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Run X2go thin-client using kiwi-ltsp

September 27th, 2012 by

Recently, came across x2go packages maintained by Jan Engelhardt for openSUSE and other distributions on open build service. As openSUSE Education Li-f-e has great LTSP integration thanks to KIWI-LTSP, I decided to check out how x2go can fit in with this existing thin-client computing solution.

“x2go is an open (GPL/AGPL) source “server based computing” project. Combining the advantages of existing systems it features ease of use, performance and scalability. x2go provides you with access to your desktop – from within your own network and via the internet. x2go is not limited to particular hardware, it supports a variety of devices and architectures.” -from their website.

Some of the features/benefits of x2go that are not available on LTSP are:

* Remote login from within local lan and internet from any OS
* Session persistence, you can disconnect session from one client and continue where you left off from any other client
* Low bandwidth usage
* Session sharing with other users

Apart from these, x2go also supports sound redirection via pulseaudio, folder sharing for access to local disks similar to LTSP.

I would personally still prefer LTSP session in local network, and as x2goserver and LTSP server can coexist on same server we can choose x2goclient to connect over the internet and log in using LTSP in local lan.

Here is how to run x2go as kiosk session by PXE booting a thin-client/PC/laptop.

* Install kiwi-ltsp-profile-x2go on openSUSE Edu Li-f-e or 12.2 via 1-click from here.
* Run kiwi-ltsp -ln openSUSE_12_2_x2go as root to create KIWI-LTSP image that is used for PXE booting clients, (this step requires fast internet connection and about 250M download)
* Run kiwi-ltsp -c to configure required services
* Add the following to /srv/tftpboot/KIWI/root.default/etc/lts.conf under [default] for all clients or under [MA:CA:DD:RE:SS] for a particular client and boot up the client, openSUSE_12_2_x2go will be available at the end of boot menu.

SCREEN_07=kiosk
KIOSK_EXE="/usr/bin/x2goclient --no-menu --maximize --link=lan --geometry=fullscreen --thinclient --haltbt --no-session-edit --add-to-known-hosts"
KIOSKUSER=x2goclient

You can also have normal LTSP session on tty8 along with this by adding SCREEN_08=ldm. To connect to the server from non-thin-client install and run x2goclient.

You can simply poweroff the client without the need to disconnect or do normal shutdown.

Note: this method of using x2go is just for testing and development purpose, you can use x2goserver and x2goclient in a standalone mode without kiwi-ltsp bits. Nothing additional than installing x2goserver package is needed to setup the server, except firewall should allow access to ssh port(22).

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