headless rdp server and desktop

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headless rdp server and desktop

Postby Socaltom » Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:04 pm

Setting up remote desktop access to your headless server is realtively straightforward.
First you need to install a desktop enviroment
Then you need to install the remote desktop server application.

To install the desktop enviroment you need to install the xorg desktop system ( this is a generic desktop that most of the others build off of)
( if you are installing on a headless server you don't need a video driver, the rdp system will provide it later)

Code: Select all
pacman -Sy xorg-server

I'm not sure if its needed, but I also installed the xorg-init package needed to start the x system

Code: Select all
pacman -Sy xorg-xinit



The wiki address is https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/xorg

However, you don't need to working about the ~/.xinitrc, because the rdp package uses a different location for starting your desktop enviroment


Now, you need to install a window manager or desktop enviroment. Since we are dealing with modest CPU power I recommend a simple window manager, I use icewm

Code: Select all
pacman -Sy icewm


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

Here is a good site for configuring it
http://www.osnews.com/story/7774/IceWM_ ... ow_Manager


Now, if you want to add a web browser etc, this is a good time.

I chose arora, its got javascript support, is realtively light, and firefox threw an error

Code: Select all
pacman -Sy arora



Now, install xrpd, this is a front end that runs on top of tigervnc, but it will install it for you

Code: Select all
pacman -Sy xrdp


https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/xrdp
you need to modify the /etc/xrdp/startwm.sh file . This file is intended to allow multiple users to pick different desktops. I'm only using icewm, so my file includes only the following

Code: Select all
#!/bin/sh
exec icewm-session


You can also modify sesman.ini and xrdp.ini, but for me the defaults work, although they have a bunch of options I don't use.


Now, you can start xrdp

Code: Select all
systemctl start xrdp


Code: Select all
systemctl start xrdp-sesman


( order seems to be important here)

If you want them to autostart on reboot
Code: Select all
systemctl enable xrdp


Code: Select all
systemctl enable xrdp-sesman



to log in, use the rdp client from a windows machine and aim it at the default port 3389 on your server. You should be presented with a login box. Login and the icewm desktop should appear.

It may look a little clunky because the menus aren't populated.

To quickly populate the menus install menumaker

Code: Select all
pacman -Sy menumaker



then run
Code: Select all
mmaker -f icewm   


the -f forces it to over write previous versions.


The site above has info on editing the menu file if you have an interest.


Good luck
Tom
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