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Linux like Terminal Server? (resume graphical sessions)

Posted on 2009-05-11
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Last Modified: 2013-12-16
Is there a way to have users remotely connect to a linux server with GUI and do the following?

1. Open a program once logged in.
2. Close the window while leaving the program running
3. Resume the GUI sessions later with program still running.

I'm thinking of something simliar to Windows Terminal Services sessions where you can just close the window and it leaves the user account logged in to resume later.

So the key is, the program HAS to continue running when the window is closed and you HAVE to be able to log back in and see it.
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Question by:bluecc
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7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:lanboyo
ID: 24360104
Generally this is done with VNC. If you need multiple users who each need to have resumable sessions, you need to get VNC  and XDMCP.

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/daniel.rigal/xdmvnc.html

If you have local network access only, you can just set up plain xwindows  XDMCP.

Some distros are easier than others... Google on resumable vnc + distro name for the distro you use. Basically you want resumable vnc.

I have had a day and a time with Ubuntu, but  hre is a link..

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Setting-Up-a-VNC-Server-with-Session-Resume-Support-52875.shtml
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Accepted Solution

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coanda earned 2000 total points
ID: 24360320
I prefer FreeNX for a Linux terminal server,

http://www.drtek.ca/freenx-server-ubuntu-hardy
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=97277&highlight=FreeNX

They're both about the same difficulty to setup if you find a good how to but I've never been a big fan of a VNC terminal server only because of the sluggish performance.
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Expert Comment

by:Roachy1979
ID: 24362074
I second FreeNX.....it supports full remote sessions, as well as Shadow logins, which I use for VNC type remote assistance and will do what you need.  There is also a Windows client which means that when I'm stuck using a Windows machine in some of our other offices, I can connect into a local session on my machine at my desk...

Go to http://www.nomachine.com/ and download the FreeNX client, node and servers for your OS....

Quality is good (bandwidth can be specified based on the type of link), and traffic is encrypted if needed.....

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Expert Comment

by:lanboyo
ID: 24363560
Okay, nxmachine is better... Just installed it today after reading coanda's post.


Frankly getting xdm working with vnc is much harder. I bled getting it working on some ubuntus, whare nxclient was just a follow the command line .

There may be some "Free as in freedom" issues with the nxclient but it is easier to configure, uses ssh as a transport and is in general, much sweeter.
I personnally am going to try it out under various tunneled conditions, and network speeds and ad a portable app...

So  coanda's answer is better.
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Roachy1979
ID: 24363616
lanboyo - check out the shadow sessions, and the ability to tunnel multimedia from a remote machine... :)  Remote printing via CUPS is also possible....some really cool features if you can cope with the lack of "freedom".  

Personally FreeNX is a lifesaver for me.... :)
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Author Comment

by:bluecc
ID: 24363629
Thanks everyone for the great feedback. I setup FreeNX last night and used the NX Client for Windows to connect and it was very easy. This will work just fine for a user to connect to a server to run our app.

Now I just need to find a way to prepackage a pre-configured NX Client! Great stuff!
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Expert Comment

by:lanboyo
ID: 24365285
Check the google cached link for portable app freenx. It looks like the entire application is self contained in the install directory.
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