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Remote Access Using MobaXterm for Windows

MobaXterm Software

MobaXterm is an enhanced terminal for Windows with a built-in X11 server, tabbed SSH client, built-in file editor, SFTP functionality, and other useful features. You may download MobaXterm from: http://mobaxterm.mobatek.net/download.html

You will need to choose which license (free Home edition, or professional) and then select the Portable or Installer edition. The Installer edition works best on your personal machine, when you have the privileges to install software. The portable version may be necessary when using a lab workstation, for example. (Be sure to check if MobaXterm is already installed in the Windows Start menu.)


You may create saved sessions for connecting to ada.tamu.edu or other HPRC clusters, for your convenience. See http://mobaxterm.mobatek.net/documentation.html#1_2 for instructions. For example:

MobaXterm SSH

IMPORTANT: When asked if you would like to save your password, choose "No" to avoid potential security exploits.

MobaXterm save password

Local Terminal

The easiest way to connect is to start a local terminal:

MobaXterm start a local terminal

From the local terminal, you may then issue the ssh command:

MobaXterm issue ssh from local terminal

File Transfers

On the left-hand side of the MobaXterm window, different tabs are available. The labels are written vertically. Choosing the "Sftp" tab will display a file tree of the remote machine to which you are connected, such as:

MobaXterm file explore

You may choose files to edit with the built-in editor. You may also transfer files from your Windows machine to the remote cluster, and vice versa. Just drag a local file (from a Windows File Explorer window or similar program) to the SFTP file tree on the left side of the MobaXterm window.

Remote Display of Programs with Graphical Interfaces

By default, MobaXterm connections have X11 forwarding available. So, when you connect to ada.tamu.edu or other machine, you should be able to run an X-Windows program by simply typing the command. That will open the program in a new window behind the MobaXterm main window.

Installing on Home Drive of Open Access Lab workstation

Special Instructions

Note: This only applies to an unusual circumstance. You will not need to do this on your personal computer or any computer for which you have privileges to install the software.

If MobaXterm is not installed on an Open Access Lab workstation, but you have a home drive (H:) to which you may save files, download the portable version and copy the programs to a folder on your home drive, i.e., H:\Moba (you will need to create this folder first). From that folder, run the program MobaXterm_Personal_8.2.exe to start MobaXterm. Select "Settings" in the top menu and choose "global settings". In the "General" tab of the settings window, specify your home drive (H:) as the Persistent home directory and Persistent root (/) directory:

install MobaXterm on H: of Open Access Lab workstation

Once you have completed this, you should be able to run the portable version from your home drive without error.

Using MobaXterm on Open Access Lab workstations without H drive

MobaXterm error message with permission issue

If you get error of "Error when running MobaXterm subprocess motty.exe" (like image shown above)on Open Access Lab workstation and you don't have a home drive (H:), here is a workaround. Click on Configure under "Settings" menu, then, at "Persistent Home Directory", click on yellow folder icon and create a directory under temp on C: drive (like image shown below). Set "Persistent Root Directory" at the directory you just created. Click "OK" to finish configuration. This will bypass permission problem.

Create home directory for MobaXterm