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Using Thinclient with Win SBS 2003
22-05-2014, 10:35 PM,
#1
Using Thinclient with Win SBS 2003
First off, AMAZING project and you are a genius.

Okay, now, down to business...

I recently had a Dell workstation go down. Instead of replacing it, I wanted to test out using the RPi as a thin client. I did a great deal of research online and finally came across the tutorial on itToby's site and it led me to you and your application. I have not set up the Pi for this yet, mainly because I am not clear if you can use it to connect to my Windows server 2003. I do not want to remote desktop to the server admin, but rather just to the user desktop associated with the Dell workstation that failed. So, here are my questions:

1- Can thinclient software connect to the win server 2003 and display the exact desktop that was being displayed for that particular user that had the Dell?

2- If yes, can the user switch back to a linux-based view and minimize the server remote session?

Finally, very soon I want to block the server via firewall (sonic) so when the clients are logged in, there is no internet available. The only way for internet access would be through the base Linux desktop after the remote view is minimized...the firewall will not block the RPi. I am doing this because of security of some shared applications that are installed and used on the server...keeps outside threats away.

If anyone could please let me know about these things, I would be forever grateful!
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23-05-2014, 03:59 PM,
#2
RE: Using Thinclient with Win SBS 2003
Please help me someone...I am really new to this stuff and I am down to the final days, I need to give answers to management. Thank you!!!
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23-05-2014, 05:02 PM,
#3
RE: Using Thinclient with Win SBS 2003
Hello dbirk007,

I'm not sure I understand what you are asking? You say you don't want to remote desktop? Then how was your Dell workstation connecting to the Win 2003 server?

I'm thinking what you are saying is that your Dell workstation connected through remote desktop to your Win 2003 Server with an ID that was not the Administrator ID.

1- Can thinclient software connect to the win server 2003 and display the exact desktop that was being displayed for that particular user that had the Dell?

If you were connecting to the Win 2003 Server with a user id through remote desktop (mstsc) on the Dell workstation and you use the exact same user ID from the Raspberry Pi Thin Client you will see the exact same desktop. I do this regularly for my office's workstations and I've found Gibbio's rdp-gui to be invaluable for this. I set this app up so it's loaded on my Rpi Thin Client and all the person has to do is put in their ID and Password and they will connect through rdesktop.

2- If yes, can the user switch back to a linux-based view and minimize the server remote session?

To minimize the rdesktop connection, press the following keys at the same time:
CTRL Alt Enter
This will bring your rdesktop view out of full screen so you now see the border and the minimize buttons at the top right. Click on the minimize button and you will again see the rpitc desktop. Your remote desktop session is now on the taskbar at the bottom. To bring the remote desktop session back to full view maximize it again and press the same key combination:
CTRL ALT Enter
Not sure why you would want this. My clients do all their work from their Windows Virtual Machine...I find doing anything on the Raspberry Pi with regards to Internet Browsing to be far too slow. I also don't want my clients to do anything on the Raspberry Pi Thin Client...the less they touch the more likely that nothing will break Smile.

I hope my comments help.
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23-05-2014, 05:20 PM,
#4
RE: Using Thinclient with Win SBS 2003
(23-05-2014, 05:02 PM)greavette Wrote: Hello dbirk007,

I'm not sure I understand what you are asking? You say you don't want to remote desktop? Then how was your Dell workstation connecting to the Win 2003 server?

I'm thinking what you are saying is that your Dell workstation connected through remote desktop to your Win 2003 Server with an ID that was not the Administrator ID.

1- Can thinclient software connect to the win server 2003 and display the exact desktop that was being displayed for that particular user that had the Dell?

If you were connecting to the Win 2003 Server with a user id through remote desktop (mstsc) on the Dell workstation and you use the exact same user ID from the Raspberry Pi Thin Client you will see the exact same desktop. I do this regularly for my office's workstations and I've found Gibbio's rdp-gui to be invaluable for this. I set this app up so it's loaded on my Rpi Thin Client and all the person has to do is put in their ID and Password and they will connect through rdesktop.

2- If yes, can the user switch back to a linux-based view and minimize the server remote session?

To minimize the rdesktop connection, press the following keys at the same time:
CTRL Alt Enter
This will bring your rdesktop view out of full screen so you now see the border and the minimize buttons at the top right. Click on the minimize button and you will again see the rpitc desktop. Your remote desktop session is now on the taskbar at the bottom. To bring the remote desktop session back to full view maximize it again and press the same key combination:
CTRL ALT Enter
Not sure why you would want this. My clients do all their work from their Windows Virtual Machine...I find doing anything on the Raspberry Pi with regards to Internet Browsing to be far too slow. I also don't want my clients to do anything on the Raspberry Pi Thin Client...the less they touch the more likely that nothing will break Smile.

I hope my comments help.

^^^ Yes! This helps a great deal! You were correct, I did not just want to remote to the server admin desktop, but rather just show the exact view of the personalized desktop that was showing before the Dell went down. Thank you a million times over for clarifying that for me. As for the ability to switch back and forth...well, here is the story...right now, XP is EOL. This particular office is a medical office and HIPAA will immediately impose HEFTY fines for anyone using an XP machine with an internet connection.

Right now, the office must run XP because the management software only runs on this version. So, I intend to firewall the internet access from the server so when users log in and use the software they have no direct access to the internet. Satisfies HIPAA. Then, if an employee needs to get online (rare occasion) they can minimize the windows view that comes from the server and get online from the thinclient software...as a note, does the thinclient software come with a browser and can I download one? Again, I really appreciate everything...so much!
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23-05-2014, 05:57 PM,
#5
RE: Using Thinclient with Win SBS 2003
Glad I was able to clear some things up for you. So, do you have a Raspberry Pi yet in your possession to test this out?

With regards to XP...I have a similar issue but solved it this way. Windows 7 has XP mode which should theoretically allow you to run software that doesn't natively work on Windows 7 to work. It worked for me in my office...if you have Windows 7, load up the App and ensure you are using XP mode and give it a try. That might get you around this issue you are having with hefty fines.

The rpitc does come with a browser (Iceweasel I think) but I would caution you against using it until you have ensured your users are ok with the decreased speed they will notice when using it. Any kind of browsing on the Pi I've found to be too slow. Also, if you have a requirement from a website to only use IE then you can't do this from the Thin Client. Just somethings to consider. If you have a Raspberry Pi, load it up with rpitc...open your terminal and use the rdesktop instruction to connect to a workstation or server. Then try using the browser. Then you'll get a sense of what your clients/users will experience. I did a lot of testing before I dropped this into our office. I created scripts to help setup each thin client per workstation and I use cron jobs to autoconnect certain workstations that need to be always connected. It was a great learning experience for sure!

Good Luck! And you are right...this really is an amazing project!
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23-05-2014, 06:40 PM,
#6
RE: Using Thinclient with Win SBS 2003
(23-05-2014, 05:57 PM)greavette Wrote: Glad I was able to clear some things up for you. So, do you have a Raspberry Pi yet in your possession to test this out?

With regards to XP...I have a similar issue but solved it this way. Windows 7 has XP mode which should theoretically allow you to run software that doesn't natively work on Windows 7 to work. It worked for me in my office...if you have Windows 7, load up the App and ensure you are using XP mode and give it a try. That might get you around this issue you are having with hefty fines.

The rpitc does come with a browser (Iceweasel I think) but I would caution you against using it until you have ensured your users are ok with the decreased speed they will notice when using it. Any kind of browsing on the Pi I've found to be too slow. Also, if you have a requirement from a website to only use IE then you can't do this from the Thin Client. Just somethings to consider. If you have a Raspberry Pi, load it up with rpitc...open your terminal and use the rdesktop instruction to connect to a workstation or server. Then try using the browser. Then you'll get a sense of what your clients/users will experience. I did a lot of testing before I dropped this into our office. I created scripts to help setup each thin client per workstation and I use cron jobs to autoconnect certain workstations that need to be always connected. It was a great learning experience for sure!

Good Luck! And you are right...this really is an amazing project!

Again, thank you so much! Yes, I have three RPi's...the other two I set up to stream OPUS audio codec over IP to help a radio station get around buying 20k worth of hardware and decreased latency to around 200ms. I have been playing around with the Pi for about a year, so I am definitely aware of the browser speeds. (Maybe this will keep them from playing on the internet - lol!) Anyway, I actually just completed deleting disk partitions with diskpart on a new SD card.

I downloaded the latest image (5 I think) and I am now writing to the card via RoadKill app. It is about 85% complete. I am at my home lab, but will take it to the client for testing today or over the weekend. I am EXCITED! I am such a geek, I know! lol - Anyway, if I could ask you something else...if I wanted the RPi thinclient app to run when the Pi was powered on, what should I do? I don't want to automatically populate username and password for security...just start the login screen...any thoughts? Thank you so freaking much! BTW, if you ever need to pick my brain on what I have attempted with the RPi thus far, jsut let me know! - My name is Dennis BTW.
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23-05-2014, 07:44 PM,
#7
RE: Using Thinclient with Win SBS 2003
(23-05-2014, 06:40 PM)dbirk007 Wrote:
(23-05-2014, 05:57 PM)greavette Wrote: Glad I was able to clear some things up for you. So, do you have a Raspberry Pi yet in your possession to test this out?

With regards to XP...I have a similar issue but solved it this way. Windows 7 has XP mode which should theoretically allow you to run software that doesn't natively work on Windows 7 to work. It worked for me in my office...if you have Windows 7, load up the App and ensure you are using XP mode and give it a try. That might get you around this issue you are having with hefty fines.

The rpitc does come with a browser (Iceweasel I think) but I would caution you against using it until you have ensured your users are ok with the decreased speed they will notice when using it. Any kind of browsing on the Pi I've found to be too slow. Also, if you have a requirement from a website to only use IE then you can't do this from the Thin Client. Just somethings to consider. If you have a Raspberry Pi, load it up with rpitc...open your terminal and use the rdesktop instruction to connect to a workstation or server. Then try using the browser. Then you'll get a sense of what your clients/users will experience. I did a lot of testing before I dropped this into our office. I created scripts to help setup each thin client per workstation and I use cron jobs to autoconnect certain workstations that need to be always connected. It was a great learning experience for sure!

Good Luck! And you are right...this really is an amazing project!

Again, thank you so much! Yes, I have three RPi's...the other two I set up to stream OPUS audio codec over IP to help a radio station get around buying 20k worth of hardware and decreased latency to around 200ms. I have been playing around with the Pi for about a year, so I am definitely aware of the browser speeds. (Maybe this will keep them from playing on the internet - lol!) Anyway, I actually just completed deleting disk partitions with diskpart on a new SD card.

I downloaded the latest image (5 I think) and I am now writing to the card via RoadKill app. It is about 85% complete. I am at my home lab, but will take it to the client for testing today or over the weekend. I am EXCITED! I am such a geek, I know! lol - Anyway, if I could ask you something else...if I wanted the RPi thinclient app to run when the Pi was powered on, what should I do? I don't want to automatically populate username and password for security...just start the login screen...any thoughts? Thank you so freaking much! BTW, if you ever need to pick my brain on what I have attempted with the RPi thus far, jsut let me know! - My name is Dennis BTW.

I have it up and running! However, I clicked on the X2GO icon, and a screen comes up with name "new session" - It is asking for a Host and Login...and SSH port. This is new to me...I am not a pro...usually, the employees click ctl+alt+del to login to the host server and gain access to their individual desktops. Is this a step before that? I guess I am unsure of what the login is...the host is the server name, correct? Thank you again!!
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23-05-2014, 08:17 PM,
#8
RE: Using Thinclient with Win SBS 2003
Nice to meet you Dennis. I'm Charles. I'm by no means a pro either but I'll help you if I can. Smile Sounds like you've done some interesting things with the Pi already as well.

I don't know exactly what you are using in your home lab, but if you are mimicking your client's medical office then you probably aren't using x2go. x2go uses NX Technology - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NX_technology. I haven't used this in quite some time and don't have a system setup to assist you with testing...but suffice it to say you need know the details listed to login.

If you meant to use rdesktop, open your lxterminal and use rdesktop like so:

rdesktop -f -z -u <enter user id> -p <enter password> -d <enter domain name> 192.168.x.x

This is just a test to make sure it's going to allow you to connect to a windows virtual machine (or physical...whatever) using the linux rdesktop app.
-f means full screen
-z enables compression and makes it a faster experience
-u is the login id. Optional. If you don't put that in, when you connect to Windows you will be asked which user id to use
-p is the password. Optional for your test. When you connect to Windows you will be asked for a password
192.168.x.x is the IP address of the machine you are connecting too.
-d Domain Name. Optional. If you don't have a domain setup then don't include this.

If this test works then you should connect to a Windows computer in full screen mode. Use the keys I mentioned earlier to help you minimize your rdesktop session and try browsing the net with the thin clients browser.

This is only for testing.

For your clients day to day use I would suggest you use Gibbio's rdp-gui application. You can download it from here.
http://rpitc.blogspot.ca/2013/09/freerdp...lient.html

Make sure you install Python-qt4 first (after updaing your repos of course)
sudo apt-get install python-qt4

Setup the rdp-gui config using these parameters:
https://github.com/Gibbio/RDPGUI

There might be a bug in the code still. If you can't connect due to a domain issue then look at the comments section of when rdp-gui was announced. You have to update as follows the following rdpgui.py code:

On line 141 change config.get("DEFAULT", RDPDomain) for onfig.get("DEFAULT", "RDPDomain")
(right, just quote RDPDomain)

Ok, now that you have rdp-gui installed add it to your autostart file:
@python /usr/bin/rdpgui.py

Now when you restart your rpitc you will see the RDP-Gui on the desktop waiting for the Username and Password of the Windows Machine you are connecting too. You can then create a customized config file for each Thin Client that points to the Server you want that workstation to connect too. It's not an automatic way to connect you to a workstation (I have another way to do that), but it does look professional in my opinion with a waiting username and password GUI for your clients to use to connect to the workstation they need to use.

Let me know how you make out with your testing.
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23-05-2014, 09:44 PM,
#9
RE: Using Thinclient with Win SBS 2003
(23-05-2014, 08:17 PM)greavette Wrote: Nice to meet you Dennis. I'm Charles. I'm by no means a pro either but I'll help you if I can. Smile Sounds like you've done some interesting things with the Pi already as well.

I don't know exactly what you are using in your home lab, but if you are mimicking your client's medical office then you probably aren't using x2go. x2go uses NX Technology - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NX_technology. I haven't used this in quite some time and don't have a system setup to assist you with testing...but suffice it to say you need know the details listed to login.

If you meant to use rdesktop, open your lxterminal and use rdesktop like so:

rdesktop -f -z -u <enter user id> -p <enter password> -d <enter domain name> 192.168.x.x

This is just a test to make sure it's going to allow you to connect to a windows virtual machine (or physical...whatever) using the linux rdesktop app.
-f means full screen
-z enables compression and makes it a faster experience
-u is the login id. Optional. If you don't put that in, when you connect to Windows you will be asked which user id to use
-p is the password. Optional for your test. When you connect to Windows you will be asked for a password
192.168.x.x is the IP address of the machine you are connecting too.
-d Domain Name. Optional. If you don't have a domain setup then don't include this.

If this test works then you should connect to a Windows computer in full screen mode. Use the keys I mentioned earlier to help you minimize your rdesktop session and try browsing the net with the thin clients browser.

This is only for testing.

For your clients day to day use I would suggest you use Gibbio's rdp-gui application. You can download it from here.
http://rpitc.blogspot.ca/2013/09/freerdp...lient.html

Make sure you install Python-qt4 first (after updaing your repos of course)
sudo apt-get install python-qt4

Setup the rdp-gui config using these parameters:
https://github.com/Gibbio/RDPGUI

There might be a bug in the code still. If you can't connect due to a domain issue then look at the comments section of when rdp-gui was announced. You have to update as follows the following rdpgui.py code:

On line 141 change config.get("DEFAULT", RDPDomain) for onfig.get("DEFAULT", "RDPDomain")
(right, just quote RDPDomain)

Ok, now that you have rdp-gui installed add it to your autostart file:
@python /usr/bin/rdpgui.py

Now when you restart your rpitc you will see the RDP-Gui on the desktop waiting for the Username and Password of the Windows Machine you are connecting too. You can then create a customized config file for each Thin Client that points to the Server you want that workstation to connect too. It's not an automatic way to connect you to a workstation (I have another way to do that), but it does look professional in my opinion with a waiting username and password GUI for your clients to use to connect to the workstation they need to use.

Let me know how you make out with your testing.

Thank you! I think I am just going to just go for the production enviro with the RDP-Gui - you mentioned updating the repos before installing...I am not familiar with doing this within thinclient - Do I jsut open a terminal and sudo apt-get update and then sudo apt-get upgrade? Then install the python gt-4?

Also, are you saying the this gui based program is all I need to connect within thinclient to the client desktop? I love the fact that they enter a login and username just as they do now...they don't have to figure anything out...they are not capable of even the smallest of changes - lol!

I guess from what I understand, then, I do not need any of the applications already installed on the thinclient program, just the RDP-GUI you are referring to? I love this even MORE! Thank you again...really- I mean that. I live in Louisville, KY in USA BTW - You?
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23-05-2014, 10:40 PM, (This post was last modified: 23-05-2014, 10:44 PM by greavette.)
#10
RE: Using Thinclient with Win SBS 2003
I'm from Canada eh. Smile

You are correct, I remove all other shortcuts from my rpitc and have only the rdp-gui and conky details left. Looks very clean in my opinion.

Ok Dennis, let's get you going with installing RDP-Gui in your test lab at home.

From your rpitc terminal update your repos using this instruction:
sudo apt-get update

You can if you like do an upgrade of all code as well using sudo apt-get upgrade but you don't need to at this time. But at some point it's a good idea to update all apps.

Now install python-qt4
sudo apt-get install python-qt4

Now go here and download the zip file for rdp-gui. I did the download and transfer of files from a Windows PC to my Raspberry Pi via winscp.
https://github.com/Gibbio/RDPGUI

Unzip it and transfer all files to your /home/rpitc/ folder. I created a tmp folder and dumped them all there.

Now login to your pi thin client and open the terminal (or if you are still on Windows with the transfer of these files, open putty and do the following) and navigate to where you transferred the files too. Copy all the files to the /usr/bin/ folder:

sudo cp rdp* /usr/bin/
sudo cp *.png /usr/bin/

The above commands will copy all the important bits to the /usr/bin folder.

Still using your terminal change directory go to your /usr/bin/ folder:

cd /usr/bin/

And edit your rdpgui.ini file:

sudo nano rdpgui.ini

Nano will allow you edit the contents of this file (sorry if you already know this, but I just want to be thorough with my instructions in case you don't know...or if anyone else happens by this post and needs assistance).

Adjust the settings in this file to use rdesktop. Mine looks as follows (with some of the important details left out of course):

[DEFAULT]
RDPBinary = rdesktop
RDPDomain = swdomain
RDPServer = Server1 Workstation1 192.168.3.198
RDPDomainFlags = "-d"
RDPServerFlags = ""
RDPUserFlags = "-u"
RDPPasswordFlags = "-p"
RDPDefaulfFlags = "-x l -f"
RDPExtraFlags = "-z"

The details of how to setup the .ini file can be found here:
https://github.com/Gibbio/RDPGUI

In my instructions I'm not passing sound to my windows virtual machine. Make sure you have -z for compression and -f for fullscreen (unless you don't want fullscreen that is). If you don't have a domain then remove the -d option and leave the RDPDOMAIN blank.
You will also notice that the Server field is actually a drop down menu. In my file above I'm using my DNS names in our office to allow the user to connect to either Server1 or Workstation1 or IP 192.168.3.198 (not the real DNS names or IP in my office by the way. Smile ). Anyway, if you want to have people have a choice of which server/workstation to connect to, leave a space between each DNS or IP you input into this field. Or you can put only one server name/ip if you like if you don't want them to have the choice.

Now save your rdpgui.ini file by pressing <ctrl> x and select y to save.

To make sure you don't have problems I Looked at the rdpgui.py code and that issue I mentioned appears to be fixed now with the missing quotes so you should be good to go.

Now from the terminal you can edit your autostart file:
nano /home/rpitc/.config/lxsession/LXDE/autostart

Or you can right click on your rpitc desktop and edit the same autostart file. Add in the call to start the rdp-gui app. I added it just after the other commented out apps. My autostart looks as follows:

#@virt-viewer
#@x2goclient
@python /usr/bin/rdpgui.py
######################################################

Save the file and reboot your rpitc. Now when you login you will see the rdp-gui app on your desktop. You can't move it...it's embedded on the desktop and will stay there.

Login to the Windows machine with your login credentials and clickety-click You're remote connecting to your machine via this amazing rpitc O/S Gibbio has built for us!
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