X2GO Home: an outstanding Remote Desktop solution for Ubuntu

29/08/2010 at 6:36 pm 8 reacties

This article is outdated. Please see comments for this article

The software discussed in this article was tested on Ubuntu 9.10 32 bit edition. I guess it will also work on Ubuntu 10.04, but I did not test it in that environment. If anybody uses it successfully in an Ubuntu 10.04 environment, please post a comment.

In a previous article, I discussed the possibility of remote controlling virtually any desktop (Linux, Macintosh, Windows) with the very fine (bèta) Teamviewer for Linux application. After installation, it just works out of the box. This software is intended primarily for helpdesk usage. It is for this reason that a user “at the other side” has to authorize a session, with a session ID and a password.

But what if you just want to have a full remote desktop session to one of your other Ubuntu computers, at home or through the Internet? What if “the user at the other side” just does not exist? If you want to have a fully working Remote Desktop solution for Ubuntu, do not look any further. Surf to the x2Go website, and start installing the software. A brief installation procedure for Ubuntu is available at the x2go website. Here is a full description on how to install the software on Ubuntu 9.10 (and maybe on 10.04 as well, but again, I did not test it with 10.04 – According to the info on the website, it should just work). I tested the x2go server Home Edition. As a side note, x2go has many, many more possibilities than the Home Edition allows – amongst other things, authentication against any LDAP server. This implies that, e.g. Novell eDirectory, or Microsoft Active Directory, could be used as backend authentication mechanisms.

Ok, for now, let’s go back to the Home edition.

Installation

X2go consists of a server side component, and of a client component.

The server side component

Let’s start with the server side. First of all: you don’t need an Ubuntu server to use the software. Your Ubuntu desktop will do fine, and that’s what you want: have full access to your Ubuntu desktop remotely, as if you were doing an Remote Desktop (RDP)  session in Windows. For the “server” side, you can just follow the instructions indicated at the x2go site. The easiest way to do as instructed on the x2go web site, translated into the  Ubuntu graphical interface is: Clik on System – > Management -> Installation Sources; enter your password, and add as additional installation source: deb http://x2go.obviously-nice.de/deb/ lenny main. If you’re familiar with command line, use gedit or vi, and edit sources.list, just do it the command line way. If you’re doing it that way, don’t forget to sudo apt-get update.

x2go-sources

x2go-sources

Back to the graphical way. Click on Close. An error message about a public key missing in the new installation sources will appear, just ignore the message. A message will appear, indicating that your installation sources need to be updated. Just allow the installation sources to be updated.

Ok, now next, open System -> Management -> Synaptic package management, and search for x2goserver-home. Install the software, and accept all extra packages. After installation, no further configuration is required, the x2go server is ready to use. It will be started automatically when booting the computer.  Maybe it’s a good idea to see if your Ubuntu firewall allows traffic over SSH port 22, since that is used by x2go. An excellent tool to manage your Ubuntu firewall is Firestarter…for Ubuntu 9.x versions, it’s available in the Software Center. After allowing access to SSH port 22, the x2go server is ready for use. All existing users on the x2go server are automatically allowed remote access.


The client component

The client side component is not difficult at all, you just need two packages, which are available on the x2go web site. The packages that you need are available at:

http://www.x2go.org/deb/pool-ubuntu/

These are the files you need for an Ubuntu 32 bit computer:

pinentry-x2go-gtk_0.7.5-1_i386.deb
x2goclient-gtk_2.99-3_i386.deb

Download both packages. First, install pinentry-x2go-gtk_0.7.5-1_i386.deb, and next x2goclient-gtk_2.99-3_i386.deb. Installation should be as easy as double-clicking the file, entering your password, and installing the package.

After installation, you will find in your Applications -> Internet a new package: X2Go Client(gtk). Just launch the software.  Configure a session with the IP address (or DNS name) of the x2go server, and enter  the type of graphical session (Gnome or KDE)…enter your username and password (as configured on the “x2go server”) …and off you are! Have fun!

x2go-session

x2go-session

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8 reacties Add your own

  • 1. Maurits  |  22/10/2010 om 2:57 pm

    I run this on ubuntu 10.10.. it’s awesome!

    Beantwoorden
  • 2. KP  |  01/12/2010 om 12:45 am

    Hi,

    Thanks for your article, it’s easy to understand but it won’t work for me. I tried to launch x2goclient_gtk and configured it with the external IP adress from my other (Ubuntu 10.10) PC, both PC’s are on different networks.

    I unblocked port 22 from the server PC but I only get this message when I try to connect: Connection failed 22: Connection timed out

    I can also not ping my external IP (sounds strange to me?!)

    Hope you can help me out!

    Regards,
    KP

    Beantwoorden
    • 3. Jan van de Voort  |  01/12/2010 om 6:56 am

      Hello KP. This requires a step-by-step approach. The first thing to know, is whether your server PC is listening on port 22 (SSH). SSH can be installed through the Ubuntu software center.
      You can check out if SSH is installed and listening with the following command: netstat -ntlp | grep 22

      It should output the following or similar:

      tcp 0 0 0.0.0.0:22 0.0.0.0:* LISTEN

      Next, as described in the article, check that your PC server firewall allows traffic to port 22 (use Firestarter or similar to configure).

      I guess that after these checks, X2GO will still not work, but these are preliminary checks, so you won’t run into problems afterwards.

      Now I guess the real problem is in the network itself: the end point machines cannot be found. Try a traceroute (not a ping) between the hosts. A traceroute should tell you if “the computer “at the other side” can be found: it must show the complete path from one end to the other.

      sudo traceroute ip-address-to-trace

      If you get one or more * * * in you trace, If the “computer at the other side” cannot be found. If this is the case, check routing between the machines, and zoom in into that problem. That should first be solved: a traceroute must show that both machines can find each other. As soon as that is solved, you can zoom into X2GO.

      Hope this helps & please post back the results,

      Jan

      Beantwoorden
      • 4. KP  |  04/12/2010 om 9:00 pm

        Hi!

        Thank you very much for your reply! I found out that I didn’t forward the ports correct in my router, now it works 🙂

        Thanks you!

        Groeten uit Nederland 🙂

      • 5. Jan van de Voort  |  05/12/2010 om 9:15 am

        Hello KP,

        graag gedaan! 😉

        Jan

  • 6. Hans  |  21/01/2011 om 4:52 pm

    Before i take a plunge…

    Has anybody tried it with IPv6 ?

    Beantwoorden
  • […] X2GO Home: an outstanding Remote Desktop solution for Ubuntu « Open Source for the Desktop – January 17th ( tags: x2go remote desktop guide tutorial setup example ) […]

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  • 8. Mike Gabriel  |  11/09/2013 om 7:27 pm

    This article is outdated. There are much newer packages. Visit http://wiki.x2go.org for up-to-date information.

    Thanks,
    Mike (with my X2Go upstream hat on).

    Beantwoorden

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