I'm having a weird problem w/ cygwin not working on some machines...

FH fhouston@usa.net
Fri Apr 4 13:44:00 GMT 2008

Is this list still active?  I've been on it just a couple days and haven't
seen any traffic yet so I was just curious if people are still around or if I
just hit a lull ;)

Anyway, I'm new to cygwin[1] but I have several users I support who use it a
lot.  Recently we've started running into an unusual problem in the sense that
the X server seems to have stopped working, at least w/ some machines.  What I
mean is everything starts up ok on the windows machine and when you login to
some unix machines it works fine; login, set up the display variables, type
xterm and the window open.  However on other machines you can go through the
same process and the xterm (or any other app/window) never shows up on the
windows machine.  There's no error messages, nothing in the log files and from
what traffic I've seen (it's running over ssh so I can only see whether
traffic exists) it seems ok (on the machines it doesn't work on there's a
short of amount of traffic and then it stops, so whatever is going on seems to
be a hard error and not a situation where one machine or the other is not
responding/resending the packets).

So far the only commonality between the machines it is not working on seems to
be they are running a 2.6.18 kernel (and I've tried both RH and debian), the
machines it is working on are usually 2.6.9.  Once, I think, we were able to
get it to work on a 2.6.18 machine by completely turning off iptables, however
I'm not sure if that's relevant or not because we have never been able to
replicate it (so maybe something else changed, or maybe we were trying so many
different setups that the person I was working w/ wasn't actually logged into
the machine they said they were ;)).  Since I've been testing it completely on
my own I have never gotten it to work w/ a 2.6.18 machine (iptables or not),
and it has never failed on a 2.6.9 machine.

Unfortunately, looking around the net has proven futile, in part because
finding the right search terms to match the situation we are seeing has been
difficult.  Without error messages there's been nothing to go on.  So my first
question is is there a way to get better logging or a better sense of what's
going on from either the unix or windows machine?  The few items on the net I
have found talk about making sure XForwarding is on in the sshd_config file
(which it is).  Using -Y instead of -X when logging in w/ ssh (which doesn't
seem to have any effect).  Whether or not X is properly installed on the unix
machine in the first place (which it seems to be since the same users can
login to the console and everything works fine).

The machine I'm running my tests on is a more or less fresh install of WinXP
(I was using it previously for testing web calendars/palm syncing so anything
installed for that shouldn't have an effect on this) w/ a fresh install of
cygwin (installed a little over a week ago from the network using the install
all option).  There's no other firewall or virus scanner installed on the
windows machine right now.  There is a firewall between the windows machine
and the unix machines (the ones it works w/ and the ones it doesn't), but
there's no indication in the firewall logs that it is part of the problem. 
I'm going to try to move the test machine over to the same subnet but that's
going to take a little work.  If there's any other info people need just let
me know and I'll see what I can do for.  

At this point I'm out of ideas so if any one has any hints/clues/suggestions
I'd love to hear them.  


[1] Also, to be completely honest I'm not much of an X person in general.  The
unix machines I use are usually servers and I'm usually able to get by using
ssh/cli only to do what I need to do ;)

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