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Installing and Using X2Go

We are dropping the Remote Desktop machine aglt2rd, and replacing it with a Linux machine set, starting with bridge-um at the UM site, and perhaps later extending this to a machine at the MSU site. This page describes how to get the client, install it on Windows (explicitly, it will likely also go on a Mac) and use it to connect to the network bridging appliances.

Getting the Client

Browse to here and download the x2go client for Windows. Then, just run the installer.

NOTE: As of 10/30/2018, version found here works better than version, where "better" is defined as not having problems running root from within the virtual desktop.

You will need to set up an ssh key as that is the method whereby this software works, and the network bridge appliances do not allow password logins. They also disallow root logins entirely. After you have installed the client, browse to this URL to learn how to set up a key, or use another key already on your laptop. Be sure to put any newly generated public key into your Linux .ssh/authorized_keys file.

Configuring the Client

You will need to configure a session to connect to the network bridging appliances. The following setups are suggested for each of the Tabs in the configuration process.

  • Session Tab
    • Session name: choose a name
    • Path: /
    • Host:
    • Login: Your username here
    • SSH port: 22
    • RSA/DSA key location from above
    • Check "Try auto login"
    • Session type is KDE (on sl6 if that matters, ever)
  • Connection Tab
    • Connection speed: as appropriate for your locale, in Physics use LAN
    • Compression Method: 16m-jpeg
    • Image quality: 9
  • Input/Output Tab
    • 1600x1000 at 96 DPI (this nicely filled my laptop screen, but was not full screen)
    • "Bidirection copy and paste" checked
    • "Autodetect keyboard settings" checked.
  • Media Tab
    • These do not need to be checked, but this also works
    • "Enable sound support" of type "PulseAudio" checked
    • "Client side printing support" checked
  • Shared Folders Tab
    • "Use SSH port forwarding to tunnel file system conections through firewalls" checked

Usage Hints

Right click on the "desktop" to open a Konsole shell. SMclient can be run from here. Konsole supports multiple tabs, or you can have multiple Konsole windows. This is a full KDE desktop environment, unique to your login.

The Firefox browser can be run from a Konsole shell. If you connect to an iDrac this way, and want to open a console on the connected machine, you will have to tell Firefox (started via "firefox" command) to use javaws to open the .jnlp file that is opened. To do this, possibly just the first time, on some rac, you may have to browse to console settings and change the Plug-In Type from "native" to "java". Then click through to get the console to open. On the other hand, when you are prompted to open the .jnlp file, it may already list javaws as a helper process. Do not open this with Firefox, you just get a blank tab, and another prompt for helper process (wash, rinse, repeat....).

On bridge-um, javaws can be directly entered to use as the helper, with it found at this path:

The x2go client assumes you have write permissions to your home directory. It may be necessary to first ssh to bridge-um using your usual Linux key, and do a kinit/aklog command pair to get your afs tokens. These tokens will be good for 30 days before they expire.

-- BobBall - 28 Jul 2017
Topic revision: r3 - 30 Oct 2018, BobBall
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