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I was assigned a CentOS VM that I manipulate through Putty. Everything I do to it is by command line so far, and I have admin rights to it. The VM is stored in the corporate data center served up by VMWare. There is no desktop environment installed at all.

My question: can I run a graphical environment remotely on my local machine (currently Windows 7) to configure and interact with this virtual server? If yes, what do I do to set it up?

I realize that "real" admins use command prompt all the time, but that's not my primary job. I'm just trying to make things a little easier for myself.

  • How about this?: nomachine.com – coffeMug Feb 4 '15 at 20:34
  • @coffeMug Will that work if there's no desktop installed on the CentOS box? – Jerkle Berry Feb 4 '15 at 20:55
  • If you really mean graphical desktop, it has to be installed on the target machine. Some graphical tools can be used w/o desktop, but at least X server software have to be installed though. In the latter case you can have X server running on your windows client and use X forwarding. If that's an option for you, I can provide some more how-to details – Tagwint Feb 4 '15 at 21:25
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You will need to install a desktop environment, e.g. yum install gnome-desktop. Then you can install freenx ( yum install freenx ) and then run /usr/bin/nxsetup after the packages have been installed. A freely available Windows NX client is available here: OpenNX Client Downloads.

Other remote solutions include xrdp and tigervnc-server, which use the Microsoft RDP and VNC protocols respectively. FreeNX is in the extras repo, xrdp is in the EPEL repo, and tigervnc-server is in the updates repo. (updates and extras, I believe are included in CentOS by default, while EPEL is not.)

  • There is a clear indication in the question that "There is no desktop environment installed at all" – Tagwint Feb 4 '15 at 22:00

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