arranging windows in order to gain space. Windows are automatically placed side by side so that they all occupy the maximum available space on the desktop.
    - To move a window, use "Alt + Left click"
    - To resize a window, use "Alt + Right click"






  • How can I simply launch the X11 server without starting the full MobaXterm environment?

  • You can launch the X11 server at MobaXterm startup and completely hide the terminal by using the "-hideterm" command:
    C:\Some\Place\MobaXterm.exe -hideterm
    This will launch MobaXterm minimzed in the system tray and start the X11 server.






  • Does MobaXterm X server support OpenGL? How can I use hardware acceleration?

  • MobaXterm X server supports OpenGL application with hardware or software rendering.
    - In order to switch from software rendering to hardware rendering (and vice-versa), you can use the appropriate setting in "Configuration" --> "Settings" --> "X11" tab --> "Enable hardware OpenGL acceleration"
    - For remote clients, client-side rendering is used by default. In order to force indirect rendering, you must perform the following command on your remote server before starting the OpenGL application:
    export LIBGL_ALWAYS_INDIRECT=1






  • How can I display a full remote desktop from a Unix/Linux server in MobaXterm (Gnome, KDE, FVWM, Openbox, Fluxbox, IceWM, XFCE, Blackbox, DWM, Enlightenment, LXDE, ...)?

  • You can use 2 different solutions:
    - Configure your Linux/Unix distribution for enabling XDMCP remote access. You will find the appropriate procedure in your distribution documentation or by searching for " activate XDMCP" on any search engine. You will then be able to display the full remote desktop by starting a new "XDMCP" session in MobaXterm
    - Go to MobaXterm "Settings" window --> "X11" tab --> select "Windowed mode" setting in the combo box and apply. This will run a windowed X11 server at MobaXterm startup instead of the default "transparent" X11 server. Connect to your remote server using "ssh -Y MY_REMOTE_SERVER" and then, run "gnome-session" or whatever window manager you want.
    If you want to use the standard "multiwindow" (transparent) X11 server and occasionally start your full remote desktop in a windowed X11 server, you can go to MobaXterm "Settings" window --> "X11" tab --> select "Multiwindow mode" setting in the combo box and apply, then start a new SSH session and choose the appropriate desktop in the "Remote environment" field.







    6.3. SSH client





  • What is SSH?

  • MobaXterm includes a SSH client (with SFTP and SCP) which allows secure encrypted connections to be set up through the network. The SSH client embedded in MobaXterm is based on OpenSSH.






  • How can I use public SSH keys with MobaXterm?

  • On client side, you have to generate a public rsa key:
    ssh-keygen -t rsa -N '' -q -f ~/.ssh/id_rsa
    Then copy the file that has been generated on the client (".ssh/id_rsa.pub") to the ~/.ssh/ directory of the server and rename it to "authorized_keys":
    scp .ssh/id_rsa.pub user1@server1:.ssh/authorized_keys
    If the ".ssh/authorized_keys" file already exists, just append your own public key to the file:
    cat .ssh/id_rsa.pub user1@server1:/tmp/tmpkey && ssh user1@server1 "cat /tmp/tmpkey >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys && rm /tmp/tmpkey"






  • Can I perform a SSH connection through my SOCKS proxy?

  • Yes, since version 6.6 of MobaXterm, this feature can be set directly in your SSH sessions.







    6.4. RDP client





  • What is RDP?

  • RDP (a.k.a. "Terminal Services" or "TS") is a remote display protocol introduced by Microsoft for Windows OS. It allows users to connect to a remote host while displaying and interacting with the remote desktop using the local keyboard and mouse.






  • How can I send Ctrl+Alt+Del through RDP (terminal service)?

  • You can send the Ctrl+Alt+Del keys combination to your RDP remote server by using the "Ctrl+Alt+END" keys combination







    6.5. SSH tunnelling (a.k.a. "Port forwarding")





  • What is the purpose of the "tunneling" tool?

  • The Tunneling tool embedded inside MobaXterm ("MobaSSHTunnel) is a graphical interface for easily creating SSH tunnels. SSH tunnels (a.k.a. "port forwarding") allow users to redirect traffic from one port on one computer to another computer and port. The main advantages of this solution are:
    - No need to open new connection ports inside firewalls
    - No need to set up a proxy or a gateway when remote computers are not accessible directly
    - Redirected traffic is secured by SSH encryption







    6.6. MobaXterm terminal





  • MobaXterm does not display correctly some special characters? I encounter problems with my country charset/encoding?

  • You can tell MobaXterm to use "UTF-8" character set by going to the "Settings" menu --> "configuration" --> "Terminal" tab --> choose the "UTF-8 (unicode)" entry from the "Charset" setting.






  • I can not run a Windows application inside MobaXterm. My Windows PATH is not taken into account in MobaXterm.

  • You can tell MobaXterm to use the Windows PATH by going to the "Settings" menu --> "configuration" --> "Terminal" tab --> check the "Append Windows PATH environment variable to MobaXterm" setting.






  • I am using a laptop and I do not have any middle button on my trackpad. How can I paste text in the terminal?

  • You can tell MobaXterm to use right click for pasting by going to the "Settings" menu --> "configuration" --> "Terminal" tab --> check the "Paste using right click" setting.






  • How can I specify the characters delimiters used for selection when I double-click in the terminal

  • It is possible to specify the characters that MobaXterm will consider as "not-delimiters" in order to tune the automatic selection when double-clicking in the terminal:
    - Close MobaXterm
    - edit your "MobaXterm.ini" file using a text editor
    - under the "[Misc]" section, just create a new entry
    WordChars= (alphanumerical characters are automatically taken into account)
    for instance:
    WordChars=./:()_-~&+
    - Restart MobaXterm and try to double-click in the terminal in order to test your new selection setting.






    6.7. Advanced features





  • I would like to start MobaXterm from a BATCH script. How do I use MobaXterm inside my script? What are the command line switches available?

  • About launching MobaXterm from a batch file, you have several possibilities. For instance, let’s say you need to start an SSH session from a batch file, keeping MobaXterm hidden and to launch an X application from that remote ssh server.
    You can do this by using
    - the "-hideterm" switch for hidding MobaXterm
    - the "-closewhendone" switch for closing MobaXterm after session exits
    - the "-exec" switch for executing a command
    For instance, this command launches an "xclock" window from MYREMOTESERVER:
    C:\Some\place\MobaXterm.exe -hideterm -closewhendone -exec "waitforX; ssh MYREMOTESERVER 'xclock' "






  • I would like to create a new plugin for MobaXterm. How can I do that?

  • - Download an existing plugin file (for instance "Midnight commander")
    - Rename plugin extension from ".mxt3" to ".zip"
    - Open the ".zip" file
    You will notice that creating MobaXterm plugins only consists in putting the required commands (executables, libraries and configuration files) into a ZIP file, keeping the same folders tree than in MobaXterm ("/bin", "/lib", "/usr", "/etc").
    - If you want to add a simple Windows program (exe file), you will just have to copy the executable file into the "/bin" directory, create the ZIP archive, rename it to ".mxt3" and put it in the same directory than MobaXterm executable.
    - If you want to add a Linux program, you will have to get it from the Cygwin project or to recompile it using make, gcc, g++ or other compilers that are available from the MobaXterm "Development" plugin.






  • What is the best way to secure my MobaXterm installation?

  • MobaXterm is already a secure program: its SSH connections are encrypted using well-known algorithms, its sources are available so that anyone can audit them, its passwords can be stored with strong encryption. However, depending on your company security rules, you can disable some features which may be considered as unsafe: in the "customizer" program, go to the "Settings" tab, then to the "Security" tab. Each setting can be leaved unchecked (less secure) or checked (more secure), you will have to make some choices between features and security.
    For instance:
    - if users do not use any of the embedded servers, we recommend to check the "Disable servers" box.
    - if users do not need any packet capture or network scanner / port scanner tools, we recommend to check the corresponding items
    - we would also recommend to disable unsecure protocols, such as telnet or rlogin and use SSH instead. In case an unsecure protocol is needed and cannot be replaced by SSH, then it can be "tunneled" through a secure SSH connection (you can use the "SSH gateway" setting in telnet sessions to do so).






  • How to disable the penguins screensaver? How to remove the "Games" menu and games entries from MobaXterm?

  • The penguins screensaver and the games have been added to bring fun to MobaXterm terminal. Users who use MobaXterm inside a company might want to disable these tools in order to have a more convenient tool for working. That is why the Professional edition of MobaXterm allows you to disable the screensaver and to remove the games and corresponding menu entries from the program.






  • I love the penguins screensaver! Can I subscribe to MobaXterm Professional Edition and keep it?

  • We are glad you enjoy this screensaver: we spent a lot of time developing it! Of course, in the Professional Edition of MobaXterm, you can keep the penguins screensaver (and the games) if you want.






  • I want to save my terminal output but when I choose the "Log all terminal activity to the following directory", I get a hardly readable file with special characters in it.

  • If you just want to save the output from a terminal, please use the "Terminal" menu --> "Save terminal text". About the terminal logging, it can be used to log anything that is displayed inside the terminal. If you want to re-open a log file, please use MobaTextEditor in order to remove these special characters from the file.







    6.8. Miscellaneous troubleshooting





  • MobaXterm does not run on Windows 2000: it says that the “gdiplus.dll” is missing...

  • MobaXterm is compatible with Windows 2000, but on old Windows 2000 installations, it can display an error message about a missing dll “gdiplus.dll”, but you can download it for free and put it in the same folder as mobaxterm executable in order to make it work: http://www.dll-files.com/dllindex/dll-files.shtml?gdiplus






  • Why does the SFTP tab not pop up when I launch a SSH session? / Why does MobaXterm prompt me for a password each time the SFTP browser is started?

  • This means that your SSH server authentication is set to "Keyboard-interactive" mode. In order for MobaXterm to be able to save SSH passwords or to launch the SFTP browser without asking for password twice, you will have to re-enable "normal" password authentication on your server:
    - Edit the "/etc/ssh/sshd_config" file on your server, and comment the following line:
    PasswordAuthentication no
    - Restart your SSH server using the following command:
    /etc/init.d/sshd restart
    - Connect using MobaXterm SSH client and you will notice that:
    - the SFTP tab will be correctly launched
    - you will be prompted to save your password if you want

    You should also verify if you have any "echo" commands in your profiling scripts on server side: as per the openssh FAQ at http://www.openssh.com/faq.html, if your startup scripts echo any kind of output, SFTP will not work.






  • After connecting using SSH, I immediately get "Connection reset by peer" or "Software caused connection abort" error.

  • This can happen if an old or light SSH product installed on your remote server. As a workaround, you can try to
    - Check the "Workaround for connection reset by peer issue" box under "Settings" --> "Configuration" --> "SSH" tab
    - Uncheck the "Compression" box in your SSH session settings
    - Uncheck the "SFTP browser" box in your SSH session settings






  • My SSH connection freezes or drops out after N seconds of inactivity.

  • This is usually the result of a packet filter or NAT device timing out your TCP connection due to inactivity. You can check the "Enable SSH keepalive" box under "Settings" --> "Configuration" --> "SSH" tab.
    Enabling this option will ensure that the connection is kept "fresh" in the device's connection table.






  • When connecting using a SSH key, I get the following error message: "WARNING: UNPROTECTED PRIVATE KEY FILE!"

  • This can happen on some configurations: the "/home/mobaxterm/.ssh" folder belongs to no group. In order to correct this, you will have to type the following command in a new MobaXterm terminal:
    chgrp UsersGrp *







  • When connecting to a SSH server, I get the following error message: "WARNING: REMOTE HOST IDENTIFICATION HAS CHANGED!"

  • This warning is displayed when your remote host unique identifier has changed. This can be caused by a server re-installation, but it can also be a "man-in-the-middle" attack.
    If you changed or re-install this server recently, and if you are really sure that no other computer is using its IP address, then you can reset this alarm by deleting MobaXterm ~/.ssh/known_hosts file: open a new MobaXterm terminal tab and type the following command:
    rm ~/.ssh/known_hosts







  • When I hit the "backspace" key, it does not work (or it outputs ^H or ^?).

  • Some console utilities don't interpret the backspace character (^H) as a backspace and need a delete instead.
    In this case, you can edit your session, go to the "Terminal settings" tab and toggle the "Unix compatible keyboard" setting. It should allow for the "Backspace" key to function correctly without affecting how the command shell works.






  • I want to ask for some support. Can you help me?

  • Please send us an email by going to the "Help" menu --> "About MobaXterm" --> "Send us an email". In this email, please tell us:
    - Which version and which edition (personal or professional) of MobaXterm you are using
    - Which Windows version you are using
    - In case you encounter an issue, please describe precisely what happens (error message, freeze, etc...) and try to give us a step by step procedure we can follow in order to reproduce the bug.






  • I sent an email but you never answered

  • Please allow the "mobatek.net" domain in your email server so that our emails will not go to your SPAM folder. Also verify that you correctly wrote your email address in the contact form.