I am planning to setup a "terminalserver" for my *nix based administrators.

I would like to have a number of users, either with gnome or with kde (based on their likings) who will connect to the server and start their individual settings on the same machine.

What I found out so far:

  • Just forwarding X11 via SSH is very slow (using port TCP 22, ssh)
  • VNC is slow (using ports TCP 5900 onwards, vnc:0 ...)
  • KDE-Remote seems to be fast, propably same with gnome (using port UDP 177, xdmcp)

To enable remote login I need to modify /etc/gdm/custom.conf:


/etc/X11/xdm/Xaccess needs to be modified, too (enter a pattern for hosts that are allowed to get a remote login window).

Now so far, if I enable both settings, I can use XDMCP to connect to the server, but I am getting a black screen with a simple mouse-cursor consisting of a white cross.

So there are some "ingredients" still missing here.

Any pointers or own configurations out there that can help me here are welcome.

  • Are there any values in /etc/X11/Sessions on the remote machine? – eyoung100 Oct 20 '14 at 22:32
  • @eyoung100 Are you sure that this is the right path? There is no such file there. – Nils Oct 22 '14 at 9:21
  • Yes, a Desktop Environment needs to be installed on the Remote Machine before a Destop Environment Can be used. The Black Cross Cursor indicates twm/xdm which is what's used by default. The Screen is Blank because you're missing xterm and xclock. – eyoung100 Oct 22 '14 at 13:26
  • @eyoung100 KDE is fully installed (and working locally), so I will have to configure that for kdm? Where? Second step would be to install the Gnome-suite and gdm? – Nils Oct 23 '14 at 12:54
  • Did you install it on the remote machine? – eyoung100 Oct 23 '14 at 13:37

I can highly recommend X2Go. It's based on NoMachine NX code, meaning communication is compressed and it's using cache, but unlike NoMachine it's foss. At least in Fedora, install is as easy as yum install x2goserver (assuming firewall allows ssh). Fedora 20 has adopted x2go as remote desktop solution, replacing NoMachine's NX implementation.

X2Go supports PulseAudio sound tunneling. All you need for sound to work is to install PulseAudio on both the remote and the local machine. There are client for different operating systems, so you can connect from Windows machine as well. You can connect to the server local session, but you can also create different sessions for many users. There is also support for seamless application, serving a single application window that looks like it is running locally. I haven't checked the printing support or the shared folder option, but they exist.

The only problem I experienced was with the support of more than one keyboard layout, but sparing few glitches here and there, it's working now.

  • A good and valid answer. You got the bonty. I will not accept it for now,as there might be better suited answers. – Nils Oct 28 '14 at 8:23

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