You are using MS Windows and you want to install Oracle product on Unix (or Unix-like server) and you don't want to perform silent installation for some reason. You are facing to common question what X client to choose to perfom this task. Here is list of most known (free) clients along with some advantages and disadvantages for each solution.
Virtual Network Computing aka VNC VNC was developed at the Olivetti & Oracle Research Lab owned by Olivetti and Oracle Corporation. It consists of three parts: Server, Client and Protocol. For us there are intersting just two parts: Server - resides on the server machine and shares its screen. Client - resides on the local (client) machine and interacts with the server. Pros: + Small and easy to install application Cons: - X server must be installed and running on server (Maybe I'm old fashioned but I belive that X server should not be installed on server nor running on server) - VNC server is not installed by default on server, you need to install it - Unencrypted communication Homepage: http://www.tightvnc.com, http://www.realvnc.com
Cygwin Cygwin is Linux-like enviroment for Windows which was developed at Cygnus Software and currently is mantained by Redhat. Cygwin comes with pretty long list of software such as X server, KDE, SSH, Apache, gcc and so on. You can choose the packages to install during installation of Cygwin. Pros: + All in one. X server, SSH, shell (terminal) so the feelings are the same as you are using Linux as client/machine. + You can use X11 forwarding via SSH Cons: - As you need install X server, installation is quite long and Cygwin occupies significant amount of space. Homepage: http://www.cygwin.com
WeirdX WeirdX is Java implementation of X Window Server/Client. It is not designed for running of "heavy" X clients but for Oracle installation is pretty suitable. It supports X11 forwarding via SSH and is platform independent. Pros: + X11 forwarding via SSH + Platform independent Cons: not discovered Homepage: http://www.jcraft.com/weirdx/
Xming Xming is small and fast X Server/Client for Windows. This is probably best solution for Windows users. For SSH shell you need to use Putty. Pros: + Small, stable and fast X Window implementaion +- Features like X11 Forwarding are provided by external SSH client Homepage: http://sourceforge.net/projects/xming
Bootable Linux distribution CD / USB Key If you don't want install anything (or you can't install software to your local machine), you can use any of existing bootable Linux distributions. You will get full Linux distribution with SSH, X Server and other builtin utilities and features. Well known bootable distributions are: Fedora Live CD, Damn Small Linux (only 50M), Knoppix and others. This is my case. I'm using bootable USB key with Live Linux distribution with all software (including Oracle SW) or scripts that I need for installation or maintenance of Oracle products. Pros: + You will get everything and you don't need to install anything Cons: - You need to reboot PC and boot different OS :-) Conclusion: Which of these solutions is best? This conlusion is up to you.
Following chart is based on my personal feelings where 1 means best solution and 5 worst solution. 1. Xming 2. Linux bootable CD/USB key 3. WeirdX 4. Cygwin 5. VNC
Update: Linux in Virtual Machine This another option how to use Linux as client without installation and of course without need to reboot computer (which is needed to use previous option). To use this option you need to download just two things: VMware Player and some image (virtual appliance) of Linux distribution for VMware Player. Of course in case you have VMware Server/Workstation you can make your own installation of Linux. Pros: + Easy to install solution + You can use more operating systems at once + Plenty of Linux images availble for download Cons: - Memory requirements http://www.vmware.com/products/player http://www.vmware.com/appliances http://www.thoughtpolice.co.uk/vmware Thanks to Hans Forbrich for this option.