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Review & Alternatives
"Free portable X server with network utils"
If you’re not familiar with Unix and its commands, then MobaXterm will sound really extraordinary to you. It is a Linux terminal for Windows, which contains Unix commands and allows you to connect to a remote X server since it is equipped with important network tools such as Telnet, FTP, XDMCP, VNC, etc. It can be enhanced even more by adding plugins, either official ones or plugins found in different places of the internet created by hobbyists or professionals.
The setup package is an archive that includes two executables, the main program and MobaXterm_Personal_Customizer_6.0. The second one is used for customizing the appearance of the included tools.
There is no installation procedure, since it is a portable program. Just run the application and wait for it to load. The first time you open it, Windows Firewall will alert you and ask you if you want to make an exception for the program. Click Allow and proceed.
MobaXterm can run under Windows XP or newer operating systems, including Windows 8.
Very nice graphical interface, with loads of buttons, options and menus ordered in such a way that even though they are many in numbers, they are not confusing and cluttered. Below the menu bar and the toolbar is the main area of the program, which is divided in a sidebar (it has 3 tabs, can be hidden) and the terminal. You can have many terminals open since there is support for multiple tabs, and even change the program’s view to show two (vertically or horizontally) or 4 terminals at the same time.
You can select a different skin in case you want something other than the default.
MobaXterm includes a free X Server pre-configured, so you don’t have to worry about that. X11 forwarding is supported too. With SSH you can redirect the X11 screen output of a Unix program launched in the remote computer, and display it in the local computer. File transferring is applicable and easy as well.
Many Unix commands are embedded into the program (ls, cd, grep, awk, tail, cut, sed, wget, rsync, telnet, ssh, rlogin, rsh etc.), ready to be typed and used in the terminal. A huge set of tools (and even games) are included too. You can even import plugins (official or not) to enhance the program’s functionality even more.
You can open multiple terminals in tabs, or open two (or four) and view them in a split screen.
No cons here. It is a free, lightweight program and has a great list of features. You can even carry it around in your USB stick and run it from there, so what else would you need?
PuTTY (free) is a powerful alternative since it shares many of MobaXterm’s features, although it lacks the integrated X Server. In fact, most (if not all) the alternatives do not have this feature implemented: ZOC (paid), xShell (paid), PenguiNet (paid) and others.
MobaXterm is a dominant software in this area, including many tools, functions and commands that you rarely find in similar software. Definitely worth looking into.
What's new in this version: - new SSH engine with new ciphers - new security settings in pro version - improved embedded tools including MobaDiff
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