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#1 2021-01-12 19:42:06

muppetfan
New Member
From: USA
Registered: 2021-01-12
Posts: 3

Easiest remote desktop access?

Since this is my first post to the forum, I should thank the BL implementors.  I have enjoyed using BL on some of my older and lesser laptops.  Because it is basically Debian (the distribution I am most familiar with), installing it on all my personal Linux systems is the direction I am moving.

It would be very convenient for me to have remote access to the desktop of a BunsenLabs (lithium) system installed in the basement of the building where I live.  (That system is a four-core i5, 32GB ram, SSD -- plenty of resources and performance.)  Logging in via the greeter (if that is the correct term) and getting the usual openbox desktop would be ideal.  That system has more than one ethernet interface, and it is positioned to have direct connections to devices that are not on the main network, which sometimes need configuration by web browser or can stand to be monitored with wireshark.

An ideal response to this posting would be "Your google-fu is weak.  You need to read ...", identifying a web-accessible article describing how someone else recently made remote access to the lightdm/openbox combination work.  While I am willing to put some effort into problem-solving this, eventually running down and up two flights could be faster.

I tried this approach:

https://forums.bunsenlabs.org/viewtopic.php?id=1007

editing lightdm.conf and restarting lightdm.  Years ago, I made this sort of thing work by editing gdm.conf on a Debian system; at the time that config file had many fewer lines and there were only one or two things to change.

Using VcXsrv & Xlaunch, I get a black window.

I installed xrdp, and changed the last lines in /etc/xrdp/startwm.sh to

##test -x /etc/X11/Xsession && exec /etc/X11/Xsession
##exec /bin/sh /etc/X11/Xsession
exec /usr/sbin/lightdm "/usr/bin/openbox-session"

Running remote desktop from a windows system, I get a login greeter, can log in, but blank screen after that.  xrdp.log has:

[20210112-12:16:46] [DEBUG] xrdp_wm_log_msg: connecting to sesman ip 127.0.0.1 port 3350
[20210112-12:16:46] [INFO ] xrdp_wm_log_msg: sesman connect ok
[20210112-12:16:46] [DEBUG] xrdp_wm_log_msg: sending login info to session manager, please wait...
[20210112-12:16:46] [DEBUG] return value from xrdp_mm_connect 0
[20210112-12:16:46] [INFO ] xrdp_wm_log_msg: login successful for display 10
[20210112-12:16:46] [DEBUG] xrdp_wm_log_msg: started connecting
[20210112-12:16:50] [DEBUG] Closed socket 19 (AF_UNIX)
[20210112-12:16:53] [DEBUG] Closed socket 19 (AF_UNIX)
...
with many more 'Closed socket' messages until 
...
[20210112-12:20:16] [DEBUG] xrdp_wm_log_msg: connection problem, giving up

Last edited by muppetfan (2021-01-12 20:54:04)

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#2 2021-01-12 21:03:58

trilobite
Member
From: Saskatchewan, Canada
Registered: 2017-06-27
Posts: 65

Re: Easiest remote desktop access?

I used Remmina in the past from Linux to Windows.  Haven't for a few years.  That's all I've got.  I recall it worked rather easily.


{Linux-using people I haven't met are friends yet to be made.}

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#3 2021-01-12 21:57:25

hhh
Meep!
Registered: 2015-09-17
Posts: 11,000
Website

Re: Easiest remote desktop access?

trilobite wrote:

I used Remmina in the past from Linux to Windows.  Haven't for a few years.  That's all I've got.  I recall it worked rather easily.

https://packages.debian.org/buster/remmina

https://packages.debian.org/buster-backports/remmina

sudo apt install remmina

Or, if you have the backport source enabled...

https://backports.debian.org/Instructions/

sudo apt install -t buster-backports remmina

Probably a reboot is needed. I haven't tested it.

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#4 2021-01-12 23:51:37

muppetfan
New Member
From: USA
Registered: 2021-01-12
Posts: 3

Re: Easiest remote desktop access?

Thanks for your interest; I had never heard of remmina, or had forgotten it years ago.

Unfortunately, remmina seems to be not what I need.  This page

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Remmina

describes remmina as a remote desktop (in the general sense, not RDP-specific) _client_.  If I needed remote access to the Windows system desktop on the second floor from the BL system in the basement, it might be just the thing.  And that might be helpful in some small fraction of the use cases, though none come to mind at the moment.  But really I need it in the other direction, and I think I should focus on solving that issue.

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#5 2021-01-13 02:02:12

phuturism
Member
From: Jakarta
Registered: 2016-07-15
Posts: 145

Re: Easiest remote desktop access?

muppetfan wrote:

Thanks for your interest; I had never heard of remmina, or had forgotten it years ago.

Unfortunately, remmina seems to be not what I need.  This page

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Remmina

describes remmina as a remote desktop (in the general sense, not RDP-specific) _client_.  If I needed remote access to the Windows system desktop on the second floor from the BL system in the basement, it might be just the thing.  And that might be helpful in some small fraction of the use cases, though none come to mind at the moment.  But really I need it in the other direction, and I think I should focus on solving that issue.

VNC as a remote desktop tool on windows might be worth a try as a quick fix - may not solve the root cause however.

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#6 2021-01-13 08:45:33

JCN-9000
Member
From: Turin, Italy
Registered: 2016-04-22
Posts: 15

Re: Easiest remote desktop access?

Just some tools to search for.

As suggested VNC is a viable solution: vncserver on server hosts,
vncviewer on clients. There are many linux implementations, BL also
uses it and has installers ready. You don't get to the 'main' desktop
but to a dedicated virtual one, but that's enough for my needs on
servers I manage.

Other tools worthy investigations are xrfb (already mentioned) and  nomachine

Access to the physical display can be done using x11vnc

Firewall sometimes gets in the way, have a check

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#7 2021-01-14 03:23:58

muppetfan
New Member
From: USA
Registered: 2021-01-12
Posts: 3

Re: Easiest remote desktop access?

Thanks for various useful suggestions.

I disabled Windows firewall and retried xlaunch/XcVsrv.  No change.

I have used xvnc in the past; again, years ago.  But worth a shot.

Installed tightvncserver.  Modified /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf as shown:

[VNCServer]
enabled=true
command=Xvnc
#port=5900
#listen-address=
width=1500
height=1100
depth=16

Restarted lightdm.  Ran vncserver.  Connect from windows.  Get familiar BL greeting.  Log in.  Desktop is missing status and shortcut key displays normally seen on right side of screen.  Right-click does not open a menu.  vncserver says:

Starting applications specified in ~/.vnc/xstartup

in ssh session where I started it.  xstartup contains:

#!/bin/sh

xrdb $HOME/.Xresources
xsetroot -solid grey
#x-terminal-emulator -geometry 80x24+10+10 -ls -title "$VNCDESKTOP Desktop" &
#x-window-manager &
# Fix to make GNOME work
export XKL_XMODMAP_DISABLE=1
/etc/X11/Xsession

It feels like I am closer, but I don't know how to get the last bits started.

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#8 2021-01-14 08:13:45

phuturism
Member
From: Jakarta
Registered: 2016-07-15
Posts: 145

Re: Easiest remote desktop access?

Progress!

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