Dell | Wyse Enhanced Ubuntu Linux T50 | ThinLinc Administrator`s Guide for ThinLinc 4.3.0

ThinLinc Administrator`s Guide for ThinLinc 4.3.0
ThinLinc Administrator’s Guide for ThinLinc 4.3.0
ThinLinc Administrator’s Guide for ThinLinc 4.3.0
Copyright © 2014 Cendio AB
Table of Contents
I. Introduction ............................................................................................................................................1
1. Introduction ....................................................................................................................................1
1.1. About the Documentation..................................................................................................1
1.2. Finding More Information.................................................................................................1
2. ThinLinc Architecture....................................................................................................................3
2.1. Session Overview ..............................................................................................................4
II. Installation.............................................................................................................................................5
3. Installation......................................................................................................................................5
3.1. Overview ...........................................................................................................................5
3.2. Server Requirements..........................................................................................................5
3.2.1. ThinLinc System and Software Requirements .....................................................5
3.2.2. Windows RDP Server Requirements ....................................................................6
3.2.3. Server Sizing.........................................................................................................6
3.3. Preparing the Network for ThinLinc Installation ..............................................................7
3.3.1. A Simple ThinLinc Setup .....................................................................................7
3.3.2. ThinLinc in a Novell Network ..............................................................................8
3.3.3. ThinLinc in a Windows Network..........................................................................9
3.3.4. ThinLinc in a NAT/Split-DNS Environment ......................................................10
3.3.5. Using the ThinLinc HTML5 Client ....................................................................12
3.3.6. Other Services Required by ThinLinc Servers ...................................................12
3.4. Installing the ThinLinc Terminal Server .........................................................................12
3.4.1. Starting the Installation Program ........................................................................13
3.5. Upgrading an Old Installation .........................................................................................13
3.5.1. Acquire New Licenses ........................................................................................13
3.5.2. Run the Installation Program ..............................................................................13
3.5.3. Update Configuration Files .................................................................................13
3.5.4. Run tl-setup.........................................................................................................14
3.6. SELinux enabled distributions.........................................................................................14
3.7. The ThinLinc WTS Tools Package .................................................................................15
3.7.1. Overview.............................................................................................................15
3.7.2. Installing the WTS Tools Package on Windows Terminal Servers.....................16
3.8. VirtualGL.........................................................................................................................16
3.8.1. Overview.............................................................................................................16
3.8.2. Installation and configuration .............................................................................16
4. License Handling .........................................................................................................................19
4.1. Overview .........................................................................................................................19
4.2. License Counting.............................................................................................................19
4.3. Location and format of License Files..............................................................................19
4.4. Log Files and E-mail Messages.......................................................................................19
4.5. Checking the Number of Valid Licenses .........................................................................20
5. Printer Features ............................................................................................................................21
5.1. Overview of ThinLinc Printer Features...........................................................................21
5.2. Printer Configuration Overview ......................................................................................21
5.2.1. CUPS Browsing ..................................................................................................22
5.2.2. CUPS configuration on the Machine Running VSM Server ..............................22
5.2.3. CUPS configuration on the Machine running VSM Agent ................................22
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5.3. Local printer support .......................................................................................................23
5.3.1. Theory of operation.............................................................................................23
5.3.2. Device independent mode...................................................................................23
5.3.3. Device dependent mode ......................................................................................24
5.3.4. Installation and Configuration.............................................................................24
5.3.5. Parallel port emulation........................................................................................24
5.4. Nearest printer support ....................................................................................................25
5.4.1. Administration of the Nearest Printer Feature in ThinLinc ................................25
5.4.2. Nearest Printer Selection Algorithm...................................................................26
5.4.3. Printer Drivers.....................................................................................................26
5.5. Printer Access Control.....................................................................................................26
5.5.1. Theory of Operation............................................................................................27
5.5.2. Requirements ......................................................................................................27
5.5.3. Activating the Printer Access Control Feature ...................................................27
5.5.4. Configuration ......................................................................................................28
5.6. Printer Configuration on Windows Terminal Servers......................................................28
5.6.1. Configuration ......................................................................................................29
5.6.2. Persistent Printer Settings ...................................................................................29
6. High Availability (HA).................................................................................................................31
6.1. Overview .........................................................................................................................31
6.1.1. Background - Reasons For a HA Setup ..............................................................31
6.1.2. Solution - Elimination of Single Point of Failure ...............................................32
6.1.3. Theory of Operation............................................................................................32
6.2. Configuration of ThinLinc for HA Operations................................................................33
6.2.1. Installation of a New HA Cluster........................................................................33
6.2.2. Reconfiguring an existing ThinLinc Installation into HA mode ........................34
6.3. Recovering from hardware failures .................................................................................34
6.3.1. Recovering from Minor Failures.........................................................................34
6.3.2. Recovering from Catastrophic Failure ................................................................35
7. The ThinLinc Client.....................................................................................................................37
7.1. Client usage .....................................................................................................................37
7.1.1. The started ThinLinc client.................................................................................37
7.1.2. Logging in to a ThinLinc server .........................................................................37
7.1.3. Language Settings...............................................................................................39
7.1.4. The ThinLinc session life cycle ..........................................................................39
7.1.5. The session menu................................................................................................40
7.2. Running the ThinLinc client from the command line .....................................................40
7.3. Local device export .........................................................................................................43
7.3.1. Sound device (Windows and UNIX only) ..........................................................43
7.3.2. Serial ports (Windows and UNIX only)..............................................................44
7.3.3. Drives ..................................................................................................................44
7.3.4. Printer..................................................................................................................44
7.3.5. Smart Card Readers ............................................................................................44
7.4. Client configuration .........................................................................................................45
7.4.1. Options tab ..........................................................................................................45
7.4.2. Local Devices tab................................................................................................47
7.4.3. Screen tab............................................................................................................51
7.4.4. Optimization tab..................................................................................................52
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7.4.5. Security tab .........................................................................................................55
7.5. The XDM mode (UNIX only).........................................................................................59
7.5.1. The XDM mode Control Panel ...........................................................................59
7.6. Logfile placement ............................................................................................................62
7.6.1. UNIX log file ......................................................................................................62
7.6.2. Windows log file .................................................................................................62
7.7. Client configuration storage ............................................................................................63
7.7.1. Overview and Parameters ...................................................................................63
7.7.2. Configuration Parameter Storage ........................................................................70
7.7.3. Adding Custom Branding to the ThinLinc Client Login Window .....................70
7.8. Client Customizer............................................................................................................71
7.8.1. Introduction.........................................................................................................71
7.8.2. Installation...........................................................................................................71
7.8.3. Building a Customized Client.............................................................................71
7.8.4. Adding SSH Host Keys to settings.reg........................................................71
7.9. Advanced Topics .............................................................................................................72
7.9.1. Hardware Address Reporting..............................................................................72
7.9.2. Client Update Notifications.................................................................................72
8. Client Platforms ...........................................................................................................................73
8.1. Windows ..........................................................................................................................73
8.1.1. Requirements ......................................................................................................73
8.1.2. Installing the Windows Client.............................................................................73
8.1.3. Running the Windows Client ..............................................................................73
8.2. Mac OS X ........................................................................................................................73
8.2.1. Requirements ......................................................................................................73
8.2.2. Installing the Mac OS X Client...........................................................................73
8.2.3. Running the Mac OS X Client ............................................................................74
8.2.4. Command and Alt Keys on Mac OS X...............................................................74
8.3. Linux PC..........................................................................................................................74
8.3.1. Requirements ......................................................................................................74
8.3.2. Installing the Linux Client ..................................................................................74
8.3.3. Running the Linux Client ...................................................................................76
8.4. Solaris ..............................................................................................................................76
8.4.1. Requirements ......................................................................................................77
8.4.2. Installing the Solaris Client.................................................................................77
8.4.3. Running the Solaris Client ..................................................................................77
8.5. Thin Terminals.................................................................................................................77
8.5.1. Neoware Terminals .............................................................................................77
8.5.2. eLux-based Thin Terminals (Fujitsu Futro et. al.) ..............................................77
8.5.3. VXL ....................................................................................................................79
8.5.4. HP ThinPro Terminals ........................................................................................79
8.5.5. IGEL Universal Desktop.....................................................................................80
8.5.6. Dell Wyse-Enhanced SuSE Linux Terminals .....................................................80
8.5.7. Dell Wyse-Enhanced Ubuntu Linux Terminals ..................................................81
8.5.8. Other Thin Terminals..........................................................................................81
8.6. Running ThinLinc on a Thinstation terminal ..................................................................81
8.6.1. Installing and Building the Package ...................................................................82
8.6.2. Configuring the ThinLinc client when running on a Thinstation Terminal ........82
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8.7. Web Integration and HTML5 Browser Client .................................................................84
8.7.1. Launching the Native Client From a Web Page..................................................84
8.7.2. The CGI Script tlclient.cgi..................................................................................85
8.7.3. ThinLinc Web Access (HTML5 Client) .............................................................87
9. Authentication in ThinLinc ..........................................................................................................91
9.1. Pluggable Authentication Modules .................................................................................91
9.1.1. Configuration files for PAM................................................................................91
9.2. Limitations.......................................................................................................................91
9.3. Using Novell eDirectory with ThinLinc..........................................................................91
9.3.1. Configuring eDirectory and ThinLinc with TLNC.............................................92
9.3.2. Acquiring the SSL CA Certificate from eDirectory ...........................................95
9.3.3. Allowing Clear Text Passwords (bind operations)..............................................95
9.3.4. Using eDirectory User and Group Objects with ThinLinc .................................95
9.3.5. Forcing Users to Change Passwords in an eDirectory Environment ..................99
9.3.6. Configuring Windows Terminal Servers with Netware Client for Single Sign-On
101
9.4. Using Public Key Authentication ..................................................................................101
9.4.1. Introduction.......................................................................................................101
9.4.2. Key Generation .................................................................................................102
9.4.3. Server Configuration.........................................................................................102
9.4.4. Client Configuration .........................................................................................102
9.5. Using Smart Card Public Key Authentication...............................................................102
9.5.1. Introduction.......................................................................................................103
9.5.2. General Requirements.......................................................................................103
9.5.3. Key Generation .................................................................................................103
9.5.4. Server Configuration.........................................................................................103
9.5.5. Client Configuration .........................................................................................104
9.5.6. Automatic Connection ......................................................................................104
9.5.7. LDAP Automatic Update (tl-ldap-certalias) .....................................................104
9.6. Using One Time Passwords...........................................................................................108
9.6.1. Introduction.......................................................................................................108
9.6.2. General Requirements.......................................................................................108
9.6.3. Configuration for NordicEdge One Time Password Server..............................108
9.6.4. Configuration for RSA SecurID........................................................................109
10. File Access ...............................................................................................................................111
10.1. Accessing Windows File Servers ................................................................................111
10.1.1. Introduction.....................................................................................................111
10.1.2. Requirements ..................................................................................................111
10.1.3. Mounting and Unmounting Shares .................................................................112
10.2. Accessing Novell Netware File Servers ......................................................................113
10.2.1. Introduction.....................................................................................................113
10.2.2. Using NCPFS to Access Novell File Servers .................................................113
10.2.3. Using the Native Novell Client to Access Novell File Servers.......................116
10.2.4. Accessing Novell Netware File Servers using NFS........................................117
10.3. Restricting write access to users home directory ........................................................122
10.3.1. Introduction.....................................................................................................122
10.3.2. Activation........................................................................................................122
10.3.3. Configuration ..................................................................................................122
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10.3.4. Security Considerations and Limitations ........................................................123
11. Connecting to Windows Terminal Servers...............................................................................125
11.1. Introduction .................................................................................................................125
11.2. Single Sign-On ............................................................................................................125
11.2.1. Information .....................................................................................................125
11.2.2. Smart card .......................................................................................................125
11.3. Connection Modes.......................................................................................................125
11.3.1. Running a Windows Desktop in a Window ....................................................125
11.3.2. Running a Windows Desktop in Fullscreen....................................................126
11.3.3. Running a WTS application in Standard Mode ..............................................126
11.3.4. Running a WTS application in SeamlessRDP Mode......................................126
III. Administration ................................................................................................................................129
12. Accessing Client Resources from the Terminal Server............................................................129
12.1. Accessing the Clients Local Drives.............................................................................129
12.1.1. Introduction.....................................................................................................129
12.1.2. Mounting and Unmounting Local Drives .......................................................129
12.1.3. Accessing local drives from Windows Terminal Servers................................130
12.1.4. Mounting Drives at Login...............................................................................130
12.1.5. Limitations and additional information ..........................................................130
12.2. Using Serial Port redirection .......................................................................................130
12.2.1. Introduction.....................................................................................................131
12.2.2. Requirements ..................................................................................................131
12.2.3. Enabling Serial Port Redirection ....................................................................131
12.2.4. Accessing the redirected port from applications.............................................131
12.2.5. Limitations and additional information ..........................................................131
12.3. Using Sound Device Redirection ................................................................................132
12.3.1. Introduction.....................................................................................................132
12.3.2. Requirements ..................................................................................................132
12.3.3. Using sound redirection with UNIX applications...........................................132
12.3.4. Using sound redirection with Windows Terminal Servers..............................134
12.3.5. Limitations and additional information ..........................................................135
12.4. Using Smart Card Redirection.....................................................................................135
12.4.1. Introduction.....................................................................................................135
12.4.2. Requirements ..................................................................................................135
12.4.3. Enabling Smart Card Redirection ...................................................................135
12.4.4. Limitations and additional information ..........................................................135
13. Commands on the ThinLinc Server .........................................................................................137
14. Server Configuration ................................................................................................................147
14.1. Configuring ThinLinc Servers in a Cluster .................................................................147
14.1.1. Configuration Options.....................................................................................147
14.1.2. Cluster Management .......................................................................................147
14.2. Server Configuration Parameters.................................................................................148
14.2.1. Parameters in /vsmagent/ ................................................................................149
14.2.2. Parameters in /vsmserver/ ...............................................................................151
14.2.3. Parameters in /vsm/.........................................................................................153
14.2.4. Parameters in /appservergroups/ .....................................................................154
14.2.5. Parameters in /sessionstart/ .............................................................................155
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14.2.6. Parameters in /tlwebadm/................................................................................156
14.2.7. Parameters in /webaccess/...............................................................................156
14.3. Configuring Logging on ThinLinc servers ..................................................................156
14.3.1. ThinLinc server components...........................................................................156
14.3.2. Per-Session Logging .......................................................................................158
14.4. Customizing the User’s Session ..................................................................................158
14.4.1. Session startup - the big picture ......................................................................158
14.4.2. Session startup on VSM Agent .......................................................................160
14.4.3. Profiles and the standard xstartup.default file. ................................................161
14.4.4. Session Startup with a Client Supplied Start Program ...................................163
14.4.5. Configuring available profiles .........................................................................163
14.4.6. Configuring different Linux Desktops based on the selected profile..............165
14.4.7. Speeding up Session Startup...........................................................................165
14.4.8. Configuring the language environment on the server based on the client
language ............................................................................................................165
14.4.9. Forcing sessions for some users to certain agent hosts...................................165
14.4.10. Indicating that Shadowing is in Progress......................................................166
14.5. Limiting Lifetime of ThinLinc Sessions .....................................................................166
14.6. Restricting SSH Daemon Port Forwarding .................................................................167
15. Hiveconf ...................................................................................................................................169
15.1. Overview .....................................................................................................................169
15.1.1. Basic Syntax....................................................................................................169
15.1.2. Tree Structure..................................................................................................169
15.1.3. Mounting Datasources ....................................................................................170
15.1.4. Hostwide Configuration ..................................................................................170
15.1.5. Hiveconf Tools ................................................................................................171
15.2. Hiveconf and ThinLinc................................................................................................171
15.2.1. The ThinLinc Configuration Tool - tl-config..................................................171
16. Administration of ThinLinc using the Web Administration Interface .....................................173
16.1. Introduction .................................................................................................................173
16.2. Configuring tlwebadm .................................................................................................173
16.3. Modules .......................................................................................................................173
16.3.1. The System Health Module ............................................................................174
16.3.2. The Status Module ..........................................................................................174
16.3.3. The VSM Module ...........................................................................................175
16.3.4. The Profiles Module........................................................................................177
16.3.5. The Locations Module ....................................................................................179
16.3.6. The Desktop Customizer Module ...................................................................182
16.3.7. The Application Servers Module ....................................................................183
16.3.8. The Novell Configurator Module....................................................................186
17. Building Custom Linux Desktops with the ThinLinc Desktop Customizer ............................187
17.1. Introduction .................................................................................................................187
17.2. Using the ThinLinc Desktop Customizer ....................................................................187
17.2.1. Concepts..........................................................................................................187
17.2.2. Using the ThinLinc Desktop Customizer .......................................................189
17.2.3. Handling Applications ....................................................................................189
17.2.4. Defining a Menu Structure..............................................................................191
17.2.5. Defining Application Groups..........................................................................192
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17.2.6. Distribute Configuration to all agent hosts .....................................................194
17.3. Enabling the Custom Desktops for users.....................................................................194
17.4. Tips & Tricks with TLDC ...........................................................................................194
17.4.1. Unwanted Icons on the Desktop with KDE....................................................195
17.4.2. File Associations for Applications Not In the Menu ......................................195
17.4.3. Home Icon not Working in KDE? ..................................................................195
IV. Appendixes .......................................................................................................................................197
A. TCP Ports Used by ThinLinc ....................................................................................................197
A.1. On Machine Running VSM Server...............................................................................197
A.2. On Machine Running VSM Agent ...............................................................................197
A.3. On Windows Terminal Servers .....................................................................................199
B. Troubleshooting ThinLinc.........................................................................................................201
B.1. General troubleshooting method...................................................................................201
B.2. Troubleshooting Specific Problems ..............................................................................202
B.2.1. Problems Where the Client Reports an Error...................................................202
B.2.2. Problems that Occur After Session Start..........................................................204
C. Manually Configuring Integration with Novell eDirectory.......................................................205
C.1. Schema extensions ........................................................................................................205
C.2. Increasing performance by adding an index on some Attributes..................................205
C.3. Removing Attribute Mappings .....................................................................................206
C.4. Adding nss_map_attribute statements to /etc/ldap.conf .......................................206
C.5. Creating a DN for search operations.............................................................................206
C.6. Creating the DN used to modify users in the directory ................................................208
D. Configuring CUPS queues on Windows Terminal Servers .......................................................209
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Chapter 1. Introduction
1.1. About the Documentation
This document is separated into five parts. This, the first part, is an introduction to the subject with
general information about the product. The second part is about how to install different components in
ThinLinc and integrate those with other systems, such as user account databases and file servers. Part
three discusses the administration of ThinLinc after it is installed. The last part contains appendices with
extra information.
Note: Before you start using ThinLinc, please read the release notes supplied in both Server and
Client Bundles and online at http://www.cendio.com/
(http://www.cendio.com/resources/docs/relnotes/)
1.2. Finding More Information
If you need more information about ThinLinc, contact your supplier and/or visit the ThinLinc homepage,
http://www.cendio.com/. At the ThinLinc homepage you will find information about courses, upgrades,
etc.
If you need more information about Linux, we recommend looking at the Linux Documentation Project
homepage (http://www.tldp.org/) as well as the homepage for your Linux distribution.
1
Chapter 1. Introduction
2
Chapter 2. ThinLinc Architecture
The goal of this chapter is to give a technical overview of how the system works for someone who will
install or maintain a ThinLinc installation.
ThinLinc is a product for managing server based computing. The system is largely based on open source
software, which has led to an expansion of the product to encompass solutions for authentication,
availability systems, emulation and conversion between different computer systems. ThinLinc can be
used as a gateway between different types of clients and a large number of base systems.
The system architecture allows an existing infrastructure to be maintained while a new architecture is
gradually introduced to the organization. The system can be launched alongside the existing systems for
a gradual migration to a new platform, and at the same time it acts as a link or gateway between the
existing systems.
The architecture is designed to be flexible in order to handle larger organizations with autonomous office
applications or functions, whilst maintaining management and security. The system can be supplemented
with an automated system for installation, configuration and administration of the client hardware, such
as through the use of PXE. It’s also possible to create different user groups. In this way departments with
special needs are easily administered in the case of adaptations or user-driven application development.
Figure 2-1. The System Architecture of ThinLinc
3
Chapter 2. ThinLinc Architecture
Figure 2-1 gives an overview of the ThinLinc architecture.
Several different clients can be used to connect to a ThinLinc system. Clients are available for Linux,
OSX, Solaris and Windows, as well as a client for any web browser with support for HTML5.
The clients connect to a ThinLinc system located on the Local Area Network (LAN) or on a Wide Area
Network (WAN) such as the Internet. Depending on the network type and the bandwidth available,
several bandwidth-saving algorithms can be used to provide good performance even over narrow-banded
links. Encryption is used to secure all information sent between the client and the server.
When a user connects to a ThinLinc server, a session is created. This session is the user’s starting point
for running applications either on the ThinLinc server(s) or on other servers reachable from the ThinLinc
server. ThinLinc has a Single Sign-On (SSO) mechanism that enables passwordless but secure logins to
(for example) Windows Terminal Servers and other Unix Servers running special applications.
The ThinLinc servers can run either Linux or Solaris. There is support for High Availability and
advanced two-level load balancing.
2.1. Session Overview
When a user logs in from a native ThinLinc client, the following will happen:
4
•
The client establishes a SSH tunnel to the server entered in the server field of the client interface. If
this fails, then the login process will be interrupted and an error message will be displayed.
•
The client tries to authenticate with the VSM server, through the SSH tunnel. The VSM server (VNC
Session Manager) is the main process of ThinLinc, responsible for allocating and keeping track of user
sessions.
•
If the authentication succeeds, the server will check if there already exists a session for the user. If
there is a session, then information about it will be returned. If there is no session a new one will be
started on a terminal server and information about it will be returned. If more than one terminal server
exists, load balancing will be used to select which server to start a session on.
•
The client now disconnects the SSH tunnel to the VSM server and checks the information it received
to see which terminal server it should connect against.
•
The client now establishes a new SSH tunnel to the VSM agent server it received information about
from the VSM server. Port forwarding for VNC is always established, as well as other ports depending
on which local devices have been enabled. All tunnels are multiplexed over the same SSH connection.
•
The client now starts the VNC viewer, which will connect to the remote VNC server via the SSH
tunnel.
Chapter 3. Installation
3.1. Overview
This chapter describes how to install the ThinLinc software on ThinLinc Linux Terminal Servers and MS
Windows Terminal Servers. To upgrade an existing installation, see Section 3.5.
1. If your setup includes a MS Windows Terminal Server, we suggest installing this machine first. In
addition, install the WTS Tools package on the Windows server, following the instructions in
Section 3.7.
2. Read through any platform-specific notes for your distribution. These can be found at
http://www.cendio.com/resources/docs/platforms.
3. Install the ThinLinc Master machine, following the instructions in Section 3.4.1.
4. Optionally, install the ThinLinc Slave machines.
3.2. Server Requirements
3.2.1. ThinLinc System and Software Requirements
•
A 32-bit, LSB-compliant Linux distribution, based on GLIBC 2.3.4 or greater, with RPM or dpkg
support. An i686 (or compatible) CPU with MMX and SSE support is required.
or
A 64-bit, LSB-compliant Linux distribution, based on GLIBC 2.5.1 or greater, with RPM or dpkg
support. An x86_64 (or compatible) CPU is required.
or
Oracle Solaris® 10 on SPARC.
•
GLib 2.x
•
Python 2.4 or newer 2.X version
•
PyGTK 2.10.0 or newer
•
python-ldap (only required when using eDirectory integration, see Section 9.3)
•
CUPS (Common UNIX Printing System) (only required when using nearest printer or local printers,
see Chapter 5)
•
An SSH (secure shell) server
As long as your platform fulfills the requirements above, ThinLinc should work as expected. As part of
the quality assurance work for each release, ThinLinc is tested extensively on a few platforms. For this
release of ThinLinc, the list of such platforms are:
•
Red Hat® Enterprise Linux Server 7 (64-bit)
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Chapter 3. Installation
•
SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 SP3® (64-bit)
•
Ubuntu Desktop® 14.04 (64-bit)
•
Oracle Solaris® 10 on SPARC
3.2.2. Windows RDP Server Requirements
•
Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2,
Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Both 32- and 64-bit systems are supported.
Note: At this time, SeamlessRDP are not supported by Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server
2012 R2.
3.2.3. Server Sizing
The amount of computer resources needed to run a ThinLinc cluster varies greatly with the number of
users, the type of hardware used for the servers, the application mix run by the users and the type of
users. Trying to estimate the number of servers needed for a specific cluster is not something that can be
done using a predefined table of facts. Instead decisions should be made based on benchmarks and
experience.
Below, we will try to give some ideas on what kind of resources are needed based on customer
experience. With time and experience from your own cluster with your own application set, you will
work out your own set of figures.
It is important to remember that the ThinLinc load balancing feature makes it easy to add another server
when the need arises. Start out with a number of servers and add more as the load increases.
3.2.3.1. Types of Resources
There are several types of resources needed in a ThinLinc cluster.
•
Disk
About 100MiB of disk is needed for the software and data being part of ThinLinc. Each active session
also requires a very small amount of data (normally less than 100KiB) for storage of session data and
the session log. In addition to that, there must be disk available for the operating system, the
applications users run and logs.
•
CPU
The amount of CPU is very hard to estimate as it depends completely on the set of applications run by
the users, and also on how active the users are as well as which response times are accepted by the
users. A server that without problem copes with 100 users running LibreOffice calc updating a
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Chapter 3. Installation
spreadsheet now and then will cope with a considerably lower amount of concurrent users if they are
accessing internet sites with streaming video.
When ThinLinc is used as a Windows Terminal Server frontend, meaning that the only application run
is rdesktop, experience shows the amount of CPU needed is around 50-100MHz per active user.
For a full desktop (KDE or Gnome) with typical office and internet applications (LibreOffice, Firefox,
some graphics program and users visiting multimedia-intensive web pages, the amount of CPU needed
is somewhere between 150 and 300MHz per active user.
The CPU figures above are based on experience from customers running Intel Xeon 7140M (Netburst)
CPUs. For other types of CPU, the figures should be adjusted accordingly.
•
Memory
The amount of memory, just as the amount of CPU, is also very dependent on type application set and
how active the users are.
When ThinLinc is used as a Windows Terminal Server frontend, with rdesktop being the only
application run, experience shows that the amount of memory needed per user is 20-50MiB.
For a full desktop (KDE or Gnome), expect the need for 100-200MiB of memory per user, not
including the memory required for individual applications.
3.3. Preparing the Network for ThinLinc Installation
Naturally, the network at the site where ThinLinc is to be installed needs to be prepared for the
installation. This section aims to help in understanding the requirements of the network for a successful
ThinLinc installation.
We will explain the most common setups, including a typical Novell site and a typical Microsoft site.
Also, we will explain how a site with NAT can use a NAT/Split-DNS setup to access ThinLinc in an
efficient way both from the inside network as well as from the Internet.
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Chapter 3. Installation
3.3.1. A Simple ThinLinc Setup
Figure 3-1. A Simple ThinLinc Setup
In Figure 3-1, a very simple ThinLinc setup is shown. In this setup, clients are configured to connect to
thinlinc.example.com, DNS is configured with information about what IP addresses correspond to the
hostnames thinlinc.example.com, tlagent1.thinlinc.com and tlagent2.thinlinc.com and no firewalls are in
the path between the clients and the servers.
The number of VSM agents will range from 1 (on the same host as the VSM server) to a larger number,
based on the number of users that are using the system. In this example, there are one host running both
VSM server (the software controlling the whole ThinLinc cluster) and VSM agent, and two dedicated
VSM agent hosts running only sessions.
Clients will communicate with the servers solely via SSH (by default port 22).
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Chapter 3. Installation
3.3.2. ThinLinc in a Novell Network
Figure 3-2. ThinLinc in a Novell Network
In Figure 3-2, ThinLinc is installed in a Novell environment, and integration with Novell eDirectory
and/or Novell Netware fileservers are in use.
The ThinLinc servers will need to communicate with the eDirectory servers on either port 389, if using
unencrypted LDAP, or on port 636, if using encrypted LDAP (ldaps).
The ThinLinc servers will also need to communicate with the Novell Netware file servers. In the case
where NCP is used to access the files, the ThinLinc servers needs to communicate with the Netware
servers on TCP or UDP port 524. In the case where NFS is used to access files, UDP port 111, TCP and
UDP port 2049 and a range of dynamically allocated UDP ports are used to communicate with the file
servers. If there is a firewall between the ThinLinc servers and the Netware file servers, it needs to have
support for understanding portmap requests, opening NFS UDP ports on demand, or there can be no
restrictions for the traffic between the ThinLinc servers and the Netware file servers.
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Chapter 3. Installation
3.3.3. ThinLinc in a Windows Network
Figure 3-3. ThinLinc in a Windows Network
In Figure 3-3, ThinLinc is installed in a Windows environment, and integration with Windows Domain
Services and/or Windows Fileservers are in use.
The ThinLinc servers need to communicate with the Windows Domain Controller on TCP port 139.
The ThinLinc servers will need to communicate with the Windows file servers using TCP port 139
and/or TCP port 445.
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Chapter 3. Installation
3.3.4. ThinLinc in a NAT/Split-DNS Environment
Figure 3-4. ThinLinc in a NAT/Split-DNS Environment
At many sites, the internal network is behind a firewall doing Network Adress Translation (NAT). This
means that the IP adresses on the internal network are allocated from so-called RFC1918 space, i.e., they
are within the range 10.0.0.0-10.255.255.255, 172.16.0.0 - 172.31.255.255 or 192.168.0.0 192.168.255.255.
As long as ThinLinc servers are only meant to be accessed from the internal network, this is no problem,
and the situation will be like the one described in Section 3.3.1. However, if the ThinLinc servers are
meant to be accessed from the Internet as well, special arrangements need to be made.
Note: An alternative to using a split DNS configuration is to use a client side translation configured
by the HOST_ALIASES parameter, but in most cases, a proper DNS setup is recommended. See
Section 7.7 for more information.
3.3.4.1. Relays
First, relays must be configured in the firewall. One IP address reachable from the outside network per
ThinLinc server needs to be available, and each should be equipped with a relay forwarding traffic from
TCP port 22 on the outside to TCP port 22 on one specific ThinLinc server. In our example, as shown in
Figure 3-4, there is one relay listening to TCP port 22 on the externally reachable IP address x.12.253.1
forwarding traffic to the ThinLinc server on the internal network with IP address 10.0.0.12, one relay
listening on TCP port 22 on the externally reachable IP address x.12.253.2 forwarding traffic to the
ThinLinc server on the internal network with IP address 10.0.0.13, and so on.
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Chapter 3. Installation
3.3.4.2. DNS
After configuring the relays, DNS must be configured so DNS queries for the hostnames of the ThinLinc
servers get different answers depending on the origin of the query. DNS queries originating from the
internal network should be answered with the real IP adresses of the servers, and DNS queries
originating from the outside network should be answered with the IP adresses on the firewall, where the
relays are listening.
In our example, if a host on the internal network is asking for the IP adress of the hostname
thinlinc.example.com it should get the IP address 10.0.0.12 as answer. If a outside host is asking for the
IP adress of the same hostname it should instead get the IP address x.12.253.1 as answer.
When configured this way, a client connecting from the internal network will communicate directly with
the ThinLinc servers, without the need to pass the firewall, while clients connecting from the outside will
pass through the firewall and the relays to communicate with the ThinLinc servers. This will ensure
optimal performance for clients from the internal network, at the same time lowering the load on the
firewall.
3.3.4.3. Configuring the VSM Agents
Finally, after configuring relays and DNS, the VSM agents must be configured to respond with the
correct hostname when asked by the VSM server what hostname the clients should connect to. The
default behaviour is to respond with the IP adress of the host, but that will not work in this case since
clients connecting from the external network won’t have any route to for example 10.0.0.13. Instead, the
VSM agents should be configured to respond with the hostnames that can be found in both the internal
and the external DNS.
This is done by setting the parameter /vsmagent/agent_hostname on each of the VSM agents in the
ThinLinc cluster. In our example, set /vsmagent/agent_hostname to tlagent1.example.com on the
machine with IP adress 10.0.0.13.
3.3.5. Using the ThinLinc HTML5 Client
If users are supposed to be able to connect using a web browser, using the ThinLinc HTML5 Browser
Client, they must be able to connect to port 300 on both the VSM server and on all VSM agents.
In the NAT/Split-DNS setup, relays must obviously be configured in the firewall for each ThinLinc
server and the port 300.
3.3.6. Other Services Required by ThinLinc Servers
In order for ThinLinc to function properly together with the rest of the network, they will need to
synchronize time with some internal or external time source. Linux machines use the Network Time
Protocol (NTP), so if there is one or several NTP servers on the internal network, the ThinLinc servers
will need to communicate with them. Otherwise, the ThinLinc servers should be configured to use some
external time source, and should be allowed to communicate with it.
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Chapter 3. Installation
3.4. Installing the ThinLinc Terminal Server
3.4.1. Starting the Installation Program
The installation program is located in the root directory of the Server Bundle. Extract the bundle and
start the installation program as follows:
sh ./install-server
If you prefer, you can also install the ThinLinc packages by hand. These packages are located in
platform-specific subdirectories in the Server Bundle; either serverkit-linux or
serverkit-solaris.
After installing the software packages, Thinlinc must be configured. This is done by the program
/opt/thinlinc/sbin/tl-setup. If you are running install-server, it will ask you if you want
to start tl-setup at the end of the package installation.
3.5. Upgrading an Old Installation
Upgrading an old installation of ThinLinc is very much like installing it from scratch. The only
difference is that you will have to adapt the old settings in /opt/thinlinc/etc/conf.d/ to the new
configuration files afterwards.
3.5.1. Acquire New Licenses
Before performing an upgrade, find out if you need new license files to run the new version. ThinLinc
license files delivered with version x.y.z will still work for versions with the same x and y but higher z,
but not for increased x or y. For example, license files for ThinLinc 3.1.0 will still work for ThinLinc
3.1.1, but not for ThinLinc 3.2.0 or ThinLinc 4.0.0.
Contact your reseller for new licenses. If you bought ThinLinc with a maintenance agreement, new
licenses will be provided without cost.
As the new licenses will work with the old (current) version, it’s a good idea to install them as the first
step in the upgrade process.
3.5.2. Run the Installation Program
The same installation program that you used to install ThinLinc is also used to upgrade it. It is located in
the root directory of the Server Bundle. Extract the bundle and start the installation program as follows:
sh ./install-server
and answer the questions. If you prefer, you can also upgrade the ThinLinc packages by hand. These
packages are located in platform-specific subdirectories on the Server Bundle; either serverkit-linux
or serverkit-solaris.
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Chapter 3. Installation
3.5.3. Update Configuration Files
When upgrading ThinLinc, the package installation process handles configuration files that have been
changed by taking backups of existing configuration. The installation program will prompt the user to
adjust them before running tl-setup. See below for instructions on how to handle the configuration files
on different types of systems.
3.5.3.1. RPM-based Linux systems
Look for files with filenames ending in .rpmsave, .rpmorig in /opt/thinlinc/etc and below.
These are copies of the files as they were before the upgrade. Review the differences between the old and
the new files, and add relevant statements from the old files to the new files, then remove or move away
the .rpmsave and/or .rpmorig files.
3.5.3.2. DPKG-based Linux systems
Look for files with filenames ending in .dpkg-old in /opt/thinlinc/etc and below. These are
copies of the files as they were before the upgrade. Review the differences between the old and the new
files, and add relevant statements from the old files to the new files, then remove or move away the
.dpkg-old files.
3.5.3.3. Solaris
All configuration files that were present in the old version which you are upgrading from will be saved as
<filename>.pkgsave. Transfer relevant statements from these files to the new configuration files
installed by pkgadd.
3.5.4. Run tl-setup
After installation of the packages and modification of the configuration files as described above, run
/opt/thinlinc/sbin/tl-setup to verify that the system is correctly configured.
3.6. SELinux enabled distributions
ThinLinc is designed to run with reference SELinux policy and users in the unconfined context. It is
possible to use ThinLinc with other policies and more restricted contexts, but will most likely require
modifications to your policy to accommodate ThinLinc.
The local system policy will optionally be modified by tl-setup during installation. The SELinux module
and other policy changes performed can be examined in /opt/thinlinc/share/selinux. Execute
the command /opt/thinlinc/share/selinux/install to reapply ThinLinc’s policy changes.
Note: The ThinLinc policy module is distributed in source form and therefore requires the reference
policy build environment. On Red Hat based systems this is always installed, but other systems
might require extra packages.
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Chapter 3. Installation
3.7. The ThinLinc WTS Tools Package
3.7.1. Overview
The ThinLinc WTS Tools package contains support software for Microsoft Windows Terminal Servers.
This includes:
tl-loadagent
ThinLinc has a feature where sessions against Windows Terminal Servers are distributed among
several available hosts. In order for this to work, the tl-loadagent service must run on all
Windows Terminal Servers.
For information about which ports are used when communicating with the load balance agent, refer
to Appendix A.
tl-is-appsession
The tl-is-appsession utility allows you to detect if the WTS session is running a full desktop,
or just an application. This is done by examining the RDP Startup Shell. When a desktop session is
detected, this command returns 1. Otherwise, 0 is returned. This utility is useful in login scripts. For
example, it might be desirable to open up a browser whenever a new desktop session starts. This can
be done with a script like this:
%ProgramFiles%\ThinLinc\WTSTools\tl-is-appsession
if %errorlevel% == 1 start http://intranet
The SeamlessRDP Shell
The SeamlessRDP Shell is the server component required for SeamlessRDP.
ThinLinc WTS sound driver
The ThinLinc WTS sound driver tlsnd replaces the native rdpsnd sound driver normally included
with Microsoft Terminal Services. This driver is needed to get sound capture (microphone) support.
Note: The ThinLinc WTS sound driver is currently only supported on Windows 2003, Windows
2003 R2, and Windows XP Professional.
ThinLinc GINA
The ThinLinc GINA extends the Microsoft GINA by adding support for smart card single sign-on.
This means that smart card authenticated connections to Terminal Services from a ThinLinc session
can be initiated without entering the PIN code again. This requires that the "Send smart card
passphrase (PIN) to server" client option is enabled. See Section 7.4.5 for more information.
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Chapter 3. Installation
Note: The ThinLinc GINA is currently only relevant in Active Directory configurations. When
using Novell eDirectory, use the Novell GINA instead.
Note: The ThinLinc GINA is not supported on Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 or later.
3.7.2. Installing the WTS Tools Package on Windows Terminal Servers
Installation of the WTS Tools package is easy. Simply execute the tl-wts-tools.exe program from the
windows-tools\wts-tools directory in the Server Bundle, and answer the questions.
To activate the ThinLinc WTS sound driver, follow the instructions below:
•
Disable the built-in sound redirection. On Windows Server 2003, this can be done using the Terminal
Services Configuration tool. The checkbox "Audio mapping" on the Client Settings tab should be
checked.
•
Import the registry file "Activate ThinLinc sound driver" that can be found under "ThinLinc WTS
Tools" in your start menu.
•
The ThinLinc WTS driver only works in conjunction with the PulseAudio (http://pulseaudio.org/)
sound system. Therefore, make sure that PulseAudio and the application padsp is installed on all
ThinLinc servers. The application server group must also be configured to use PulseAudio. See
Section 14.2.4 for more information.
To activate the ThinLinc GINA, select the icon "Activate ThinLinc GINA". A reboot is recommended.
Before you uninstall the WTS Tools Package it is crucial that you deactivate both the ThinLinc sound
driver and the ThinLinc GINA, by using the icons found under "ThinLinc WTS Tools" in your start
menu.
3.8. VirtualGL
3.8.1. Overview
VirtualGL is used to provide server-side hardware 3D acceleration to applications displayed on a remote
client. VirtualGL can be used with ThinLinc to provide accelerated graphics for OpenGL applications
running in Linux environment.
Although ThinLinc is designed to work in combination with VirtualGL, VirtualGL is not developed or
maintained directly by Cendio AB, and as such is not shipped as a part of the ThinLinc product.
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Chapter 3. Installation
3.8.2. Installation and configuration
Full documentation regarding the installation and configuration of VirtualGL can be found online at
http://www.virtualgl.org/Documentation/Documentation.
Note: The following section numbers references the VirtualGL 2.3.3 documentation. Documentation
for past or future VirtualGL releases may have different section numbers.
For the general case, it should be sufficient to consult the following sections:
•
5.1 - Installing VirtualGL on Linux
•
6.1 - Granting Access to the 3D X Server
And see also:
•
9.1 - Using VirtualGL with an X Proxy on the Same Server
For more advanced configuration, such as using a remote application server with VGL Transport, see the
following sections:
•
6.3 - SSH Server Configuration
•
8 - Using VirtualGL with the VGL Transport
Note: Publishing applications in this way is not supported by default in ThinLinc, for example by
using tl-run-unixapp. Applications published in this manner will need to be called from a script
using vglconnect, and likely some form of non-interactive authentication, e.g. public key. This script
may then be made available to users by specifying it as an application within TLDC - see Chapter 17.
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Chapter 3. Installation
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Chapter 4. License Handling
4.1. Overview
To run a session against a ThinLinc cluster, the server must be equipped with license files. The license
files specify the number of concurrent users the cluster is allowed to run.
If no license files are installed on the cluster, a maximum of ten concurrent users are allowed.
Each cluster can have one or several license files. Each file contains licenses for a specific number of
concurrent users. When the VSM Server starts up, it reads all license files and creates a sum of the
number of concurrent users allowed based on the licenses from all files.
License files have one soft and one hard limit. When the soft limit is reached, new sessions can still be
started, but a license violation will be logged and sent to the administrator (see Section 4.4). If however
the hard limit has been reached, new sessions cannot be started. The purpose of this system is to allow
growing organisations some time to adapt the number of licenses to a growing number of concurrent
sessions, avoiding loss of production.
4.2. License Counting
One license is required for each pair of (username,client hardware). This means that if a user runs
several sessions from the same client, only one license is used. If the same user runs multiple concurrent
sessions from different client hardware, multiple licenses are required by the user.
4.3. Location and format of License Files
License files are delivered either in the form of text files (filename extension .license) or ZIP files
(filename extension .zip). Transfer each file to your ThinLinc cluster and place it in
/opt/thinlinc/etc/licenses. Make sure that the transfer of the files uses binary mode, or the
license file might not be verifiable. We recommend transferring via scp or sftp.
After adding new license files, either restart VSM Server by running /opt/thinlinc/libexec/service
vsmserver restart or wait until the VSM Server automatically reads in the new licenses, something that
happens once every 12 hours.
Note: When running VSM Server in a High Availability setup (see Chapter 6), license files should be
copied to /opt/thinlinc/etc/licenses on both nodes.
4.4. Log Files and E-mail Messages
ThinLinc logs user license violations to the file /var/log/thinlinc-user-licenses. Other
license-related messages are logged to /var/log/vsmserver.log.
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Chapter 4. License Handling
If license violations occurs, ThinLinc sends email to the person defined as system administrator in the
parameter /vsmserver/admin_email in vsmserver.hconf. E-mail messages warning about license
violations are sent every 12 hours if any license violations have occured.
4.5. Checking the Number of Valid Licenses
You can use the program /opt/thinlinc/sbin/tl-show-licenses to verify the number of valid user licenses.
There is also a graph available in the administrative interface. See Chapter 16 for more information.
20
Chapter 5. Printer Features
5.1. Overview of ThinLinc Printer Features
ThinLinc has several printer-related features that aims to provide the user with maximum flexibility
while making the administrator’s work easier. A ThinLinc system normally uses CUPS (Common Unix
Printing System) to provide normal printing services. By integrating with CUPS, ThinLinc also provides
the following features:
•
Local Printer support allows users to print documents on a printer that is connected to their terminal
from applications running on the ThinLinc server.
See Section 5.3 for documentation on this feature.
•
Nearest Printer is a feature that simplifies the printing process for the user by automatically printing to
a printer that is located at the terminal the user is currently using. Users only need to know that they
should always print to the nearest printer - the system will figure out the rest based on a database of
terminals, printers and locations, eliminating the need to learn the names of printers at different
locations. This decreases the need for support.
See Section 5.4 for documentation on this feature.
•
Printer Access Control uses the same database of terminals, locations and printers as the Nearest
Printer feature to dynamically limit which printers a user may print to based on the terminal the user is
currently using. This feature also limits the list of printers seen by each user to the printers the user are
allowed to use, simplifying choice of printer for the user by only showing the printers that are relevant
at the current location.
See Section 5.5 for documentation on this feature.
•
Printing from Windows Terminal Servers is handled by automatic redirection via RDP. All printers the
user has access to in his/her Linux environment are automatically added to the WTS session.
See Section 5.6 for documentation on this feature.
5.2. Printer Configuration Overview
This section provides an overview of how printing is configured in a ThinLinc cluster.
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Chapter 5. Printer Features
Figure 5-1. Printer Configuration Overview
5.2.1. CUPS Browsing
It is important that the CUPS Browsing feature is turned off on all machines in the cluster, or problems
with duplicate thinlocal printers will occur.
5.2.2. CUPS configuration on the Machine Running VSM Server
Configure all printers that need to be available in the CUPS configuration on the machine running VSM
Server. Either use distribution-specific tools, or the built-in administration interface in CUPS which can
usually be reached by using a web browser, connecting to port 631 on the machine, i.e.
http://tl.example.com:631/ .
The nearest and thinlocal queues, used by the nearest printer and the local printer features respectively,
are added by tl-setup when installing ThinLinc.
Printers, with one exception (see below) only needs to be configured on the machine running VSM
Server. Agent nodes will use the CUPS daemon (cupsd) on the VSM Server machine for printing.
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Chapter 5. Printer Features
5.2.3. CUPS configuration on the Machine running VSM Agent
The machines in the cluster that run VSM Agent, i.e., the machines that host user sessions, needs a
running CUPS daemon (cupsd), but this cupsd only needs one printer defined - the thinlocal queue. The
reason for this is that the local printer backend needs to run on the same machine as the session of the
user printing to local printer to be able to access the endpoint of the SSH tunnel used to transport the
printer job to the client.
The thinlocal queue is added by tl-setup when installing the agent.
Note: The CUPS daemon on each agent must listen to requests on the network interface, and allow
printer jobs from the machine running VSM Server to be submitted to the thinlocal queue.
When a user submits a job to the local printer, i.e. to the thinlocal queue, the printer job will be submitted
to the CUPS daemon running on the VSM Server host. It will then be respooled to the cupsd on the agent
server hosting the session. This is to make central configuration of all other printers possible.
5.3. Local printer support
5.3.1. Theory of operation
With ThinLinc, it is possible to print to a printer attached to the client computer. Two primary modes of
operation available: device independent and device dependent. Both modes can be used at the same time.
See below for details about the two modes.
The thinlocal printer is cluster-aware. If a user submits a print job on a node in a ThinLinc cluster which
does not host the users session, the print job will automatically be respooled to the correct node. This is
used in the recommended setup (see Section 5.2.
If a user has more than one session, print jobs submitted to the local printer will be redirected to the
client that made the last connection.
The local printer features is implemented as a backend to CUPS (Common Unix Printing System).
Note: When using local printers, we recommend that you activate the parameter
/vsmserver/unbind_ports_at_login.
5.3.2. Device independent mode
The device independent mode is designed to provide universal access to any local printer without having
to install drivers on the ThinLinc server. This is achieved by converting the print job to the Adobe
Portable Document Format (PDF) on the terminal server, and then sending it through an encrypted tunnel
to the client. The client subsequently prints the job on the local printer using a built-in PDF renderer.
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Chapter 5. Printer Features
Because the driver on the ThinLinc server is device independent, it has no way to know what capabilities
(duplex ability, trays, paper size, etc.) the printer connected to the client has. At the same time,
applications that want to print needs to know about these capabilities to print correctly.
As a compromise, the universal printer is configured with a PPD (Postscript Printer Definition) that
covers a broad range of printer capabilities - it’s a Generic Postscript Printer driver. This makes it
possible for CUPS to convert input formats to the correct format before sending them to the local printer.
It also means that default values can be set for some of the configuration parameters, for example paper
size, using the CUPS configuration interface.
5.3.3. Device dependent mode
The device dependent mode is to be used when it is necessary to access all options on the printer, or
when the communication with the printer cannot be expressed in terms of normal pages (e.g. a label
printer). In this mode the printer driver is installed on the ThinLinc server and the data is sent unmodified
to the local printer.
Note: ThinLinc has no way of verifying that the connected printer is the correct one, so it is up to the
user to make sure that a device dependent queue is not used with a different printer.
5.3.4. Installation and Configuration
Use tl-setup to install the PDF conversion filter, the backend and queue in CUPS on all machines
running VSM Agent. This adds a new queue named thinlocal to CUPS and makes it available to your
users. This queue is the one to use for device independent mode described above.
After installation, the local printer is ready for use. Make sure your ThinLinc client is configured to allow
redirection of printers, then print to the thinlocal queue, and the job will be rerouted to the default printer
of the client you’re currently using.
Device dependent queues are installed as if installing the printer locally on the ThinLinc server. The only
difference is that the URI shall be specified as thinlocal:/. Example:
# lpadmin -p thinlocal-label -v ’thinlocal:/’ -P /media/cd/label-printer.ppd
5.3.5. Parallel port emulation
ThinLinc also includes a very basic form of parallel port emulation that gives legacy application access
to the local printer. It is built on top of the thinlocal queue, which means it only works if certain
requirements are satisified:
•
24
The application must only write to the port. Reading is not supported, neither is monitoring or altering
the port status pins.
Chapter 5. Printer Features
•
After a print job is completed, the application must close the port. As the emulation is unaware of the
printer protocol, closing the port is the only way it can determine where one job ends and another
begins.
To access the emulated parallel port, configure the application to use the port
$TLSESSIONDATA/dev/lp0.
5.4. Nearest printer support
With the ThinLinc nearest printer feature, printer jobs are routed to a printer near the terminal the user is
currently sitting at. This is accomplished by matching printers to hardware addresses of terminals.
The nearest printer is implemented as an extra printer queue, above the real printers. Printer jobs sent to
the nearest queue will be sent to the nearest printer backend. The backend is a program which is called
by CUPS together with all needed information. The nearest backend will look at the user name handled
by CUPS and then ask the ThinLinc VSM server for more information about this user. The information
tells the backend which terminal the user is currently using. It then queries the information stored in
Hiveconf for a list of printers close to the terminal used by the printing user. When a printer is known the
backend will reprint the job to this printer.
This queue is added to the VSM master server by tl-setup at installation of ThinLinc. The recommended
setup is to configure one nearest printer queue in the CUPS daemon on the VSM Server host, and then let
all agents use this CUPS daemon. See Section 5.2 for an overview of printer setup in a ThinLinc cluster.
5.4.1. Administration of the Nearest Printer Feature in ThinLinc
To be able to work properly the nearest printer system needs information about physical layout. The
information is divided into three sections, printers, locations and terminals. This information can be
administrated using the ThinLinc Web Administration.
Each printer that should be handled by the nearest printer system should be entered with a name and an
optional comment. The button Fetch printers from CUPS can be used to fetch the current list of
printers from CUPS. Please note that printers that are removed from CUPS must be manually removed
from the list of printers in tlwebadm.
Each location with terminals should be entered with a name, an optional comment and a list of local
printers. A location can for example be a classroom, a department, a house, and so on. The possible
printers are the ones entered in the printer interface.
For each terminal entered in this system you enter the terminal network interface hardware (MAC)
address and the location the terminal resides in. The hardware address can be entered in many formats,
but will be converted to all uppercase hexadecimal form separated by colon, i.e. "01:23:45:67:89:AB".
You can explicitly add printers to the terminal settings, which then gets higher priority than the printers
defined at the terminal’s location. This can be handy if a terminal has a local printer connected to it,
perhaps in a large room where the other printers are far away.
Normally you will first enter all printers, then all locations and finally all terminals in the system. To
each location you can add a list of printers near that location. If the location is so big that different
printers are close to different parts of the location, then you should probably divide the location into
smaller parts. You can also assign close printers to a terminal. This can be used in cases where a terminal
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Chapter 5. Printer Features
has a printer attached to itself or if the terminal, part of a bigger location, is placed in its own room
together with a printer. You can read more about this administration in Chapter 16.
5.4.2. Nearest Printer Selection Algorithm
If a terminal has a printer directly assigned to it in the terminals module in tlwebadm, that printer will be
the nearest printer for that terminal. For printers without a printer directly assigned (the normal
situation), the first printer in the list of printers for the terminal’s location is selected when the user
submits a printer job to the nearest queue.
If a user has more than one session, print jobs submitted via nearest printer will be redirected to the
printer that is most near the client that made the last connection.
5.4.3. Printer Drivers
When printing via the nearest printer, the CUPS client can’t get hold of all information about the real
printer where the job will actually be printed, because it doesn’t know that the printer job will be
rerouted by the nearest driver. Therefore, the printing application has no way to know about the number
of trays, the paper sizes available etc.). This is a problem for some applications, and it also adds to the
number of applications that will be misconfigured, for example selecting the wrong paper size.
As a compromise, the nearest printer is configured with a PPD (Postscript Printer Definition) that covers
a broad range of printer capabilities - it’s a Generic Postscript Printer driver. This makes it possible to
configures default values for some of the settings, for example paper size, using the CUPS configuration
interface.
If all the printers in your organisation are of the same type, it may be a good idea to replace the Generic
Postscript PPD installed for the nearest queue with a PPD for the specific printer in use. That will let
CUPS-aware applications select between the specific set of features available for the specific printer
model.
5.5. Printer Access Control
In a ThinLinc cluster, all printers that any user of the cluster needs to be able to print to must be defined
centrally, or the user will not be able to print from applications that run in a ThinLinc session. For large
installations, this leads to a very long list of available printers.
A long list of printers leads to usability problems - having to select printer from a long list can be
troublesome. Also, it opens for problems with printer jobs being printed at remote locations by mistake
(or on purpose, by users finding it amusing to send "messages" to other locations).
The solution to this problem is the Printer Access Control feature of ThinLinc. By integrating with
CUPS (the Common Unix Printing System), the list of printers a user is presented with and allowed to
print to is limited to the printers that should be available to a specific terminal, based on information in a
database of printers, terminals and locations.
Note: The Printer Access Control feature will affect all users on the ThinLinc cluster. The only user
excepted from limitations of the printer list is the superuser (root) - all other users will only see and
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Chapter 5. Printer Features
be able to use printers based on the location of their terminals, when the Printer Access Control
feature is enabled.
5.5.1. Theory of Operation
Each time a user requests a new session or reconnects to an existing session, the hardware (MAC)
address of the terminal is sent along with the request from the ThinLinc client. Using the same database
as the nearest printer feature used to find which printer is closest to the user, the printer access control
feature calculates which printers the user is allowed to use, and then configures the access control of the
printing system (CUPS).
This way, the user is presented with a list of printers that only contains the printers relevant for the
location where the terminal the user is currently using is located. In a situation where a user has multiple
sessions running from multiple clients, all printers associated with the different terminals will be made
available.
5.5.2. Requirements
•
CUPS v1.2 or higher.
5.5.3. Activating the Printer Access Control Feature
First, make sure you have configured the printers in your ThinLinc cluster as documented in Section 5.2.
For the Printer Access Control Feature, a central CUPS daemon on the VSM Server host is required, and
all agent hosts must have a correctly configured /etc/cups/client.conf.
To activate the printer access feature, create two symlinks on the host running VSM Server, as follows:
ln -s /opt/thinlinc/sbin/tl-limit-printers /opt/thinlinc/etc/sessionstartup.d
ln -s /opt/thinlinc/sbin/tl-limit-printers /opt/thinlinc/etc/sessionreconnect.d
The first symlink makes sure tl-limit-printers is run when sessions are started. The second makes sure it
is run at reconnects to existing sessions. More details about the session startup can be found in Section
14.4.
Note: With the above configuration (symlinking tl-limit-printers into sessionstartup.d and
sessionreconnect.d), the client will not get an answer back from the server until
tl-limit-printers has finished its execution. This is the desired behaviour if it is strictly
neccessary that printer access rights are correct when the user connects to the session. In
environments where it is acceptable that the final list of printers shown to the user may not be
finished when the user connects to the session, place the execution of tl-limit-printers in the
background, as detailed in Section 14.4.1.1, as that will decrease the time the user has to wait for the
session to appear on his client.
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Chapter 5. Printer Features
After creating the symlinks, try connecting to your ThinLinc cluster with a ThinLinc cluster and bring up
an application that lists the available printers. The list of printers should now be limited according to
configuration.
Note: The printer list limitation doesn’t work for applications that use the deprecated cupsGetPrinters
library call. This means that older applications might show the whole list of printers. The access
control are still enforced, which means that even if a disallowed printer is shown in the list of printers,
users can’t submit jobs to it.
Most applications in a modern Linux distribution doesn’t have this problem.
5.5.4. Configuration
Configuration of the printer access control feature is mostly a matter of using tlwebadm (see Chapter 16
for details) to add the hardware address of all terminals as well as information about where they are
located and which printers are to be available for each location.
5.5.4.1. Unknown Terminals / Terminals Without Hardware Address
When a client reports a hardware address that is not present in the database of terminals, or when no
hardware address is reported, the default behaviour is to disallow access to all printers, rendering an
empty printer list for the user.
There is however a way to give even unknown terminals access to one or more printers - define a special
location and check the Use for unknown terminals and terminals without hardware address checkbox.
Then add the printers that should be available for the unknown terminals.
One common configuration is to add such a location and then add the thinlocal printer to this location.
This way, unknown terminals, for example people working from their home computers, will be able to
user their locally connected printer, but no other printer will be available.
5.6. Printer Configuration on Windows Terminal Servers
If your ThinLinc setup uses a Windows Terminal Server for some applications, access to printers for
these applications is handled automatically by redirection over RDP. When rdesktop is started via
tl-run-rdesktop as is the case when applications on Windows Terminal Servers are started via any of the
ThinLinc wrapper commands, the list of printers available to the user on the Linux or Solaris server
running the ThinLinc session is automatically fetched. Each printer is then added to the rdesktop
commandline in a way that makes it appear in the user’s session on the WTS.
One advantage of this feature is that the Section 5.5 will be active even for programs running on
Windows Terminal Servers, since only the printers the user are allowed to see and use are exported.
For some special cases, manually configuring printers on the Windows Terminal Server may be required.
This is the case for example if some application requires that the name of the printer is exactly the same
across sessions, as printers added automatically have names that contain the WTS session ID. For
information on how to configure printers manually, see Appendix D
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Chapter 5. Printer Features
The same printer driver is used on the Windows Terminal Servers for all printers regardless of model.
This limits the amount of settings a user can modify when printing. For example, selecting a different
paper tray than the default one is not possible. If these limitations are a problem, defining printer queues
manually as described above may be an option.
5.6.1. Configuration
The automatic redirection of printers to Windows Terminal Servers is enabled by default, but can be
disabled by setting /appservergroups/rdp/<appgroup>/redirect_printers to false.
5.6.2. Persistent Printer Settings
If a user modifies the printer settings for a redirected printer on a Windows Terminal Server, the changes
are written to a file named ~/.rdesktop/rdpdr/<printername>/AutoPrinterCacheData.
If changes to printer setttings should be made for all printers, login to the WTS, make the changes, then
wait a few minutes, log out, then copy the generated
~/.rdesktop/rdpdr/<printername>/AutoPrinterCacheData to
/opt/thinlinc/etc/rdpdr/<printername>. This must be done for all printers.
The settings file will now be copied to user home directories when tl-run-rdesktop is run. Existing files
will not be overwritten, so if printer settings need to be changed, existing files in user home directories
must be removed.
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Chapter 5. Printer Features
30
Chapter 6. High Availability (HA)
6.1. Overview
This chapter describes how to setup ThinLinc with High Availability (from now on referred to as "HA")
for the VSM server, providing protection against the single point of failure that the hardware running the
VSM server normally is.
The basic principle behind this setup is to have two equal machines, both capable of running VSM
server. If one of the machines goes down for some reason, the other machine will take over and serve
VSM server requests with no or short interruption of service.
Note: The HA functionality provided by ThinLinc provides synchronization of the ThinLinc session
database across two VSM servers. The software used by these machines to implement failover is not
part of ThinLinc, and must be installed and configured according to your requirements. The industry
standard for doing so on Linux is provided by the Linux-HA project; see http://linux-ha.org for more
information.
6.1.1. Background - Reasons For a HA Setup
In a standard ThinLinc setup, there is a single point of failure - the machine running the VSM server. If
the VSM server is down, no new ThinLinc connections can be made, and reconnections to existing
sessions can’t be established. Existing connections to VSM agent machines still running will however
continue to work. A ThinLinc cluster of medium size with one machine running as VSM server and three
VSM agent machines is illustrated in Figure 6-1
Figure 6-1. A non-HA ThinLinc cluster setup
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Chapter 6. High Availability (HA)
Here the incoming connections are handled by the VSM server which distributes the connections to the
three VSM agent machines. If the VSM server goes down, no new connections can occur. The VSM
server is a single point of failure.
6.1.2. Solution - Elimination of Single Point of Failure
In order to eliminate the single point of failure, we configure the VSM server in a HA configuration
where two machines share the responsibility for keeping the service running.
The two machines are in constant contact with each other, each checking if the other one is up and
running. If one of the machines goes down for some reason, for example hardware failure, the other
machine detects the failure and automatically takes over the service with only a short interruption for the
users. No action is needed from the system administrator.
6.1.3. Theory of Operation
Figure 6-2. A ThinLinc HA cluster setup
In a HA setup, as illustrated in Figure 6-2 two equal machines are used to keep the VSM server running.
One of the machines is primary, the other one is secondary. The primary machine is normally handling
VSM server requests, but if it fails, the secondary machine kicks in. When the primary machine comes
online again, it takes over again. That is, in normal operation, it’s always the primary machine that’s
working, the secondary is just standby, receiving information from the primary about new and deleted
sessions, maintaining its own copy of the session database.
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Chapter 6. High Availability (HA)
Both machines have an unique hostname and an unique IP address, but there is also a third IP address
that is active only on the node currently responsible for the VSM server service. This is the so called HA
address, the address the clients are connecting to.
6.2. Configuration of ThinLinc for HA Operations
In this section, we describe how ThinLinc is configured for High Availability.
6.2.1. Installation of a New HA Cluster
In this section, we will describe how to setup a new HA cluster. In the examples we will use a primary
node with the hostname tlha-primary and IP address 10.0.0.2, a secondary node with the hostname
tlha-secondary and IP address 10.0.0.3, and a HA IP address of 10.0.0.4 with the DNS name tlha.
1. Begin by installing ThinLinc as described in Chapter 3 on both nodes.
2. Both nodes in the HA cluster must have the same SSH host key. Copy /etc/ssh/ssh_host_*
from the primary host to the secondary host, and restart ssh on the secondary host.
3. Install and configure the system-level high-availability software, for example the software provided
by the Linux-HA project, which can be found at http://linux-ha.org. This and other high-availability
software may also be provided as part of your distribution, so check for the solution which best fits
your requirements before proceeding.
4. Configure the system’s high-availability software to watch the status of the other machine via the
network, and to enable the HA IP address 10.0.0.4 on the active node. The machine with the
hostname tlha-primary should normally be active.
5. Configure each VSM agent to allow privileged operations both from tlha-primary and
tlha-secondary:
[root@agent root] tl-config ’/vsmagent/allowed_clients=tlha-primary tlha-secondary’
Also, set the master_hostname to the DNS name of the HA interface:
[root@agent root] tl-config /vsmagent/master_hostname=tlha
Restart all VSM agents after changing the configuration values.
If the tl-config command is not found, logout and login again in order to let the login scripts add
/opt/thinlinc/bin and /opt/thinlinc/sbin to the PATH.
6. Verify operations of VSM Server on both nodes. Make sure you can start the VSM server properly
on both hosts, and connect to the respective hosts when VSM server is running (i.e., it should be
possible to connect, using tlclient, to both tlha-primary and to tlha-secondary).
Both nodes should be configured with the whole list of VSM agents in
/vsmserver/terminalservers.
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Chapter 6. High Availability (HA)
Warning
It is VERY IMPORTANT that 127.0.0.1 is not in the list of terminal
servers. If the machines running VSM server are also VSM agents, their
unique hostnames or IP addresses must be added to the
/vsmserver/terminalservers instead of 127.0.0.1. The reason for this
is that 127.0.0.1 will be a different server based on which VSM server is
currently active.
7. After verifying that normal ThinLinc connections work as intended when using both the primary
and the secondary VSM server’s hostname, it is time to enable HA in the VSM servers. This is done
by setting /vsmserver/HA/enabled to 1, and by specifying the nodes in the cluster in
/vsmserver/HA/nodes. For example:
[root@tlha-primary root] tl-config /vsmserver/HA/enabled=1
[root@tlha-primary root] tl-config ’/vsmserver/HA/nodes=tlha-primary.example.com tlha-secondary.ex
Configuration should be identical on both nodes. Restart the VSM server on both nodes after
configuration.
8. If vsmserver can’t safely determine which of the two nodes in /vsmserver/HA/nodes is the
remote node, and which is the local node, it will start without HA enabled, and log a message. If this
happens, validate your hostname and DNS setup. One of the entries of /vsmserver/HA/nodes
must match the local machine. Either the resolved IP of one of the entries in
/vsmserver/HA/nodes must match the local IP, or one entry must exactly match the local
hostname as returned by uname -n.
9. Once HA has been configured, tests should be performed in order to confirm that the failover works
as expected. This can normally be done by simply removing the network cable from the primary
node, and ensuring that the secondary node then takes over. Check also that any active ThinLinc
sessions have been synchronized from the primary to the secondary node, and that logging in to such
a session on the secondary node succeeds once the primary node has been disabled.
Your ThinLinc HA cluster is now configured! When sessions are created, changed or deleted on the
currently active node, the information about them will be transferred to the other node using a inter-VSM
server protocol. If the other node has to take over service, its copy of the session data will be up to date,
and it can start serving new requests instantly. When the primary node comes up again, the secondary
node will resynchronise with the master.
6.2.2. Reconfiguring an existing ThinLinc Installation into HA mode
If you have an existing ThinLinc installation and want to eliminate the single point of failure (the VSM
server), the procedure is very much like the procedure for installing a new HA cluster.
6.3. Recovering from hardware failures
If situations occur where the secondary node has been forced to take over service because the primary
node failed for some reason, it’s important to know how to recover.
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Chapter 6. High Availability (HA)
6.3.1. Recovering from Minor Failures
If the primary went down because of a minor failure (overheating trouble, faulty processor, faulty
memory etc.) and the contents of the files in /var/lib/vsm are untouched, recovery is very simple and
fully automatic. Simply start the server and let the two VSM servers resynchronize with eachother.
6.3.2. Recovering from Catastrophic Failure
If a catastrophic failure has occured, and no data on the disks of the primary can be recovered, ThinLinc
needs to be reinstalled and HA must be reinitialized.
Install ThinLinc as described in Section 6.2.1, but before starting the VSM server after enabling HA in
the configuration file, copy the file /var/lib/vsm/sessions from the secondary to the primary. That
will preload the database of active sessions with more current values on the primary.
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Chapter 6. High Availability (HA)
36
Chapter 7. The ThinLinc Client
7.1. Client usage
Starting the ThinLinc client is normally easy, but the method can differ somewhat between the available
operating systems. See Chapter 8 for instructions on how to start the client on different platforms.
7.1.1. The started ThinLinc client
When the ThinLinc client is started it will show the login window. This window contains a ThinLinc
logo, text fields where needed information can be entered, buttons for control and at the very bottom a
status field that gives information about the login procedure.
Figure 7-1. The ThinLinc client login window
7.1.2. Logging in to a ThinLinc server
To login into a ThinLinc server the client needs to do a successful user authentication. This means that it
needs to tell the ThinLinc server a user name and a corresponding authentication information (a
password or an encryption key). The ThinLinc server controls that the information is valid and accepts or
denies the login attempt.
The things the client needs to know to successfully login the user against a ThinLinc server is a server
address, a user name and the corresponding authentication information. When the client is normally
started it will display two text fields labeled "Server" and "Name", and one text field labeled "Password",
"Key" or "Certificate". This can differ some depending on command line arguments, but this is the
normal behavior.
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Chapter 7. The ThinLinc Client
Accepted values for the server field is the hostname or the IP address of the server. The name field should
be filled in with the ThinLinc username. The authentication information needed depends on the type of
authentication used:
•
For password authentication, a plain text password should be entered. The password won’t be shown
as clear text when entered.
•
For public key authentication, the path to an encryption key must be entered or browsed to using the
"..." button.
•
For smart card authentication, a certificate must be chosen using the drop down menu next to the
certificate name field.
The server name, username, key path and certificate name are saved when the user tries to start the
session, so they don’t have to be entered again each time a new session is wanted.
When the user has entered server address, username and authentication information, it becomes possible
to login. This is done by pressing the Connect button or the enter key on the keyboard. The client will
then try to establish a connection with the ThinLinc server. If any of the fields has a bad value that
prevents the client from successfully logging in, for example if the username or password is incorrect,
there will be response message shown as a message box with the suiting information.
Note: By default, usernames are case-sensitive when logging in via the ThinLinc client. This
behaviour may be changed using an option in the client configuration file - see
LOWERCASE_LOGIN_NAME in Section 7.7 for details.
If the login attempt is successful a ThinLinc session will start, an old one will be reused or a session
selection box might be presented, all depending on the client’s settings and how many sessions the user
has running, a . See Section 7.4.1 for more information on how the choice is made.
Figure 7-2. The ThinLinc client session selection window
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Chapter 7. The ThinLinc Client
The session selection window presents the user with a list of relevant sessions and several buttons to act
on those sessions:
Connect
Connect to the selected session, or create a new session if the current selection is "Create new
session...".
End session
Forcefully terminate the selected session and restart the connection procedure.
Cancel
Abort the connection and return to the main window.
The server will then prepare a graphical session on a ThinLinc server. The client then connects to this
session and displays it. Normally the user now sees a dialog with different session options. The user can
there select for example to run a Linux session or a Windows session. Depending on the choice the
server at the other end will start that kind of session.
7.1.3. Language Settings
The ThinLinc client gets all its strings from a database. This way it can be easily translated, by just
providing a new database for a new language.
On Unix based systems, the client picks up which language to use by reading the standard POSIX locale
environment variables. A somewhat simplified description of these follow here:
: If this environment variable is set, it takes precedence over all other locale variables. It will
affect all locale settings, including message strings, sorting order, money representation, decimal
numbers, etc.
• LC_ALL
: If LC_ALL is not set but this one is, it will make the messages of the client adhere to
the language in question, in effect making the client use that language. There are several other
variables of this kind, but they do not affect the ThinLinc client.
• LC_MESSAGES
: If LC_ALL is not set then the value of this variable will be used for all locale categories that are
not explicitly set, e.g. LC_MESSAGES .
• LANG
There is also a variable called LANGUAGE on some systems, but it is non-standard, and we do not
recommend the use of it.
If none of these variables are set, the locale defaults to C, which in practice means American English.
The value of the variables should be of the form language_country, where language and country are 2
letter codes. Currently, the languages delivered with the client are Brazilian Portuguese (pt_BR), English
(en_US), Dutch (nl_NL), French (fr_FR), German (de_DE), Italian (it_IT), Russian (ru_RU), Spanish
(es_ES), Swedish (sv_SE), and Turkish (tr_TR).
On Windows, the same environment variables can be set in a script that also starts the ThinLinc client.
An example script called altlang.cmd is installed with the ThinLinc client for Windows. If nothing is
set, the Windows client will use the language setting that was given with the control panel.
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Chapter 7. The ThinLinc Client
7.1.4. The ThinLinc session life cycle
When the user has started a ThinLinc session the client login interface disappears from the desktop. The
client program continues to run in the background as long as the ThinLinc session is running. The client
enters a service mode where it handles services needed to fulfill the requested features. For example the
client handles the export of local printers, serial ports, and so on. When the ThinLinc session quits the
client service engine quits as well.
There are several ways a session can end. The most common one is that the user chooses to logout from
the session. That causes the session to finish on the server side. The ThinLinc server finds out that the
session has finished and disconnects the client. Another possibility is to intentionally disconnect the
client, without finishing the session on the server. This can be done by using the session menu. See
Section 7.1.5 below for information about how to do this. When the client disconnects before the session
running on the server is told to end, then the session will continue to run on the server. The next time the
user logs in the server will reconnect the user to the very same session. This way it’s possible to, for
example, disconnect a session at work, go home, reconnect to that session and continue to work.
If the user knows that there already is a session running on the server, but still wants to start a new fresh
session, then it’s possible to check the End existing session check box that exists in the client login
interface (advanced mode only). The client will then tell the server that it wants to end the existing
session (if it exists) and get a new one.
7.1.5. The session menu
When the ThinLinc session is authenticated and the ThinLinc session is running it’s possible to control
the session. For example it’s possible to change between full screen mode and window mode, and to
disconnect the ThinLinc client from the server.
To switch to windowed mode there is a session menu that pops up when the user press a predefined key.
The default key for this is F8, but the key is configurable from the client options. See Section 7.4.1 for
more information about how to change this key. In the session menu you should select Full screen to
toggle full screen mode.
7.2. Running the ThinLinc client from the command line
To run the ThinLinc client from the command line you run the program tlclient, optionally followed by
options and a server name. The correct program syntax is as follows.
tlclient [options] [server][:port]
The optional server field can be used to specify a ThinLinc server that should be predefined in the server
field when client is started. The optional port parameter causes the client to try to connect another
TCP/IP port number than the normal SSH port when establishing it’s secure connection to the ThinLinc
server. More information about custom SSH settings is available at Section 7.4.5.
The ThinLinc client is highly controllable from the command line by the use of command line
arguments. Many parts of the client can be controlled this way. The more simple things to control is the
server or user name. It is possible to force settings and lock tabs and fields in the config interface to
prevent them from being changed.
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Chapter 7. The ThinLinc Client
All arguments written on the command line overrides the settings saved from previous sessions. The
options window will show the current settings, including the settings from the command line. The client
settings is only stored to file when the user press the OK button in the options window. This means that
options from the command line normally don’t affect the saved settings. But if the user opens the options
window and accepts the settings by pressing the OK button then the settings, including the one from the
command line, will be saved.
For a complete list of arguments supported by your client you can run the client with the argument -?.
Description of available command line arguments
Here follows a description for all available command line arguments.
-?, --help
Display a help summary.
--version
Display client version information and exit.
-a, --advanced
Start client in advanced mode. Advanced mode means that the client will show the Server field,
Options... button and the End existing session checkbox. The advanced mode is the normal mode
used when you start the ThinLinc client. A simpler mode, where those interface components are
hidden, is used automatically when you enter a server name as a command line argument. By
adding this argument you override that and always use the advanced mode.
-c, --controlpanel
Enable the Control Panel and apply stored mouse and keyboard speed and acceleration settings if
any. Only available on UNIX versions of the client.
-C, --configfile FILE
Specifies an additional configuration file. Parameter values in this configuration file overrides the
values specified by the system wide and user configuration file. Settings changed from the GUI will
be stored in this configuration file, instead of the user’s configuration file.
-d, --debug LEVEL
The ThinLinc client logs information about the current session to the file ~/.thinlinc/tlclient.log on
UNIX systems and %TMP%\tlclient.log on Windows systems. When the client is started, any
existing log file is renamed as tlclient.old.log. The amount of information to log can be
configured with this option followed by a number from 1 to 5. A low number gives less logging than
a higher number. The default is a log level of 3. For more information about log file placement, see
Section 7.6 below.
-u, --user USER
This option sets the user name that should be filled in into the Name field. This can be used to
override the name that is automatically saved from last session. If you for example, in a school
classroom, want it to always start with an empty Name field, then you can use this parameter with
the empty string "".
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Chapter 7. The ThinLinc Client
-p, --password PASSWORD
This option sets the password that should be filled in into the Password field. When this option is
used and a user name exists (either saved from previous session or entered with the -u parameter)
the client will automatically try to login, directly after start. If the login try fails it will return focus
to the client interface, making it possible to adjust the values. Note that the command line of tlclient,
and therefore the password, will be visible to other processes running on the client operating
system. If this is a problem in your environment, consider using the -P option documented below.
-P, --askpass PROGRAM
This option makes it possible to specify an askpass program that should be used to achieve the
password. This program should in some way ask the user for a password and then return that
password together with an exit code. This triggers the auto login (see argument -p above).
-e, --encodings ENCODING, ...
This option makes it possible to select which VNC encoding you want to use (see Section 7.4.4 for
more information about VNC encodings). Valid encodings for this option are: Tight, ZRLE, Hextile
and Raw.
-l, --lock ITEM, ...
This option makes it possible to lock different parts of the client interface. This can be used to
prevent things from being changed. Locked parts will still be shown, but will be "grayed out",
which means that they can’t be made active for change. The items that should be locked should
follow this option as a comma separated list. The following items are possible to lock.
•
server: server entry field
•
thinlinc: ThinLinc tab
•
options: options tab
•
screen: screen tab
•
optimization: optimization tab
•
ssh: SSH tab
-h, --hide ITEM, ...
This option makes it possible to hide different parts of the client interface. This can be used to
remove parts of the interface that can confuse novice users, or to prevent them from reaching parts
of the interface. The following items are possible to hide.
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•
options: options button
•
controlpanel: control panel button (only in XDM mode)
Chapter 7. The ThinLinc Client
-f, --force SETTING, ...
This option makes it possible to force a setting to a value. This can be used to preset a client with
values and to force them to reset to those values each time, even if the users make changes. When an
option is forced it is turned on. The following items are possible to force.
•
terminate: terminate session
•
fullscreen: fullscreen mode
•
sound: sound mode
•
sshcomp: ssh compression
-M, --minimize
This option causes all other applications to be minimized when the ThinLinc client starts.
-s, --startprogram
Specifies the program to start in the session. Overrides the START_PROGRAM_ENABLED and
START_PROGRAM_COMMAND configuration parameters.
--loop
This option causes the client to run forever. The exit button is removed, and when a session has
ended, a new client process is automatically started.
Note: The only way to stop the client from restarting is to terminate the tlclient process.
7.3. Local device export
ThinLinc supports export of different local devices. This means that a device that exists on your client
computer or terminal can be reached from the ThinLinc session that runs on the server. The type of
devices that can be exported varies depending on which operating system the ThinLinc client runs on.
The export is, very generalized, done by establishing secure tunnels for the data transmission and
services that connect both ends. Here follows more information about each type of possible export; for
detailed information about how to enable each type of export in the client, see Section 7.4.2 below.
7.3.1. Sound device (Windows and UNIX only)
This feature makes it possible to hear sound from applications that runs on the ThinLinc server. Sound
will be sent from the ThinLinc server to your local client through a secure connection. A small local
sound daemon will be automatically started by the ThinLinc client. A secure tunnel for sound will be
established during the ThinLinc session setup.
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All programs that support the Enlightened Sound Daemon (EsounD) or PulseAudio should automatically
be aware of this tunnel and send their sound to the client. See also Section 12.3 for information about
supporting other applications.
The sound data that is sent from the server session to the local client is uncompressed audio data. This
means that it can be relatively large and may use relatively much network bandwidth. This feature should
not be used if you plan to use ThinLinc over low bandwidth connections such as modems or ISDN
connections.
7.3.2. Serial ports (Windows and UNIX only)
This feature makes it possible to export two local serial ports to the ThinLinc session. When serial port
redirection is enabled, a small redirection daemon will be automatically started by the ThinLinc client
during session startup. A secure tunnel for serial port data will be established.
Warning
When activating serial port redirection, all users on the terminal server can access
the serial port of the client machine.
7.3.3. Drives
This feature makes it possible to, in a secure way, export one or many local drives from the client
machine to the server session. This can be local hard disk volumes, local CD-ROM drives, and so on.
The local drive will be made available on the ThinLinc server session.
Each exported device can have individual permission settings. All export settings are made in the
ThinLinc client options interface.
7.3.4. Printer
This feature makes it possible to export a local printer to make it available from the ThinLinc session.
When enabled, the client will setup a secure tunnel for printer jobs. The client will also activate a small
built-in print server that listens for printer jobs on this tunnel.
When you print to the special printer queue thinlocal in your ThinLinc session, then the job will be sent
through this tunnel and then printed on the client machine. On UNIX platforms, the print job will always
be sent to the default printer. On Windows and Mac OS X, it is possible to select whether the print job
should be sent to the default printer or if the printer selection dialog should be used every print. Note that
device dependent print jobs will always go to the default printer.
For more information about printer redirection in ThinLinc, see Section 5.3.
7.3.5. Smart Card Readers
This feature makes it possible to export all local smart cards and smart card readers to make them
available from the ThinLinc session. All smart card readers available to the system will be exported to
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the session so there is nothing to configure except an activation switch.
The ThinLinc client relies on the PC/SC interface present on the system to communicate with the smart
card readers. If you have a reader that uses another system, then that reader will not be exported.
Note: Smart card export on Mac requires OS X version 10.5.6 or later.
7.4. Client configuration
To configure the ThinLinc client you press the button labeled "Options..." in the client window. That
brings up the client options window. This window contains several pages of settings, ordered in tab sets.
The following sections will describe each of these pages and all individual settings.
When a user press the OK button all the current settings in the options window is saved. For more
information about the config file format, see Section 7.7.
7.4.1. Options tab
The Options tab contains general options for the ThinLinc session. This includes settings for which
program to execute in the session, shadowing another users session, reassignment of session pop-up key
and how reconnections are handled.
Figure 7-3. Client settings Options tab
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Chapter 7. The ThinLinc Client
Description of options tab settings
Here follows detailed description of the settings available in the options tab.
Start a Program
If enabled, the client requests that the server should start the session with the command supplied by
the client. Otherwise, the session command is determined by the server configuration.
Enable shadowing
When enabled, client shadowing will be enabled in the client. An extra text field will be present in
the client main window. This field is used to enter the user name of the user whose session you want
to shadow.
Send system keys
When this setting is enabled and the client is in full screen mode, key combinations such Alt+Tab
will be sent to the remote system instead of being handled locally. To regain access to the local
system without ending the session, the menu key must be used.
Popup menu key
During a ThinLinc session you can press a specific key to bring up the session control pop-up
window. This window can for example be used to toggle to and from full screen mode and to
disconnect the session. The default key for this is F8, but other keys can be configured here. The
feature can also be disabled by selecting None.
Reconnect policy
When the client connects to a ThinLinc server, there might already be multiple sessions running on
it. Some of these sessions might be connected to another client, and some might be disconnected.
The client can be configured to automatically handle some of these cases, or always ask the user
what to do.
Note: Sessions that have been started with a command different from the one currently used will be
ignored.
Automatically reconnect to a disconnected session
1. If there is no disconnected session and additional sessions are allowed, a new session is
created.
2. If there is a single disconnected session then that will be used.
3. If server allows only one session, reconnect to existing session.
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4. Otherwise, ask how to proceed.
Always ask how multiple sessions should be handled
1. If there is no running session, then create a new one.
2. If server allows only one session, reconnect to existing session.
3. Otherwise, ask how to proceed.
Software Updates
If enabled, the client will periodically query the UPDATE_URL value specified in tlclient.conf
for updates. If a newer version is available, the user will be asked if they want to install it.
7.4.2. Local Devices tab
The Local Devices tab contains options for which local devices should be exported to the server and in
what manner.
Figure 7-4. Client settings Local Devices tab
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Chapter 7. The ThinLinc Client
Description of local devices tab settings
Here follows detailed description of the settings available in the local devices tab.
Export - Sound Device
When enabled, sound will be sent from the ThinLinc server to your local client. A small local sound
daemon will be started by the client, which connects to a secure tunnel to the server. See Section
12.3 for more information about this topic.
Figure 7-5. Sound system selection interface
On Linux there is a "Details..." button next to the Sound check box that will allow you to choose
between PulseAudio, ALSA and OSS for the local sound system. You can also let the ThinLinc
client select the correct system automatically.
Export - Serial Ports
It is possible to forward two serial ports from the client to make it available to programs you run on
the server. To select which of your local serial devices to export you can press the "Details..." button
next to the Serial Port check box. This will bring up a dialog where you can select which two serial
ports should be exported.
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Figure 7-6. Serial port selection interface
The Device should be a path to a UNIX serial device (such as /dev/ttyS0) or a Windows COM
port name (such as COM1). Enter the device to export in the text field or press the "... " button to
browse to the wanted device.
Export - Drives
This check box turns on export of local devices from your terminal top the ThinLinc server. This
makes your local drives available from your ThinLinc session. To select which drives to export you
press the "Details..." button next to Drives check box. That presents a dialog where you can build a
list of drives to export and set export permissions.
Figure 7-7. Local drive export selection interface
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Chapter 7. The ThinLinc Client
The Export Local Drives window consists of two parts. At the top there is a list containing exported
paths, with two control buttons below. The lower half contains settings fields for the currently
selected path. When you select a path listed in the upper list you will see its corresponding settings
in the Drive Options field below. You can then change the selected path by changing the values on
the options field.
To add a new path to the list you press the Add button. That creates a new empty land in the path
list. The new path will be automatically selected. you can then modify the settings in the lower half.
Set the path and export permission for the new export. To set the export path you can either write it
manually in the path text field or press the "..." button to bring up a file navigation window.
To remove a path you simply select a path and press the Remove button.
The Windows client features a mechanism that makes it easy to export the "My Documents" folder.
This feature is activated by pressing the "My Documents" button. Regardless of the local folder
name, this folder will be mounted as "MyDocuments" on the server.
The export permissions can be one of the following three options, Not Exported, Read Only and
Read-Write. The Not Exported option can be used to temporarily turn off an export without having
to delete it. The Read Only option means that you from the ThinLinc session will be able to read
from the export, but not write. The Read-Write option means that you from the ThinLinc session
will be able to both read and write.
Export - Printer
By checking this check box the client will export your local printer to make it available from the
ThinLinc session. For more information about this feature, see Section 7.3.4 and Section 5.3.
Figure 7-8. Printer options dialog
On Windows there is a "Details..." button next to the Printer check box that will allow you to select
if the print job should be sent to the default printer or if the printer selection dialog should be used
on every print.
Export - Smart Card Readers
This check box makes all local smart card readers and smart cards available to applications on the
ThinLinc server. It is not necessary to check this box to authenticate using smart cards, but it is
needed if you also wish to authenticate using smart cards to a Windows Terminal Services server.
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7.4.3. Screen tab
The "Screen" tab contains options regarding the session screen. This includes initial screen size, resize
behaviour and full screen mode.
Figure 7-9. Client settings Screen tab
Description of screen tab settings
Here follows detailed description of the settings available in the screen tab.
Size of session
In this box of radio buttons you can select the screen size you want for your ThinLinc session. The
first five options are static with four very common screen sizes (800*600, 1024*768, 1280*1024
and 1600*1200).
The option Current monitor makes the ThinLinc session just as large as the monitor that the main
client window is currently on. This can be used to run ThinLinc in full screen mode on one monitor,
whilst retaining access to the local desktop on the other monitors.
The option All monitors makes the session large enough to cover all available monitors. This is a
good choice when using full screen mode.
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The options All monitors and Current monitor are identical if there is only a single monitor
connected.
The option Work area (maximized) makes the ThinLinc session size suitable for a maximized
window.
The final possible size option is to manually enter the wanted width and height. The two text boxes
close to the last radio button is supposed to contain the width and the height of the wanted session
as numbers. These numbers must be larger than 128 and not larger than 16384.
Resize remote session to the local window
This option makes the remote session follow the size of the local ThinLinc Client window. If the
local window is resized, the remote session will be adjusted to match. If this option is disabled, or if
the server is too old, padding or scroll bars will be added as needed when the remote session does
not match the size of the local window.
Full screen mode
This option enables full screen mode during sessions. That means that the ThinLinc session will
cover all of the screen area. If the session is smaller than your screen resolution, there will be black
borders around your session which will be centered on the screen. If you run in full screen mode
and want to reach the native session that is hidden by the ThinLinc session you can switch out from
full screen mode. To do this you press the key assigned to bring up the session pop-up menu.
Normally this menu is bound to the F8 key, but can be manually changed. See the Popup menu key
setting on the Options tab above for more information on this. In the session menu you should
select Full screen to toggle full screen mode.
Enable full screen mode over all monitors
This option controls if full screen mode should use just the current monitor, or all monitors
connected to the local client.
7.4.4. Optimization tab
The "Optimization" tab contains various settings that affects the protocols used to transfer the graphic
information. This includes algorithm used for the graphic encoding. The best choices may differ from
case to case. Factors that affects the algorithm choices can for example be network bandwidth, network
latency, and client computer performance.
The default setting is to use the Auto select mode, to automatically select the best suited algorithms.
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Figure 7-10. Client settings Optimization tab
Description of optimization tab settings
Here follows detailed description of the settings available in the optimization tab.
Auto select
This option makes the ThinLinc system try to automatically select the best suited encoding
algorithm. The network performance is measured during the life of the connection and the encoding
options are adjusted based on the results. This means that the encoding options can be changed
automatically during the connection, if the network performance changes. Activating this option
will "gray out" the Preferred encoding and Color level options, to show that they aren’t manually
controlled.
Preferred encoding
This block of settings affects the VNC protocol encoding. There are several different ways to
compress and encode the graphic data that is sent from the server to your client. In this box you
select one of four possible encodings. The methods differ much: Some try to use smart algorithms
to select and compress the areas to send, which means slightly higher CPU usage, but most likely
less bandwidth usage and faster sessions where the bandwidth is limited. Other methods use less
CPU capacity but more network bandwidth. The best choice can vary much depending on place and
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situation. A safe choice is to let the system automatically select the best encoding by checking the
Auto select checkbox above.
Encoding: Tight
This choice selects the Tight encoding method. With this encoding the zlib compression library is
used to compress the pixel data. It pre-processes the data to maximize compression ratios, and to
minimize CPU usage on compression. Also, JPEG compression may be used to encode color-rich
screen areas. The zlib compression level and the JPEG compression ratio can be manually changed.
See Custom compression level and Allow JPEG compression below. Tight encoding is usually the
best choice for low-bandwidth network environments (e.g. slow modem connections).
Encoding: ZRLE
This choice selects the ZRLE encoding method.
Encoding: Hextile
This choice selects the Hextile encoding method. With Hextile the screen is divided into rectangles,
split up in to tiles of 16x16 pixels and sent in a predetermined order. Hextile encoding is often the
best choice for using in high-speed network environments (e.g. Ethernet local-area networks).
Encoding: Raw
This choice selects the Raw encoding method. This is the simplest of the encoding methods. It
simply sends all the graphic data of the screen, raw and uncompressed. Since this method use the
least processing power among the possible methods this is normally the best choice if the server and
client runs on the same machine.
Custom compression level
By selecting this option you choose to override the standard compression level used when
compressing data with the Tight encoding. You can manually select the wanted compression level
by entering a number between 1 and 9. Level 1 uses a minimum of CPU performance and achieves
weak compression ratios, while level 9 offers best compression but is slow in terms of CPU
consumption on the server side. Use high levels with very slow network connections, and low levels
when working over high-speed network connections. This applies to the Tight encoding only!
Allow JPEG compression
By selecting this option you choose to override the standard JPEG compression quality of color-rich
parts of the screen. JPEG is a "lossy" compression method for images that helps the Tight encoding
to significantly reduce the size of the image data. The drawback is that the resulting image,
depending of selected compression ratio, can be blurred and grainy. You can manually select the
wanted image quality by entering a number between 0 and 9. Quality level 0 gives bad image
quality but very impressive compression ratios, while level 9 offers very good image quality at
lower compression ratios. Note that the Tight encoder uses JPEG to encode only those screen areas
that look suitable for lossy compression, so quality level 0 does not always mean unacceptable
image quality.
Color level
This block of choices selects the number of colors to be used for the graphic data sent from the
server to the client. The setting has four levels, Full, Medium, Low and Very low. The default and
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normal is to use the Full setting. Selecting a lower number of colors will highly affect the resulting
image to the worse, but may also speed up the transfer significantly when using slow network
connections.
In this context, Full means the number of colors supported by the clients graphics hardware.
SSH compression
This choice selects whether or not to use SSH compression for all the data sent between ThinLinc
server and client. This is normally not used since an extra compression step, above a compressing
graphic encoding normally doesn’t help making it smaller, only use more CPU performance. There
can still be occasions where this is worth trying though. It is possible that this can help speeding up
printing or other exports over slow connections.
7.4.5. Security tab
The "Security" tab controls how the client authenticates against the ThinLinc server. The main interface
of the client will be different depending on the choices made here.
Figure 7-11. Client settings Security tab
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Chapter 7. The ThinLinc Client
Description of security tab settings
Here follows detailed description of the settings available in the security tab.
SSH Port
This option selects the TCP/IP port to use when the client tries to establish an SSH connection with
the ThinLinc server. The normal SSH port is 22, which also is the default selection for this option.
There can be reasons to use another port on some occasions. If you for example need to use
ThinLinc over the Internet, from a location where port 22 is blocked by a firewall. Then you can
select a port that is let open. Port 80 which is used for HTTP, the protocol used for transport when
surfing the WWW is one port that often is open. To be able to use a port other than 22 you need to
make sure that the SSH daemon (sshd), which runs on the ThinLinc server, listens to the port you
want to use. The SSH daemon can be told to listen to any wanted ports. In the client interface you
can select between the default port 22, port 80 and an arbitrary port number which you can enter by
yourself.
Note about SSH host key updates: If the SSH host key on the server changes, e.g. due to an
upgrade of the OS or SSH server software, the client will note this fact. It will then, at the next
login, open a dialog and let the user confirm that the new host key is valid. If the user clicks OK ,
then the host key on the client for this particular server is updated on disk.
The administrator can disallow this by manually setting the parameter ALLOW_HOSTKEY_UPDATE
to 0. See Section 7.7 for more information.
Password
This option makes the client try to authenticate using a regular password.
Public key
This option makes the client try to authenticate using public key encryption. The user will be asked
to provide a private encryption key instead of a text password.
Smart card
This option makes the client try to authenticate using public key encryption, but with the private key
securely stored on a smart card. The user will be asked to select a certificate on the smart card and
to provide the passphrase for it.
Note: Smart card authentication requires that the smart card is readable by your PKCS#11
library. The library included by default supports PKCS#15 compliant smart cards and relies on
the PC/SC interface. This is always present on Windows systems and is usually installed by
default on Linux systems. On Solaris this is a third-party add-on.
The "Details..." button lets you change the options for smart card usage and managing the certificate
filters which are used to match accepted certificates for authentication.
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Figure 7-12. Smart card authentication settings
Use certificate subject as login name
Enable this options if you want to enable automatic login, this will also hide the input box for
login name from user.
Connect when smart card is inserted
This options will try to automatic connect and is dependent on certificate filters, automatic
connect will only occur if only one certificate is available after the filtration.
Read more about automatic connection below where certificate filters is discussed.
See Section 9.5.6 for information on how to configure the server for automatic smart card
connection.
Disconnect when smart card is removed
Enabling this options makes the client automatically disconnect when the smart card used to
authenticate is removed.
Send smart card passphrase (PIN) to server
This option makes the client transmit the smart card passphrase, as entered by the user, over to
the ThinLinc server. It is required to enable smart card single sign-on.
Warning
Enabling this option reduces the security of the smart card as
the passphrase would otherwise never leave the client system.
The option should be left disabled if smart card single sign-on
is not used.
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Smart card - certificate filter
A certificate filter is used to present only allowed certificates for authentication, certificates that
does not match any filter will be hidden from the user.
When no certificate filters are configured, all available certificates on the smart card will be
available for authentication and therefore the autoconnect feature will not work.
If the resulting filtered list of certificate evaluates only one certificate for authentication and the
autoconnect feature is enabled, it will be used for authentication.
When the login dialog is displayed and the key shortcut control-shift-F8 is pressed, the certificate
filtering functionality is bypassed and gives you access to all certificates available on the smart card
for authentication.
To add a new filter just press the add button as shown in dialog Figure 7-12 or select an available
filter item in the lsit and press edit to change the settings for specific filter. Either way, the certificate
filter settings dialog Figure 7-13 will be shown where you can modify the settings of the specific
filter.
Figure 7-13. Certificate filter settings
Name
Enter name of the filter that will be seen in the list of filters.
Issuer
The certificate issuer field consists of a comma separated list of attribute-value pairs that all
must be present in the certificate issuer field. Commonly the "common name" of the issuer is
used, e.g. "cn=My CA". It is also possible to allow any issuer that are part of the same
organisation, e.g. "o=My Company Ltd.". Any registered object identifier descriptor can be
used as an attribute name (see IANA (http://www.iana.org/assignments/ldap-parameters) for a
full list).
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Key usage
The certificate must have all the key usage bits selected in this window. Having more bits than
those selected does not exclude a certificate.
Kerberos ticket
This option makes the client try to authenticate using an existing kerberos ticket.
Note: This requires that a valid kerberos ticket is available on the client, and that the SSH
daemon on the ThinLinc server is configured to accept this ticket during authentication. For
information about how to configure kerberos authentication on your particular platform(s),
please see the relevant vendor documentation.
7.5. The XDM mode (UNIX only)
When installing dedicated clients, for example old PCs or thin terminal boxes, it’s common to install the
client to run in XDM mode. XDM is an acronym for X Display Manager and is the name of a small
graphical program used for graphical logins in many UNIX systems. By using the ThinLinc client in
XDM mode you can make sure that the client appears automatically when the client hardware is started
and that it reappears directly after a user logs out.
To run the client in XDM mode you need to start it with the -x option. When running in XDM mode the
following changes will be made to the client interface.
•
The Exit button is removed.
•
Control panel is enabled. This makes it possible to control the dedicated client, for example keyboard
and mouse.
•
Mouse acceleration and keyboard repetition settings are loaded from the client configuration file and
applied at startup.
•
Always use fullscreen
•
More limited F8 menu
7.5.1. The XDM mode Control Panel
When running in XDM mode a Control Panel button will be shown in the ThinLinc login window. When
this button is clicked the client will show a control panel where the user can control the keyboard, mouse
and screen. The reason for this control panel is that the user otherwise has few possibilities to change
those settings, since the client runs without any graphical window manager with settings for these
options.
The control panel consists of a window with three pages ordered by tabs. One page is used for mouse
settings, one for keyboard and one for screen.
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7.5.1.1. Mouse tab
This page contains mouse settings. The user can here control whether the mouse buttons should be setup
for left or right hand use. When changed the left and right mouse button change place. The mouse speed
has two controls, the mouse acceleration and the acceleration threshold. The acceleration setting
controls how much the mouse movements will accelerate when the mouse is moved faster. The threshold
controls how fast the mouse needs to be moved before the movement will be accelerated. Acceleration is
the phenomena where the mouse pointer is moved more if the mouse is moved fast than if it’s moved the
same distance slowly.
Figure 7-14. The control panel mouse tab
7.5.1.2. Keyboard tab
The keyboard tab contains settings for keyboard repetition. The check box Automatic repetition controls
whether a key that is held down should be repeated automatically or not. The other two controls sets the
repetition rate and the repetition delay. The repetition rate is the speed of the repetition, how many chars
from a held down key that will be written each time interval. The repetition delay controls how long the
key needs to be held down before it becomes repeated. A too short delay can be bad since it then
becomes possible to write double characters by mistake.
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Figure 7-15. The control panel keyboard tab
7.5.1.3. Screen tab
The screen tab makes it possible to select between different available screen resolutions. The list of
possible resolutions is read from the settings for the current terminal.
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Figure 7-16. The control panel screen tab
7.6. Logfile placement
The ThinLinc client logs it’s activities to the human readable file, tlclient.log. The locations of this
file differs between UNIX and Windows systems and are explained below.
The log file is truncated every time the ThinLinc client is started. This means that the log file always
contains information about the lastest session only.
7.6.1. UNIX log file
On UNIX systems the logfile is located in the home directory for the user that runs the ThinLinc client.
The path is ~/.thinlinc/tlclient.log.
7.6.2. Windows log file
On Windows systems the logfile is located in the directory referenced from the %TMP% variable. The
value of this variable can be achieved by running any of the following commands in a Windows
command window.
C:\> echo %TMP%
or
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C:\> set
Observe that some directories in the Windows %TMP% path may be flagged as hidden by the Windows
system. This means that you need to change directory options to display hidden files and directories to
navigate to the log file.
7.7. Client configuration storage
7.7.1. Overview and Parameters
The ThinLinc client does not currently use Hiveconf for its configuration, although this may change in
future ThinLinc releases. Instead, the Linux client uses a similar plain text format with key/value pairs
and the Windows client stores the values in the Windows registry.
Note: The configuration parameters should seldom be edited by hand. For a system wide
configuration, create a parameter set using the client and copy it to the system wide file.
Configuration Parameters Used by the ThinLinc Client
Both the Windows and the Linux version of the ThinLinc client use the same names for their
configuration parameters, although the storage technique used is different (text files vs. registry keys). In
this section we will list the parameters and explain their possible values.
ALLOW_HOSTKEY_UPDATE
Set to 1 if SSH host key updates should be allowed. This parameter cannot be changed from the
GUI. The result of setting ALLOW_HOSTKEY_UPDATE to 0 is that the client cannot connect to the
server if the host key is wrong. This enhances security if there is a risk for a man in the middle
attack.
AUTHENTICATION_METHOD
This parameter can be set to "password", "publickey", "scpublickey" or "kerberos" to select the
authentication mode used by the client.
AUTOLOGIN
If this parameter is set to 1, the client will automatically login at start, using the server name, user
name and password specified in the configuration storage.
CERTIFICATE
Specifies the smart card certificate to use when authenticating.
CERTIFICATE_NAMING
Controls how the client presents a certificate to the user. The parameter consists of a comma
separated list of naming tokens that represent bits of information from each card or certificate.
Possible tokens:
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Chapter 7. The ThinLinc Client
card_label
The label specified on the smart card.
pin_label
The label associated with the PIN protecting this certificate.
subject_*
A field from the subject in the certificate. Can for example be the common name by specifying
subject_cn or subject_commonName. Any registered object identifier descriptor can be used
(see IANA (http://www.iana.org/assignments/ldap-parameters) for a full list).
issuer_*
A field from the issuer in the certificate, in the same manner as for subject_*.
The client will use as many of the tokens as necessary to give each certificate a unique name. That
means that certificates on two different cards can be presented with a different number of tokens
depending on how much the information between the certificates overlap. An index number will be
added to the name if the names are still not unique when all tokens are used.
CUSTOM_COMPRESSION
Set to 1 if a custom compression method is selected.
CUSTOM_COMPRESSION_LEVEL
The selected compression level. An integer between 1 and 9.
DISPLAY_MODE
The display mode. Can be set to values "SIMPLE" and "ADVANCED", or be left empty. In the
latter case, the default behaviour is to use simple mode if a server name is given as a parameter and
advanced mode otherwise.
REMOTE_RESIZE
Set to 1 if the client should resize the remote session when the local window changes.
FULL_SCREEN_MODE
Set to 1 if the client should run in fullscreen mode.
FULL_SCREEN_ALL_MONITORS
Set to 1 if the client should use all monitors in full screen mode, instead of just the current monitor.
HOST_ALIASES
This parameter specifies a list of hostname and port translations. This translation list is consulted
whenever the client is about to initiate a network connection. This includes the SSH connection to
the ThinLinc agent machine. The syntax for this parameter is:
[fromhost][:fromport]=[tohost][:toport] ...
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If fromhost is omitted, the translation will apply to all hosts. The same principle is used for ports.
If tohost or toport is omitted, the original host or port will be used. Multiple translations are
separated with whitespace. The translation stops as soon as one match is found.
JPEG_COMPRESSION
Set to 1 if JPEG compression is wanted.
JPEG_COMPRESSION_LEVEL
The wanted compression level.
KILL_EXISTING_SESSIONS
Set to 1 if existing sessions should be ended.
Note: It makes little sense to change this value. The client never saves this setting.
LOWERCASE_LOGIN_NAME
Set to 1 if the client should convert the entered username to lowercase before logging into the
server. This affects both the login user name and the name of the user to shadow (if applicable).
NEW_PASSWORD_REGEXP
This parameter specifies a regular expression. If an interactive SSH prompt matches this expression,
the response is taken as a new password. The new password will be used for the SSH connection to
the agent machine. It will also be sent to the server to enable Single Sign-On.
OPTIONS_POPUP_KEY
Key code for key to activate option pop-up menu.
PASSWORD
This parameter allows you to specify a password in the configuration file. It must be specified using
a hexadecimal ASCII notation, which means that every character is specified by its hexadecimal
value.
Warning
The password value is not encrypted. It should be treated as a clear text
password. Avoid storing configuration files with a PASSWORD
parameter on disk or transmit such files over networks without
encryption.
PKCS11_MODULE
Specifies the PKCS#11 module that will be used to communicate with the smart card. The path can
be relative the base prefix of the ThinLinc client or an absolute path.
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PRIVATE_KEY
This parameter specifies the path to the private key to be used to authenticate the user.
RECONNECT_POLICY
This parameter can be set to "single-disconnected" or "ask" to control the client’s reconnect policy.
See Section 7.4.1 for their meaning.
REMOVE_CONFIGURATION
If 1, the user configuration file (or the file specified by -C) will be removed after the client has
started. Settings changed in the GUI will not be stored to disk. If the client fails to remove the file, it
will try to truncate it instead.
SCREEN_SIZE_SELECTION
The default size of the ThinLinc session. Possible values:
•
0 for 640x480
•
1 for 800x600
•
2 for 1024x768
•
3 for 1280x1024
•
4 for 1600x1200
•
5 for Current monitor
•
6 for Work area (maximized)
•
7 for Custom screen size, set using the SCREEN_X_SIZE and SCREEN_Y_SIZE parameters.
•
8 for All available monitors
SCREEN_X_SIZE
Custom width of session, if SCREEN_SIZE_SELECTION is set to 7.
SCREEN_Y_SIZE
Custom height of session, if SCREEN_SIZE_SELECTION is set to 7.
SEND_SYSKEYS
Set to 1 if the client should send system keys (like Alt+Tab) to the remote system when in full
screen mode.
SMARTCARD_FILTER_n
This is a item list of certificate filters replace n with a sequence number that defined the order of the
filter in the list.
The filter string consists of three fields where each field is sperated using a | (pipe), the defined three
fields are: name, attributes and key usage which are documented below. Here follows an example of
a filter string showing its format:
SMARTCARD_FILTER_1=Telia|o=TeliaSonera|5
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name
The name of the filter which will be displayed in the list of filters defined in the user interface.
attributes
This field holds a comma separated list of certificate attributes that is used when matching
against available certificates, for example O=TeliaSonera.
key usage
Key usage is a bitmask value used to match against a certificate’s key usage flags. It indicates
the intended usage of the certificate, such as identification, signing etc.
Use this to match certificates that is intended to be used for logon. For example, identification
certificates will be matched using a value of 5, digital signature + key encipherment = 5. The
values are described in the following table:
1
2
4
8
16
32
64
128
256
digital signature
non-repudiation
key encipherment
data enciperment
key agreement
certificate signing
CRL signing
enchiper only
decipher only
SMARTCARD_SUBJECT_AS_NAME
Set to 1 if the certificate subject should be used as logon name, this will hide the name field from
login window.
SMARTCARD_AUTOCONNECT
Set to 1 if the client should automatically attempt a connection when a smart card with a suitable
certificate is found, this will only work if SMARTCARD_SUBJECT_AS_NAME also is set to 1.
SMARTCARD_DISCONNECT
Set to 1 if the client should disconnect automatically when the smart card used for authentication is
removed.
SMARTCARD_PASSPHRASE_SSO
Set to 1 if the client should transmit the smart card passphrase to the ThinLinc server to enable
smart card single sign-on. See Section 7.4.5 for security implications.
SOUND_ENABLED
Set to 1 if sound redirection should be enabled.
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SOUND_SYSTEM
Which local sound system to use. Only used on platforms that have multiple sound systems to
choose from. Possible values:
AUTO
Automatically choose the most appropriate sound system of those available.
PULSE
Use the local PulseAudio server as determined by X11 properties or environment variables.
ALSA
Use the default ALSA device.
OSS
Use the default OSS device.
SSH_PORT_SELECTION
Port selection for ThinLinc connection. Possible values:
•
0 for port 22 (standard ssh port).
•
1 for port 80.
•
2 for custom port set in the SSH_ARBITRARY parameter.
SSH_ARBITRARY
Custom port number for ThinLinc connection.
TUNNEL_BIND_BASE
Offset for user’s forwarded ports, on server side.
Note: This parameter should normally not be changed
START_PROGRAM_ENABLED
Specifies if the client should request that the server starts the session with the command supplied by
the client.
START_PROGRAM_COMMAND
Specifies the command to use when starting the session, if START_PROGRAM_ENABLED is active.
TUNNEL_AUDIO_SLOT
Port selection for audio tunnel, on server side.
Note: This parameter should normally not be changed.
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VNC_AUTOSELECT
Set to 1 to dymanically autoselect the compression algorithm during the session.
VNC_ENCODING_SELECTION
The encoding to use for VNC. Possible values:
•
0 for Raw
•
5 for Hextile
•
7 for Tight
•
16 for ZRLE
VNC_COLOR_LEVEL
The color level used for the session.
USE_SSH_COMPRESSION
Set to 1 to use the compression built into SSH.
UPDATE_ENABLED
Set to 1 to enable periodic checks for new versions.
UPDATE_INTERVAL
This parameter specifies the time interval, in seconds, between client update checks.
UPDATE_LASTCHECK
This parameter specifies the time that the last update check was performed.
UPDATE_MANDATORY
If set to 1, updating to new client versions is mandatory.
UPDATE_URL
The HTTP URL to client update configuration file.
VNC_PORT_BASE
Offset for Xvnc VNC ports on server side.
Note: This parameter should normally not be changed
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VSM_SERVER_PORT
The VSM port number on the server.
Note: This parameter should normally not be changed
YESNO_PROMPT_REGEXP
This parameter specifies a regular expression. If an interactive SSH prompt matches this expression,
a graphical yes/no dialog will be presented, instead of a dialog for text input. Additionally, if the
prompt is known to the client, an alternate text will be used. The dialog buttons Yes and No will
send "yes" and "no" to the server, respectively.
7.7.2. Configuration Parameter Storage
Configuration parameters are typically stored in text based configuration files. The format is simple:
Each parameter is written on one line, followed by an equal sign (=) and the value of the parameter, as in
the following example:
SOUND_ENABLED = 0
SERVER_NAME = demo.thinlinc.com
By using the -C option, additional configuration files can be specified. Any name is accepted, but the file
extension .tlclient is recommended. The Windows and Linux packages configures the system to
automatically recognize such files as configuration files for the ThinLinc Client. Additionally, the
Internet Media Type "application-vnd.cendio.thinlinc.clientconf" is linked to such configuration files.
7.7.2.1. Linux Client Configuration Files
The Linux client first reads the file /opt/thinlinc/etc/tlclient.conf, if it exists. It then reads
the file .thinlinc/tlclient.conf in the user’s home directory, and the values there override the
values from /opt/thinlinc/etc/tlclient.conf. This way, a system administrator can set global
defaults for client operations, while each user can still customize the client to wanted behavior.
7.7.2.2. Windows Client Configuration
On Windows, the ThinLinc client reads its configuration from the registry. All ThinLinc client data is
stored under Software\Cendio\ThinLinc\tlclient in the HKLM and HKCU hives. The
parameter names are the same as for the Linux client.
The behaviour of global and user-specific settings are identical to that of the Linux client, where settings
in HKLM correspond to /opt/thinlinc/etc/tlclient.conf and those in HKCU correspond to
.thinlinc/tlclient.conf.
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7.7.3. Adding Custom Branding to the ThinLinc Client Login Window
It is possible to add a custom logo to the main ThinLinc client window, making it easily distinguishable
from a generic client. The custom logo will be placed to the right of the input fields.
Adding the logo is easy. The new logo must be a PNG file with maximum width and height of 50 pixels.
On Windows, just add the file branding.png in the same directory as the executable with the custom
logo. On Linux, the file name is /opt/thinlinc/lib/tlclient/branding.png.
7.8. Client Customizer
7.8.1. Introduction
This software lets you create customized ThinLinc client installation programs. This means that when
users install the customized version, they will automatically get the default settings you have configured.
One advantage with this is that you can provide, for example, a default server name. A custom client can
also be used to enhance security: You can distribute SSH host keys with the client itself, so that users
don’t need to be concerned with SSH host key fingerprint verification.
Note: The Client Customizer only works for the Windows client.
7.8.2. Installation
Before you can start, you have to install the build environment. This is done by running the command
tl-4.3.0-client-customizer.exe located in the Client Bundle. This will also create a shortcut to the build
directory in the Start menu.
7.8.3. Building a Customized Client
To create a customized client, do the following:
1. Edit settings.reg. This file contains all the parameter names and default values that are used in
tlclient. To customize the client, edit any of these values, and they will be installed in the registry
when you install the customized client itself. You can also add your servers SSH host keys (see
below).
2. Run build.bat in the same directory. The file setup.exe will now be created. This is the
installation program for the customized client.
7.8.4. Adding SSH Host Keys to settings.reg
To add your servers SSH host key to settings.reg, do the following:
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1. Use tlclient to connect to your server, if you haven’t already done so. Confirm the servers host key,
if necessary.
2. Run the registry editor, and select
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Cendio\ThinLinc\tlclient\KnownHosts
3. Export this key to an external text file.
4. Open the text file from the previous step in an editor.
5. Copy the line corresponding to your ThinLinc server. Paste this line into settings.reg, section
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Cendio\ThinLinc\tlclient\KnownHosts
6. Save settings.reg, and proceed to create the customized client as described above.
7.9. Advanced Topics
7.9.1. Hardware Address Reporting
When the client connects to server, it reports it’s hardware address. On Linux, the active interface with
the smallest MAC address is used. On Windows, the address of the first interface (as listed in the Control
Panel) is used. On Solaris, the reported address is CFFF followed by the hostid.
7.9.2. Client Update Notifications
The client includes a feature which can periodically check for new versions. This functionality is affected
by the configuration parameters UPDATE_ENABLED, UPDATE_INTERVAL, UPDATE_LASTCHECK,
UPDATE_MANDATORY, and, UPDATE_URL. These are described in Section 7.7. During an update check,
the client retrieves the file specified by UPDATE_URL. An example follows:
WINDOWSINSTALLER = https://www.cendio.com/downloads/clients/tl-latest-client-windows.exe
LINUXINSTALLER = https://www.cendio.com/downloads/clients/thinlinc-client-latest.i686.rpm
DEFAULTINSTALLER = https://www.cendio.com/downloads/clients
OKVERSIONS = 3.2.0 3.3.0
The OKVERSIONS parameter specifies a list of valid client versions. If the running client version is
different, the client will notify the user. The WINDOWSINSTALLER, LINUXINSTALLER, and
DEFAULTINSTALLER parameters specifies the updated client packages for Windows, Linux, and other
platforms, respectively.
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There are several ways to run the ThinLinc client, and also some ways to access ThinLinc servers
without running the client.
In this chapter we will document how to install, configure and run the ThinLinc client on all different
platforms including dedicated thin terminals.
8.1. Windows
8.1.1. Requirements
The supported Windows versions are XP, XP Embedded, 2003, 2003 R2, Vista, 2008, 7, 2008 R2, 8,
2012, 8.1, 2012 R2. Windows CE is currently not supported.
8.1.2. Installing the Windows Client
To install the client on a Windows machine, unpack the Client Bundle and enter the client-windows
directory. Then click on the file tl-4.3.0-client-windows.exe and follow the instructions.
The tl-4.3.0-client-windows directory contains an unpacked version of the ThinLinc Windows
client. It makes it possible to run the client directly from the bundle, without installing first.
For more information about how to configure the client, read Section 7.7.
8.1.3. Running the Windows Client
During installation the ThinLinc client will be added to the Start menu. To start the client you select it
from the Start menu.
8.2. Mac OS X
8.2.1. Requirements
•
Mac OS X 10.4 or newer running on Intel hardware
Note: Mac OS X version 10.9 installs with a default setting that breaks the multi monitor functionality
of the ThinLinc client. A workaround to this problem is to disable setting "Displays have separate
Spaces" in settings for "Mission Control" found in "System Preferences" .
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8.2.2. Installing the Mac OS X Client
The client for Mac OS X can be found in the directory client-osx in the Client Bundle. To install the
client, follow these steps:
1. Double-click on the file tl-4.3.0_4538-client-osx.iso.
2. Drag the "ThinLinc Client" application to an application folder of your choice.
3. Eject "ThinLinc Client".
8.2.3. Running the Mac OS X Client
To start the ThinLinc Client, double click on the client application. The client can also be added to and
started from the Dock.
8.2.4. Command and Alt Keys on Mac OS X
The Alt key (also know as the Option key) behaves very differently on OS X compared to its behaviour
on other platforms. It closely resembles the PC AltGr key, found on international keyboards. ThinLinc
therefore treats these keys in a special manner on Mac OS X in order to provide a good integration
between the client and the remote ThinLinc system.
Whenever either of the Alt keys are pressed, ThinLinc will behave as if AltGr was pressed. The left
Command key is used as a replacement for Alt in order to use shortcuts like Alt+F. The right Command
key retains its behaviour of acting like the Super/Windows key.
8.3. Linux PC
8.3.1. Requirements
•
Any 32-bit distribution based on GLIBC 2.3.4, or newer. An i686 (or compatible) CPU with MMX
and SSE support is required.
or
Any 64-bit distribution based on GLIBC 2.5.1, or newer. An x86_64 (or compatible) CPU is required.
or
Any 32-bit distribution based on GLIBC 2.11.3, or newer. An ARMv7 (or compatible) CPU with
Thumb-2 and VFP3D16 is required.
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•
A working Fontconfig configuration, or basic fonts available in /usr/share/fonts or
/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts.
•
32 MiB RAM
Chapter 8. Client Platforms
8.3.2. Installing the Linux Client
The Linux client is distributed in three different kinds of packages. One that can be installed using the
RPM package system, one in the DEB package format, and one in compressed tar archive form for any
Linux distribution.
If you need more information than mentioned here, read Section 7.7.
In the instructions below, we will assume that you have unpacked your Client Bundle to
~/tl-4.3.0-clients.
8.3.2.1. RPM-based Installation on RPM-based distributions
The RPM-based client can be found in the directory client-linux-rpm in the Client Bundle. It is
suitable for systems such as Red Hat, Fedora, SuSE, and Mandrake. Perform the following steps to
install it on a 32-bit system:
$ cd ~/tl-4.3.0-clients/client-linux-rpm
$ sudo rpm -Uvh thinlinc-client-4.3.0-4538.i686.rpm
or the following steps on a 64-bit system:
$ cd ~/tl-4.3.0-clients/client-linux-rpm
$ sudo rpm -Uvh thinlinc-client-4.3.0-4538.x86_64.rpm
or the following steps on a 32-bit ARM hard-float system:
$ cd ~/tl-4.3.0-clients/client-linux-rpm
$ sudo rpm -Uvh thinlinc-client-4.3.0-4538.armv7hl.rpm
or the following steps on a 32-bit ARM soft-float system:
$ cd ~/tl-4.3.0-clients/client-linux-rpm
$ sudo rpm -Uvh thinlinc-client-4.3.0-4538.armv7l.rpm
8.3.2.2. DEB-based Installation on Debian and Ubuntu based distributions
The DEB-based client can be found in the directory client-linux-deb in the Client Bundle. It is
suitable for systems such as Debian and Ubuntu. Perform the following step to install it on a 32-bit
system:
$ cd ~/tl-4.3.0-clients/client-linux-deb
$ sudo dpkg -i thinlinc-client_4.3.0-4538_i386.deb
or the following steps on a 64-bit system:
$ cd ~/tl-4.3.0-clients/client-linux-deb
$ sudo dpkg -i thinlinc-client_4.3.0-4538_amd64.deb
or the following steps on a 32-bit ARM hard-float system:
$ cd ~/tl-4.3.0-clients/client-linux-deb
$ sudo dpkg -i thinlinc-client_4.3.0-4538_armhf.deb
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or the following steps on a 32-bit ARM soft-float system (only Ubuntu):
$ cd ~/tl-4.3.0-clients/client-linux-deb
$ sudo dpkg -i thinlinc-client_4.3.0-4538_armel.deb
8.3.2.3. Installation on Other Linux Distributions
A client without any specific package format can be found in the directory client-linux-dynamic in
the Client Bundle. It is possible to run this client from any directory, even from the unpacked Client
Bundle. We generally recommend installing it in /opt/thinlinc. Perform the following steps to install
the client to /opt/thinlinc on a 32-bit system:
$ cd ~/tl-4.3.0-clients/client-linux-dynamic
$ sudo mkdir -p /opt/thinlinc
$ sudo cp -a tl-4.3.0-4538-client-linux-dynamic-i686/* /opt/thinlinc/
or the following steps on a 64-bit system:
$ cd ~/tl-4.3.0-clients/client-linux-dynamic
$ sudo mkdir -p /opt/thinlinc
$ sudo cp -a tl-4.3.0-4538-client-linux-dynamic-x86_64/* /opt/thinlinc/
or the following steps on a 32-bit ARM hard-float system:
$ cd ~/tl-4.3.0-clients/client-linux-dynamic
$ sudo mkdir -p /opt/thinlinc
$ sudo cp -a tl-4.3.0-4538-client-linux-dynamic-armhf/* /opt/thinlinc/
or the following steps on a 32-bit ARM soft-float system:
$ cd ~/tl-4.3.0-clients/client-linux-dynamic
$ sudo mkdir -p /opt/thinlinc
$ sudo cp -a tl-4.3.0-4538-client-linux-dynamic-armel/* /opt/thinlinc/
The client is also available as tar archives for easy transfer to other systems without having to copy the
entire Client Bundle.
8.3.3. Running the Linux Client
On Linux and other UNIX systems the client will be installed as /opt/thinlinc/bin/tlclient. The
client package contains settings that adds /opt/thinlinc/bin to the path of the users.
To run the client, click on the "ThinLinc Client" icon in your desktop environment. Typically, the icon is
found in the Internet category. You can also run the client by executing
/opt/thinlinc/bin/tlclient.
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8.4. Solaris
The Solaris client is very similar to the Linux client.
8.4.1. Requirements
•
Sun Solaris® 10 on SPARC. When using redirected local drives, the package SUNWscpu needs to be
installed.
8.4.2. Installing the Solaris Client
The Solaris client can be found in client-solaris/ in the Client Bundle and is shipped as a Solaris
package. Install by using the pkgadd command.
# pkgadd -d CENDthinlincclient-4.3.0-4538-sparc
If you would like to install the client as non-root, you can extract the files with the pkgtrans command:
$ pkgtrans CENDthinlincclient-4.3.0-4538-sparc
The client can be installed and run from any location on the filesystem.
8.4.3. Running the Solaris Client
For instructions on how to run the Solaris client, see the corresponding instructions for the Linux client
in Section 8.3.3.
8.5. Thin Terminals
ThinLinc has support for several thin terminals, i.e. hardware built with the task of providing a thin client
as primary design goal.
8.5.1. Neoware Terminals
The recommended way of running the ThinLinc client on these terminals is to migrate to the "eLux"
platform. See Section 8.5.2 for more information. Neoware was acquired by HP in 2007, and no new
terminals are produced. Old terminals should work but with limited performance.
8.5.2. eLux-based Thin Terminals (Fujitsu Futro et. al.)
ThinLinc has support for running the client on eLux-based thin terminals. This includes the Fujitsu Futro
as well as NEXTerminal terminals such as the NEXceed. eLux is a modern embedded operating system
which works well.
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ThinLinc supports models that uses the eLux RL, RP, or RT operating system. Microphone devices are
known to work at least on the Futro models. However, make sure to disable "Sound in XDMCP sessions".
8.5.2.1. Installing/Upgrading the ThinLinc Client on eLux
Below we will describe how to install and configure the ThinLinc client on terminals running eLux. For
details on how to use the administrative tools (Scout and ELIAS) as well as on how to manually
configure terminals without use of Scout, please refer to the eLux documentation available at
http://www.myelux.com.
1. Create a new firmware image including the ThinLinc client. This is done by copying the files
thinlinc-client-* from the appropriate container directory in the Client Bundle to your ELIAS/Scout
container directory.
Note: Some eLux distributions already include the ThinLinc client, rendering this step
unneccesary.
2. Add the ThinLinc client to your firmware image using ELIAS.
3. Install the image on your clients using either Scout (for centrally-managed clients), or via http (for
single clients).
4. Configure your clients by adding an application of type Custom under the Local tab under
Configuration on the client (or create a new application if using Scout). Set the application name to
"ThinLinc" and the command line to tlclient. Check the "Application restart" and the "Start
automatically after 0 s" checkbuttons to make sure the ThinLinc client is restarted after end of
session, and that it is started automatically at boot.
Note: All commandline parameters accepted by the Native Linux client is also accepted by the
client run on eLux (it’s the same client). This means that server name, username, lockdown
options etc. can be used on the commandline specified when configuring the client. An example
commandline instructing the client to start with an empty username and to connect to <server
name> is provided below.
tlclient -u ” <server name>
This configuration can be done either on the client, under the configuration tab in the starter, or
centrally, using Scout, by adding an application in the Applications container in an appropriate
organizational unit.
5. Configure the starter not to start automatically by unchecking the checkbox in "Autostart Starter
after 0 s" under Setup Desktop Advanced . Unchecking the "Enable" button for the Taskbar in the
same location may also be a good idea to give users a cleaner environment.
This configuration can be done either on the client, under the Setup tab in the starter, or centrally,
using Scout.
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Chapter 8. Client Platforms
6. If custom configuration of the client, for example to support local drives, is needed, transfer a
custom client configuration file (tlclient.conf) to /setup/thinlinc/tlclient.conf on the eLux clients
using the "Transfer files" functionality available in the properties of devices or organisation units in
Scout (under the Files tab). The files are transferred when the client is restarted.
8.5.3. VXL
The recommended way of running the ThinLinc client on these terminals is to migrate to the "eLux"
platform. See Section 8.5.2 for more information. Note however that only a few VXL terminals are
supported by eLux.
8.5.4. HP ThinPro Terminals
HP ThinPro terminals are based on Ubuntu, and therefore one can use the DEB package provided in our
ThinLinc Client bundle for this terminal. The "armel" package is used on ARM based terminals such as
t410. For other terminals, use the "i386" package.
8.5.4.1. Manual installation/upgrade of ThinLinc Client
Below we will describe the process of manually installing the ThinLinc Client on Ubuntu based HP
ThinPro Linux terminals.
1. Use the tool "Administrator/User mode switch" to authenticate as administrator.
2. Start an X terminal from the advanced tab in the control panel.
3. Unlock the filesystem:
# fsunlock
4. Copy the ThinLinc Client .deb package from ThinLinc Client bundle onto a USB memory stick, and
connect it to the terminal. Go into the directory which represents your connected USB device with
command:
# cd /tmp/tmpfs/media/my_usb_storage
As an alternative, it is also possible to download the client package from a web server using the
"wget" command.
5. Install the ThinLinc Client package using Debian package manager command:
# dpkg -i thinlinc-client*.deb
6. Lock down the filesystem before closing the X terminal window:
# fslock
7. Reboot.
8. Add a ThinLinc connection in the connection manager.
The HP "Connection Wizard" does not include an entry for ThinLinc. Press "Skip", then add a ThinLinc
Connection in the "Connection Manager".
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The default user and administrator share the same home directory, and it is therefore important to NOT
start the ThinLinc Client as administrator the first time. This will make the ThinLinc Client configuration
only accessible by administrator and not the default user.
On "zero" clients, the default server name is set when the ThinLinc connection type is selected. To
change server name, temporarily switch to another connection type, then switch back to ThinLinc. Also,
to configure the ThinLinc Client, enter an invalid username/password combination in the HP login
dialog. Acknowledge the error. It is then possible to access the full ThinLinc Client interface.
8.5.5. IGEL Universal Desktop
A client package for IGEL Universal Desktop terminals is provided. It is included in the directory
client-igel in the Client Bundle. IGEL Universal Desktop is a modern embedded operating system
which works well. Some editions includes a bundled ThinLinc client. We do not recommend this client.
Instead, install the client as described below.
8.5.5.1. Installing/Upgrading the ThinLinc Client on IGEL terminals
Below we will describe how to install and configure the ThinLinc client on IGEL terminals, using the
"Custom partition". You can use either the Universal Management Suite software running on a separate
workstation, or the setup software installed on the terminal. You will need access to a web server which
allows you to publish the client files.
1. Edit the configuration of the terminal. Select System, Firmware Customization, Custom Partition.
2. Under the Partition option, make sure that "Enable Partition" is checked. Enter a size, such as
"100M". The partition must be at least 20 MiB. The upper limit depends on the hardware used.
Make sure that the mount point is /custom.
3. Under the Download option, press the star to create a new data source. Enter the URL to the web
server where the ThinLinc client package definition is located. The "armel" package is used on
ARM based terminals such as the IZ1 and UD2-LX. For other terminals, use the "i686" package.
Example: http://www.example.com/client-igel/thinlinc-i686.inf
4. Under Custom Application, press the star to create a new application entry. Use a Session Name
such as "ThinLinc".
5. Click on Settings. Enter the Icon name:
/custom/thinlinc/icon.png
To setup the client to use the terminals normal language, enter this Command:
/custom/thinlinc/bin/tlclient
To setup the client to use Swedish, use this Command:
env LC_ALL=sv_SE.UTF-8 /custom/thinlinc/bin/tlclient
6. Press OK to save the configuration.
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8.5.6. Dell Wyse-Enhanced SuSE Linux Terminals
A client Add-On for Dell Wyse-terminals running "Dell Wyse-Enhanced SUSE Linux" is provided in the
Client Bundle, inside the client-wyse/ directory. For instructions on how to install or upgrade this
package, please consult the Wyse Linux documentation (http://www.dell.com/wyse/).
The Dell Wyse client bundled is built and packaged for SUSE Linux Enterprise Thin Client 11 Service
Pack 2 (sletc11sp2). Due to limitations of the package metadata, a package can only support one service
pack version of SLETC11 at the same time.
8.5.7. Dell Wyse-Enhanced Ubuntu Linux Terminals
With terminals running Dell Wyse-Enhanced Ubuntu Linux Terminals, one can use the DEB package
provided in our ThinLinc Client bundle. The "armel" package is used on ARM based terminals such as
T50. For other terminals, use the "i386" package.
8.5.7.1. Manual installation/upgrade of ThinLinc Client
Below we will describe the process of manually installing the ThinLinc Client on Ubuntu based Wyse
terminals.
1. Create a new custom connection. Enter command "bash" and select "Run in terminal window".
2. Start a terminal using the new connection.
3. Switch to root with "sudo -i".
4. Copy the ThinLinc Client .deb package from ThinLinc Client bundle onto a USB memory stick, and
connect it to the terminal. Go into the directory which represents your connected USB device with
command:
# cd /media/my_usb_storage
As an alternative, it is also possible to download the client package from a web server using the
"wget" command.
5. Install the ThinLinc Client package using Debian package manager command:
# dpkg -i thinlinc-client*.deb
6. Close the terminal window.
7. Add a new custom connection. The Command should be set to /opt/thinlinc/bin/tlclient.
8.5.8. Other Thin Terminals
The ThinLinc client can be made to run on almost any Linux-based Thin Terminal as well as on some
Windows-based appliances. Contact Cendio if you need help on a consultancy basis.
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8.6. Running ThinLinc on a Thinstation terminal
The Thinstation project (http://thinstation.github.io/thinstation/) is an opensource thin client Linux
distribution that can be booted in many different ways, including entirely over the network on diskless
machines and via a LiveCD.
A client package for ThinStation is shipped as part of the ThinLinc client distribution. In this section, we
will document how to use and configure this package with Thinstation.
Note: To run the ThinLinc client in ThinStation, you need ThinStation version 2.2 or later. However,
on ThinStation version 2.4 and later, the ThinLinc client will be downloaded automatically during the
build process. Thus the download procedure is only needed for ThinStation 2.2. However, the
configuration step is needed for both 2.2 and 2.4.
There are two alternative methods of getting a Thinstation image with the ThinLinc client included. The
first one is to use one of the TS-O-Matic servers available. They allow you to build Thinstation images
online, and should generally have the ThinLinc client available as an option. The TS-O-Matic servers are
available from the Thinstation webpages (http://thinstation.github.io/thinstation/). The second is to
download the Thinstation distribution, add the ThinLinc client package and then configure and build a
Thinstation image manually. This requires access to a Linux box.
Below, we will describe the second method
8.6.1. Installing and Building the Package
Begin by downloading and unpacking the Thinstation main distribution available from the Thinstation
webpages (http://thinstation.github.io/thinstation/).
Enter the Thinstation directory created while unpacking, and unpack the ThinLinc Thinstation client
package, found in the client-thinstation directory in the Client Bundle, into this directory:
$ tar zxvf tl-4.3.0-4538-client-thinstation.tar.gz
This will unpack files into the packages/thinlinc directory, as well as the file README.thinlinc
which contains some summarized information on the package.
Edit the build.conf and add a line ’package thinlinc’ in the Applications section.
Run the build script and wait for its completion.
If everything went well, there will now be Thinstation images available in the boot-images directory.
Use the appropriate boot image for your preferred boot method.
8.6.2. Configuring the ThinLinc client when running on a Thinstation
Terminal
When running on a network-booted Thinstation terminal, the client is configured by adding statements to
the configuration file that is downloaded at boot by Thinstation. The default name of this file is
thinstation.conf.network, located in your tftproot. There can also be other filenames that
configures specific terminals based on their IP or hardware (MAC) addresses.
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8.6.2.1. Basic Configuration
For the ThinLinc client to appear at all, a Thinstation "session" must be created. This is done by adding a
few lines to the thinstation.conf.network file. Here’s an example:
SESSION_0_TYPE=thinlinc
SESSION_0_THINLINC_SERVER=demo.thinlinc.com
SESSION_0_THINLINC_OPTIONS="-u user -c"
SESSION_0_THINLINC_CONFIG_NFS_SERVER_ENABLED=0
The above example will make the ThinLinc appear on the display of the client after boot. It will set the
servername to demo.thinlinc.com, and it will reset the username field and enable the control panel. It will
also disable export of local drives. See below for information on enabling local drives on Thinstation.
All standard client options can be added to the SESSION_0_THINLINC_OPTIONS variable. For example,
to lock down the server field, add -l server.
8.6.2.2. Configuration using the Client Configuration File
Some of the features of the ThinLinc client can’t be configured via command line options. Instead, the
configuration file must be altered. To allow features such as local drive and sound redirection to work
when running on Thinstation, the ThinLinc client package for Thinstation has features for altering the
configuration file on the client.
To alter the configuration file, add statements on the form
SESSION_0_THINLINC_CONFIG_<configuration file variable name> = <value> to
thinstation.conf.network. An example follows:
SESSION_0_THINLINC_CONFIG_NFS_SERVER_ENABLED=1
SESSION_0_THINLINC_CONFIG_SOUND_ENABLED=1
The above example will set the NFS_SERVER_ENABLED to 1 and the CONFIG_SOUND_ENABLED to 1, and
so on.
8.6.2.3. Enabling Sound and Local Drive Redirection
If the hardware running Thinstation has support for it and the correct sound and disk device modules has
been loaded, the ThinLinc client will be able to support sound and local drive redirection. The following
configuration lines in thinstation.conf.network will enable sound redirection and local drive
redirection for USB storage devices:
SESSION_0_THINLINC_CONFIG_NFS_EXPORTS=/mnt/usbdevice,rw,/mnt/cdrom,ro
SESSION_0_THINLINC_CONFIG_NFS_SERVER_ENABLED=1
SESSION_0_THINLINC_CONFIG_SOUND_ENABLED=1
SESSION_0_THINLINC_CONFIG_NFS_ROOT_WARNING=0
8.6.2.4. Avoiding Question about Server Host Key
When running on a device with non-volatile storage, such as a hard disk, the ThinLinc client stores the
public part of the ssh host key of the ThinLinc client the first time it connects to the server after asking
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the user to verify the fingerprint of the key. At subsequent connects, this copy is used to verify that the
client is connecting to the correct server.
When running on a diskless Thinstation host, the key can be stored only in volatile memory (on a RAM
disk), so the client will ask the user to verify the fingerprint once each time the client has been rebooted.
Since its normal behaviour to reboot a Thinstation terminal once a day, this will lead to a confusing
situation for users, not to mention that it will decrease security.
To solve this problem, the ThinLinc client package for Thinstation tries to download a file name
ssh_known_hosts from the tftproot. If it exists it will be used as database of known hostkeys on the
client.
To create this file, login with the client to the ThinLinc server, using the same servername as the one that
will be configured on the clients. Then copy the file ~/.thinlinc/known_hosts to
<tftproot>/ssh_known_hosts.
8.7. Web Integration and HTML5 Browser Client
This section includes information about the ThinLinc client types that can be used in conjunction with a
Web Browser. The HTML5 client, and how to launch the Native ThinLinc client from the browser using
the CGI script, are described below.
8.7.1. Launching the Native Client From a Web Page
It is possible to launch the native ThinLinc client from a web page. The process works like this:
1. The CGI script is called with the desired parameters.
2. (optional) A web page containing the Native Client Verification Applet is generated. This applet is
used to verify that the native client is installed. If not, the applet allows the user to install the client.
3. The CGI script generates a "launch file", which is a normal client configuration file. When the
browser recieves this file, it launches the locally installed ThinLinc client.
Note: Only the Windows and Linux client packages configures the system to recognize launch files,
and the Native Client Verification Applet can only verify if the client is installed on Windows and
modern Linux systems.
Note: The Native Client Verification applet requires Java support in the browser. Java 7 contains a
bug: It fails to retrieve the applet if the client’s Server Name Indicator specified a hostname not
supported by the server. To work around this issue, make sure your web server accepts all names in
use. For example, with Apache, you can specify a ServerName and/or ServerAlias directives. The
server can be configured to accept all names by specifying:
<VirtualHost _default_:443>
ServerName catchall.example.com
ServerAlias *
...
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The launch file delivered to the client is generated from the template
/opt/thinlinc/etc/tlclient.conf.webtemplate. The CGI script performs some substitutions
on this file, before sending it to the client. Currently, the following variables are substituted:
$server_name$
The server name where the CGI script resides.
$login_name$
The user name, specified by the username CGI parameter.
$password$
The password in hexadecimal ASCII notation, specified by the password or hexpassword CGI
parameters.
$autologin$
The value of the autologin CGI parameter.
8.7.2. The CGI Script tlclient.cgi
The CGI script tlclient.cgi is used to start the native client, when launched from a web page. It
accepts many parameters which affects its operation. These are described below:
server_name
The desired server name.
username
The desired user name. No default.
password
The desired password, in plain text. No default.
hexpassword
The desired password, in hexadecimal ASCII notation. This parameter overrides the password
parameter. No default.
defaultinstaller
Used by the Native Client Verification Applet. Specifies the URL to redirect to when the user
initiates a client installation, on operating systems other than Linux and Windows. Default value:
http://www.cendio.com/downloads/clients
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linuxinstaller
Used by the Native Client Verification Applet. Specifies the URL to redirect to when the user
initiates a client installation, on Linux. Default value:
https://www.cendio.com/downloads/clients/thinlinc-client-latest.i686.rpm
windowsinstaller
Used by the Native Client Verification Applet. Specifies the URL to redirect to when the user
initiates a client installation, on Windows. Default value:
https://www.cendio.com/downloads/clients/tl-latest-client-windows.exe
verify
A boolean value which specifies if the Native Client Verification Applet should be used. Only
relevant for the native client type. Default value: 1
redirto
After launching the native client, the browser will redirect to the web page specified by this
parameter. Default value: the empty string.
loginsubmit
This boolean parameter specifies if a login should be directly executed, instead of showing a login
form. Default value: 0
autologin
This boolean parameter specifies if the native client should automatically connect to the specified
server at startup. Default value: 1
start_program_enabled
This boolean parameter specifies if the native client should request that the server starts the session
with the command supplied by the client, as indicated by the start_program_command
parameter. Default value: 0.
start_program_command
This parameter specifies the command to use when starting the session. Default value:
"tl-single-app firefox".
displayurl
This boolean parameter can be used for debugging and development purposes. It will display and
URL with all submitted parameters, and do nothing else. Default value: 0
shadowing_enabled
This boolean parameter specifies if the native client should activate shadowing. Default value: 0
shadow_name
This parameter specifies the user to shadow. Default value is the empty string.
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To make it easier to test various parameters, the HTML file cgitest.html is included, in the same
location as tlclient.cgi. It also demonstrates how to create icons on web pages, which launches
ThinLinc sessions.
8.7.3. ThinLinc Web Access (HTML5 Client)
The HTML5 client is based on the Open Source project noVNC (http://kanaka.github.io/noVNC/). It
uses HTML5 features such as WebSockets and Canvas. Since this technology is new, only a limited set
of browsers are expected to work. We have tested the latest versions of following browsers:
•
Internet Explorer
•
Firefox
•
Google Chrome
•
Safari
Note: At the time of writing, the "Android Browser" does not work since it does not support
WebSockets. For more information, see http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=25221.
8.7.3.1. Server Side
The server side components for the HTML5 Client are included in the package thinlinc-webaccess.
It is automatically installed when the ThinLinc software is installed. The default TCP port number for
this HTTP service is 300. It can be changed to some other port such as 443 (see below), assuming this
port is free. The configured port must be allowed in any firewalls. In a cluster setup, the tlwebaccess
service must run on all machines. The same service port should be used, and all machines must be
accessable from the clients. Also, observe the following limitations:
•
For best security and user experience, we recommend that you use valid TLS certificates. The
certificates should match the server host names.
•
With some browsers such as Safari on iOS, the certificates MUST match the server hostname. This
means that you cannot connect through an IP address. The bundled certificate is created for "localhost"
and cannot be used. You can create a new certificate using our shipped helper script
make-dummy-cert as:
$ sudo /opt/thinlinc/etc/tlwebaccess/make-dummy-cert ‘hostname --fqdn‘
Additionally, a self signed certificate must be manually approved on the iOS device. This can be done
by clicking on the link "Download Server Certificate" in the web interface. This must be done for all
machines in a cluster.
Note: OpenSSL is required to be installed to use the shipped helper script make-dummy-cert.
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Note: Google Chrome does not work with self-signed certificates on iOS, a trusted root certificate is
required. For more information, see https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=152584.
8.7.3.1.1. Configuration
tlwebaccess offers a number of configuration options, which are stored in the configuration file
/opt/thinlinc/etc/conf.d/webaccess.hconf. The various configuration options are described
below.
/webaccess/cert
The path to the certificate file to be used for TLS encryption.
Note: This certificate may be downloaded by connecting clients to be installed in their browsers.
Make absolutely sure that this file does not contain a private key.
/webaccess/certkey
The path to the certificate private key file used for TLS encryption.
/webaccess/login_page
The redirection URL to the login page on the master machine. The default value, which is empty,
will not redirect to another server and is only usable if you are running a stand alone ThinLinc
server. If you have more than one server or is using Network Address Translation (NAT), you must
set this parameter to an address that all clients can connect to. Example:
login_page = https://thinlinc.example.com:300/
/webaccess/listen_port
The local port for this service to listen on. The default port used is 300.
/webaccess/logging/logfile
The file to use for logging tlwebaccess messages. By default, this is
/var/log/tlwebaccess.log.
8.7.3.2. Browser Side
The HTML5 client is accessed with your web browser by browsing to the master machine, for example
https://thinlinc-master.example.com:300. If you have configured the service to run on port 443, ":300"
can be omitted.
Note: On iOS devices, you can add an icon to the home screen which is called web clip. When the
ThinLinc Web Access is launched from the home screen, it will run in full screen mode.
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Chapter 9. Authentication in ThinLinc
In this chapter we will describe how authentication of users is performed in ThinLinc
9.1. Pluggable Authentication Modules
Authentication of users in ThinLinc is performed using the Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM).
This means ThinLinc can authenticate users using any system for which there is a PAM module.
Examples of PAM modules are pam_ldap for accessing LDAP directories (including Novell
NDS/eDirectory) and pam_winbind for authenticating against a Windows Domain. Of course,
authentication using the standard plaintext password files of Linux is also possible using the PAM
module pam_unix.
If ThinLinc should authenticate against the passwd database on the local host, no configuration at all is
needed, since this is how most distributions are configured at installation. However, at many sites there is
already some type of existing user database. In this chapter we’ll go into detail on how to authenticate
ThinLinc users against Windows domains and LDAP databases.
An user connecting to ThinLinc needs executable access to the ThinLinc login shell thinlinc-login and if
you don’t have any intentions to allow a regular shell access to the server you should set default login
shell for the users to /usr/bin/thinlinc-login.
9.1.1. Configuration files for PAM
PAM is configured by editing the files located in the directory /etc/pam.d/ (at least in the distributions
we’ve tested ThinLinc on).
Different Linux distributions have slightly different ways of configuring PAM. The ThinLinc installation
program will setup ThinLinc to authenticate using the same PAM setup as the Secure Shell Daemon, by
creating a symbolic link from /etc/pam.d/thinlinc to either /etc/pam.d/sshd or
/etc/pam.d/ssh, depending on which of the latter files that exists at installation. This seems to work
on most distributions. Be aware that the PAM settings for the Secure Shell Daemon might really be
somewhere else. For example, on Red Hat distributions, the file /etc/pam.d/system-auth is included
by all other pam-files, so in most cases, that is the file that should be modified instead of the file used by
sshd.
9.2. Limitations
Some PAM modules and authentication mechanisms are case sensitive, while others are not. Usernames
in the ThinLinc client are case sensitive by default, however this behaviour can be changed. See
LOWERCASE_LOGIN_NAME in Section 7.7 for details.
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9.3. Using Novell eDirectory with ThinLinc
9.3.1. Configuring eDirectory and ThinLinc with TLNC
Within ThinLinc, a tool called ThinLinc Novell Configurator (TLNC) helps in the task of configuring
ThinLinc to interoperate with a Novell eDirectory server. By using this tool, most of the tasks needed to
configure the eDirectory and ThinLinc servers are automated.
The Novell Configurator is available as a module in the ThinLinc Web Administration as documented in
Chapter 16.
9.3.1.1. Tasks Performed by TLNC
The ThinLinc Novell Configurator takes care of the following tasks:
•
Verifying existence of the posixAccount and posixGroup objectclasses
Some older versions of eDirectory lacks the relevant LDAP schema needed for proper operation with a
ThinLinc server. If they don’t exist, they can most often be added by installing the Native File Access
for Unix product from Novell.
•
Check for and remove incorrect attribute mappings
Some older versions of eDirectory, among them eDirectory on Netware 6.0, has incorrect attribute
mappings, mapping the NDS attribute UID to uidNumber, and GID to gidNumber. If they exist,
eDirectory will not function properly with a ThinLinc server.
•
Create user object needed for search operations
The ThinLinc servers need to run LDAP search operations, and to be able to access the relevant
attributes, they will bind as a special user object with DN and password. The TLNC can create this
user, if it doesn’t exist.
•
Give relevant permissions to the search user object
The user object used for search operations need to have access to a number of attributes. The TLNC
can modify the ACL (Access Control Lists) of the eDirectory server to allow the search user object to
read the relevant attributes. TLNC will also create the file
/opt/thinlinc/etc/ldap.conf.template that can be used as a template for the configuration
file needed for pam_ldap and nss_ldap.
•
Create user object needed for tl-nds-posixuser/tl-nds-posixgroup
In most cases where ThinLinc is integrated with a eDirectory server, the tl-nds-posixuser and
tl-nds-posixgroup tools are used to add attributes to existing user and group objects in the directory to
make them usable in the ThinLinc environment. The TLNC can create the user object needed by the
tools to access eDirectory. It will also write information about this user to the relevant configuration
file.
See Section 9.3.4 for detailed information on tl-nds-posixuser and tl-nds-posixgroup.
•
Give relevant permissions to user object used by tl-nds-posixuser/tl-nds-posixgroup
The user object needed by tl-nds-posixuser and tl-nds-posixgroup need to have read and write access
to a number of attributes. The TLNC can modify the ACL (Access Control Lists) of the eDirectory
server to allow the user object to read the relevant attributes.
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•
Create a default group to be used for ThinLinc Users
All users of a ThinLinc server need to have a default posixGroup assigned to their user objects. This
group can be created by TLNC.
•
Create indices needed for proper performance
For proper performance, a few indices on LDAP attributes are needed. The Novell Configurator can
create the needed indices.
9.3.1.2. Using the ThinLinc Novell Configurator
TLNC is normally used only a few times - at installation, and when new eDirectory servers are added to
the network. It can be run at any time to verify that all settings are correct. It is recommended to run
TLNC after each upgrade of ThinLinc, so new recommended settings in eDirectory can be applied. Also
run TLNC when new eDirectory servers are added, to correctly configure attribute mappings and indices.
To run TLNC, point your web browser to your ThinLinc server, port 1010, as documented in Chapter 16.
Look for the menu with the text Novell Configurator and click on it. You have now entered the TLNC.
Select the Configure submenu, and start by entering values into the fields provided by the web page you
just entered.
•
The eDirectory Server Hostname should be the fully qualified hostname of one of your eDirectory
servers. It doesn’t matter which server you choose, TLNC will read out the list of LDAP servers from
the first server, and configure all of them.
•
Activate the Connect using SSL checkbutton to communicate encrypted with the eDirectory server.
Note: You must use the fully qualified hostname, i.e., a hostname on the form server.example.com in
the eDirectory Server Hostname field, or SSL connections will fail.
•
Normally, you don’t have to enter anything into the Search base field, since most eDirectory sites have
a structure that enables TLNC to work well when searching from "". For sites that have several LDAP
trees below the root, this setting may be of need.
•
Enter the DN of the administrative user into the Novell Admin User DN field. The DN should be
entered in LDAP-form, with comma signs between the different parts of the DN, not periods.
•
Finally, enter the password of the administrative user into the Password of Admin User field.
Now press the Start Configuration button. The Novell Configurator will now communicate with your
eDirectory server to see what needs to be done. It will then present a page where the you can see the
status of the integration between the ThinLinc cluster and eDirectory. Areas where action is needed are
marked with red.
Inspect the data presented on the page. In the areas where action is needed, TLNC will have activated the
checkbuttons for the action that needs to be taken. Verify that all checked actions are things you want,
and then press the Execute selected actions button. The TLNC will now communicate further with
your eDirectory server to execute the actions you selected.
When all actions are executed, the same page will show up again, with the integration status. Verify that
all went well, and proceed with the actions needed after running TLNC.
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9.3.1.3. Proceeding with eDirectory Integration after running TLNC
After running TLNC, a few things need to to be done manually
9.3.1.3.1. Test and Distribute ldap.conf
After creating the search user needed by pam_ldap and nss_ldap in LDAP, TLNC writes the file
/opt/thinlinc/etc/ldap.conf.template with information about the DN and password of the
created user. The file resides on the filesystem of the server that hosts the ThinLinc Web Administration
service.
This file can serve as a good starting-point for the contents of the real configuration file for pam_ldap and
nss_ldap. The recommended procedure is to configure LDAP authentication using your distribution’s
tools, and then replace the ldap.conf generated with the one generated by TLNC.
9.3.1.3.2. Configure Missing Index and Default POSIX Group if Needed
Some versions of eDirectory fail to create an index on the Object Class attribute via LDAP. The reason
for this is unknown, but if TLNC indicates that this is the case, the index needs to be configured by hand.
See Section C.2 for documentation on how to do this manually.
Also, some versions of eDirectory fail to create the default POSIX group tl-users via LDAP. Reason for
this is also unknown, but if TLNC indicates that this is the case, create the default group by hand by
creating a group object with cn=tl-users in eDirectory, and assign a gidNumber of 1000 to it.
9.3.1.3.3. Trigger a LIMBER Run on the eDirectory Servers
When an index is created in eDirectory via LDAP, for example by TLNC, they are not immediately built
and used. Instead, eDirectory waits for a process called LIMBER to run. There are several ways to make
this happen:
•
Wait
LIMBER is automatically run every three hours, or when another server starts a connectivity check.
When this happens, all indexes pending creation will be built.
•
Trigger a run via DSTRACE/ndstrace
On Netware, load DSTRACE, and then run SET DSTRACE=*L. This will trigger LIMBER to run
immediately.
If the eDirectory server runs on Linux, for example on Open Enterprise Server, a LIMBER run can be
triggered by running ndstrace. Within ndstrace, write set dstrace=*l and press enter. This will also
trigger a LIMBER run.
•
Trigger a run via iManager
Enter iManager, Agent Configuration/Agent triggers, and trigger a LIMBER run.
After triggering the LIMBER on all eDirectory servers, run TLNC again to see if the status of the defined
indices have changed to online.
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9.3.1.3.4. Run tl-nds-posixuser and tl-nds-posixgroup
Run tl-nds-posixuser and tl-nds-posixgroup as described in Section 9.3.4 to complement your existing
users and groups with values that allow them to be used with the ThinLinc server(s).
9.3.2. Acquiring the SSL CA Certificate from eDirectory
In order to use SSL with server verification, the public part of the CA Certificate used to sign the
certificate used for SSL on the LDAP server in eDirectory must be extracted. This is done using the
following procedure:
1. Find out what SSL Certificate object is used for the LDAP server in question using eDirectory. Find
the LDAP Server object, choose properties and in the "SSL Configuration" tab, look up the name of
the SSL Certificate object in use.
2. Find the Certificate Object, choose properties and in the "Certificates" tab, choose "Trusted Root
Certificate". Press the "Export" button. If available, choose "File in base64 format", if not, choose
"File in binary DER format".
3. Choose an appropriate filename and press the Export button. A file with the certificate will now be
written to your harddisk.
4. If you managed to export the file in base64 format (which is the same thing as PEM), use the file as
tls_cacertfile. If the export was done to DER format, execute the following command to convert it to
PEM:
[root@test root]
openssl x509 -inform der -in
<filename.der> -outform pem -out
<filename.pem>
Use the resulting file as tls_cacertfile
9.3.3. Allowing Clear Text Passwords (bind operations)
If there by some reason is no way to enable transport security (SSL) for bind operations (where
passwords are transmitted), eDirectory must be configured to allow cleartext bind operations. This is
done in the LDAP Group object under the General tab.
9.3.4. Using eDirectory User and Group Objects with ThinLinc
When integrating a Linux server into a Novell Netware network with eDirectory as source for
authentication information for the first time, the users in the eDirectory most probably doesn’t have the
neccesary objectclasses and attributes defined. The users must have the objectclass posixAccount and the
attributes (from posixAccount) uidNumber, gidNumber, loginShell, uid, and homeDirectory defined.
Groups must have the objectclass posixGroup, and a gidNumber defined. Manually assigning the
required values is not practical for installations with more than a few users.
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In ThinLinc, this problem is solved using two programs, tl-nds-posixuser and tl-nds-posixgroup that
searches the directory for users that don’t have posixAccount among their objectclasses, and for groups
that don’t have posixGroup among their objectclasses. When it finds such a user or group, the values
required are automatically assigned. Optionally, tl-nds-posixuser can be used to assign filesystem
permissions to home directories exported from Novell Netware servers in Independent mode (see Section
10.2).
The idea is that tl-nds-posixuser and tl-nds-posixgroup are first run during deployment of the ThinLinc
installation. At this occasion, all existing users and groups are assigned the posixAccount attributes.
After deployment, tl-nds-posixuser and tl-nds-posixgroup are meant to be run from cron at regular
intervals, for example every 15 minutes. This way, new users and groups added to the directory will be
assigned the relevant attributes automatically. This means that new users will be able to log in to the
ThinLinc servers without the administrator having to take any action, after a short delay determined by
the interval between each tl-nds-posixuser invocation.
9.3.4.1. Configuration of tl-nds-posixuser and tl-nds-posixgroup
tl-nds-posixuser and tl-nds-posixgroup both need a set of configuration parameters to be able to
perform their dutys. Some of the parameters are common to the two programs, others are
command-specific. Parameters common to the two are stored under the /utils/tl-nds/ hiveconf
folder. Parameters specific to tl-nds-posixuser are stored under the /utils/tl-nds/posixuser/
hiveconf folder, and parameters specific to tl-nds-posixgroup are stored under the
/utils/tl-nds/posixgroup/ hiveconf folder.
It is a good idea to run the ThinLinc Novell Configurator as documented in Section 9.3.1. This creates
the user object needed by tl-nds-posixuser and tl-nds-posixgroup, and writes down information about the
server, user DN and password to /utils/tl-nds/.
All parameters specified in hiveconf can be overridden using command line parameters.
Table 9-1. Configuration Parameters Common to Both tl-nds-posixuser and tl-nds-posixgroup
96
Hiveconf parameter path
Command line parameter
Explanation
/utils/tl-nds/ldapuri
--ldapuri
The LDAP URI to connect to.
This may be either a ldap:// or
ldaps://, the latter for LDAP over
SSL.
/utils/tl-nds/binddn
--binddn
The DN of the object that should
be used to bind to the eDirectory.
This DN must have permissions
to change some attributes of all
relevant users in the directory.
See below for information on the
exact procedure for creating this
object.
Chapter 9. Authentication in ThinLinc
Hiveconf parameter path
Command line parameter
Explanation
/utils/tl-nds/bindpw
--bindpw
The password of the binddn. As
noted above, the big advantage of
using a hive for storing this is
that the hive can be protected so
that only a specific user may see
the contents of the specific part
of the hive. This way, the
password is not exposed to all
users on the host running
tl-nds-posixpath.
/utils/tl-nds/searchbase
--searchbase
The point in the tree from where
searches should begin when
trying to find users and groups
without
posixAccount/posixGroup
attributes set.
--verbose
Print out what happens during
execution.
--simulate
Don’t do anything, just simulate
what would have been done.
Only useful in combination with
--verbose
Table 9-2. Configuration Parameters Specific to tl-nds-posixuser
Hiveconf parameter path
Command line parameter
/utils/tl-nds/posixuser/cachefilename
--cachefilename
Explanation
The file name of the filename
where the last used uidNumber is
stored. The default is
/var/opt/thinlinc/utils/tl-nds/posixuse
and generally, there’s no reason
to change this value. This file is
locked by a running
tl-nds-posixuser process to
protect against duplicate
uidNumber values in LDAP.
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Hiveconf parameter path
Command line parameter
Explanation
/utils/tl-nds/posixuser/excluded_dns
--exclude_dn
A list of entries in the LDAP tree
to ignore. If setting this in
hiveconf, use a space-separated
list of DNs. If setting on the
command line, give several
--exclude-dn with one DN after
each. This setting can be used if
there are places in your LDAP
tree where for example invalid
users are stored. The DN itself
and all its leaves will be ignored.
/utils/tl-nds/posixuser/ldapfilter
--ldapfilter
The LDAP filter (as defined in
RFC2254) to be used for finding
the users that should be modified.
Default value is (&(objectclass=inetOrgPerson)(!(objectclass=posixAccount))
/utils/tl-nds/posixuser/groupgid
--groupgid
The group that should be set as
primary group for all users. This
should be the group id (A
number) of the group, not the
name.
/utils/tl-nds/posixuser/loginshell
--loginshell
Login shell set on users (in the
loginShell) attribute. The default
is /bin/bash
/utils/tl-nds/posixuser/update_script
--update_script
This parameter points to a
executable script that is run just
before the the user object in
eDirectory is updated. The script
gets three parameters - the
username, the uidNumber and
the gidNumber. Example usage
of this script is creation of home
directories or permission changes
on existing home direcotires.
/utils/tl-nds/posixuser/uidfield
--uidfield
This parameter can be used to
decide what attribute of a user
object in LDAP should be used
as username. The default value is
’cn’ which is OK for most
eDirectory installations.
Table 9-3. Configuration Parameters Specific to tl-nds-posixgroup
Hiveconf parameter path
98
Command line parameter
Explanation
Chapter 9. Authentication in ThinLinc
Hiveconf parameter path
Command line parameter
/utils/tl-nds/posixgroup/cachefilename
--cachefilename
Explanation
The file name of the filename
where the last used gidNumber is
stored. The default is
/var/opt/thinlinc/utils/tl-nds/posixgro
and generally, there’s no reason
to change this value. This file is
locked by a running
tl-nds-posixgroup process to
protect against duplicate
gidNumber values in LDAP.
/utils/tl-nds/posixgroup/excluded_dns
--exclude_dn
A list of entries in the LDAP tree
to ignore. If setting this in
hiveconf, use a space-separated
list of DNs. If setting on the
command line, give several
--exclude-dn with one DN after
each. This setting can be used if
there are places in your LDAP
tree where for example invalid
groups are stored. The DN itself
and all its leaves will be ignored.
/utils/tl-nds/posixgroup/ldapfilter
--ldapfilter
The LDAP filter (as defined in
RFC2254) to be used for finding
the groups that should be
modified. Default value is
(&(objectclass=groupOfNames)(!(objectclass=posixGroup)))
9.3.5. Forcing Users to Change Passwords in an eDirectory Environment
In most environments, forcing the users to regularly change password is a good security measure. This
section will describe how to do this with ThinLinc in an eDirectory environment.
9.3.5.1. Functionality
By activating forced password changes in ThinLinc, a graphical window will popup during the login
sequence if the password expire date is near, or if the password has expired. There is also support for the
"grace logins" functionality of eDirectory. The functionality can be summarized as below:
•
At login, tl-nds-check-expired sends a query to the LDAP server defined in /etc/ldap.conf and
asks for information about password expiration.
•
If the number of days until the password expires is less than warning_days (see below),
tl-nds-check-expired pops up a window and warns the user that the password is about to expire, and
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asks if the password should be changed now, or not.
•
If the password has expired, and "grace logins" are enabled, tl-nds-check-expired will pop up a
window and tell the user how many logins he/she has left before the account will be locked. The user
will again be asked if he/she wants to change the password.
•
If the number of "grace logins" left is less than 3, the pop up window will inform the user that the
current login attempt is the last login attempt before the account will be locked, and ask if the user
wants to change password.
•
If the account is locked, the ThinLinc client will say that the username or password was invalid. No
session will be created.
9.3.5.2. Configuration
Before trying to use tl-nds-check-expired, make sure that tl-passwd works, since it’s used by
tl-nds-check-expired. Pay special attention to the note about pam_password in the part about the
tl-passwd in Chapter 13 to make sure it’s set to a value appropriate for the eDirectory environment.
tl-nds-check-expired has one parameter, /utils/tl-nds-check-expired/warning_days, in the
file tl-nds-check-expired.hconf located among the rest of the ThinLinc configuration files on the
server. The warning_days parameter decides how many days before the password for a specific user
expires that tl-nds-check-expired begins to warn about the expire date. If set to 0, it will not warn until
the password actually has expired.
9.3.5.3. How to Activate Force Password Changes
Start by verifying that the search DN created and configured either via the ThinLinc Novell Configurator
(TLNC) (see Section 9.3.1) or via the procedure described in Section C.5 has access to the attributes
passwordExpirationTime, loginGraceRemaining, and loginGraceLimit. Then create a symbolic link in
/opt/thinlinc/etc/xstartup.d pointing at the tl-nds-check-expired command:
ln -s /opt/thinlinc/bin/tl-nds-check-expired /opt/thinlinc/etc/xstartup.d/08-tl-nds-check-ex
Now continue by testing to login as a user with a password that will soon expire, or a password that has
expired and has grace login attempts left.
9.3.5.4. Interaction with Application Servers and Fat Clients
IMPORTANT: Due to the internal structure of ThinLinc, each time a user logs in, two separate
authentications are performed. This means that if "grace logins" are enabled, each time a user logs in
after the password expiration time, two grace login attempts are consumed. The number of grace logins
available should be adjusted to compensate for this. Grace login attempts are also consumed at session
startup, if any NCP resources are mounted.
Also, if a user uses both ThinLinc and fat workstations, another problem might occur. If the user has
logged in to fat workstations and ignored the prompt for password change so that the number of grace
logins left is 1 or 2, the user will be locked out the next time he/she tries to login to ThinLinc, since the
ThinLinc session will only be setup halfway before the server refuses to authenticate the user.
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Further problems occur if the ThinLinc cluster is combined with Application Servers, for example
Windows Terminal Servers, to provide access to Windows Applications from ThinLinc. If "grace logins"
are enabled, each time the user starts an application on the Application server, one grace login attempt
will be consumed. One way of limiting this problem is to check if the password is about to expire in the
Netware login script. This can be done using the PASSWORD_EXPIRES or by using third-party software
such as passXchk available at http://www.novell.com/coolsolutions/tools/1911.html. If the password
change popup shouldn’t occur if the Windows Terminal Server session is used to execute a single
program, the program tl-is-appsession can be used to determine if the session is an application session
or not, in the login script.
9.3.6. Configuring Windows Terminal Servers with Netware Client for
Single Sign-On
In environments where ThinLinc users should be able to access software running on Windows Terminal
Servers, with ThinLinc Single Sign-On support, some extra configuration is needed if the Windows
Terminal Servers are configured to logon to a Novell network. The extra configuration is needed to make
sure the user can automatically login without having to manually enter the context where his/her user
object is located.
To solve this problem, the username is sent with context. For example, for a user with cn=user5 located
in the ou ou=school1,o=organization, the username will be sent as
cn=user5.ou=school1.o=organization over RDP.
For this to work, the Novell client installed on the Windows Terminal Server must be recent enough to
support receiving usernames with context over RDP. Version 4.91 SP4 is known to work.
Activate login to Windows Terminal Servers with context by adding the script tl-set-novelluser.sh to
/opt/thinlinc/etc/xstartup.d:
ln -s /opt/thinlinc/libexec/tl-set-novelluser.sh /opt/thinlinc/etc/xstartup.d/07-tl-set-nove
This will set an environment variable at session startup. This environment variable is then detected by
tl-run-rdesktop when run.
Note: Please note that for login to work, users must exist not only in eDirectory, but also in the
Windows environment, for example via an AD domain or by using Zenworks dynamic local users
feature. Setup of this is however outside the scope of this document.
9.4. Using Public Key Authentication
9.4.1. Introduction
Public key authentication is a more secure alternative to passwords. It uses a challenge/response
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mechanism that prevents even the server from gaining access to the authentication information. This
section will describe how to configure ThinLinc to use it.
9.4.2. Key Generation
In order to use public key authentication, a pair of encryption keys must be generated. Tools to
accomplish this should be included with the SSH server. On Linux, that server is normally OpenSSH and
the tool to generate keys is called ssh-keygen.
Example:
# ssh-keygen
Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Enter file in which to save the key (/home/test/.ssh/id_rsa):
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase):
Enter same passphrase again:
Your identification has been saved in /home/test/.ssh/id_rsa.
Your public key has been saved in /home/test/.ssh/id_rsa.pub.
The key fingerprint is:
e1:87:0d:82:71:df:e9:4a:b0:a8:e3:cd:e8:79:58:32 testuser@example.com
Remember that the private key (id_rsa in the example) is a password equivalent and should be handled
with care. The public key (id_rsa.pub in the example) does not need to be kept secret.
Note: The SSH key format is not standardised, so it may be required to convert the keys depending
on which servers you will be using.
9.4.3. Server Configuration
All SSH servers must support public key authentication, so any SSH server will work. It is important,
however, to verify that public key authentication is not disabled. Refer to the documentation for your
SSH server for instructions on how to do this.
Next, the public keys need to be associated with the correct users. For OpenSSH, you must store a copy
of the public key in the users’ home directory, specifically in the file ~/.ssh/authorized_keys. This
file can contain multiple keys, each on a separate line.
9.4.4. Client Configuration
The client must have a copy of the private key associated with the public key stored on the server. The
key can be stored anywhere, although on UNIX it is commonly stored as ~/.ssh/id_rsa. The user will
be able to specify where the key is located in the ThinLinc Client interface.
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9.5. Using Smart Card Public Key Authentication
9.5.1. Introduction
Smart card public key authentication is an advanced version of the method described in Section 9.4. It
uses the same basic principle but stores the private key on a smart card, where it can never be extracted.
This section will describe how to configure ThinLinc to use it.
9.5.2. General Requirements
•
Smart cards with an appropriate PKCS#11 library. The library included with ThinLinc requires
PKCS#15 compliant smart cards and PC/SC libraries on the client system.
9.5.3. Key Generation
The keys on the smart card are generated when the smart card is issued. How this is done is not covered
by this guide.
9.5.4. Server Configuration
To use a smart card with ThinLinc, the public key must be extracted off the card and associated with a
user on the ThinLinc server. The method for doing this depends on your smart card and your SSH server.
On Linux, with the OpenSSH server and an PKCS#15 compliant smart card, the tool pkcs15-tool (part
of the OpenSC suite) is able to extract the public key.
The first step is identifying the certificate on the card:
# pkcs15-tool --list-certificates
X.509 Certificate [identification]
Flags
: 0
Authority: no
Path
: 3f0050154331
ID
: 45
The second step is to extract the key, based on the ID number:
# pkcs15-tool --read-ssh-key 45
1024 65537 918282501237151981353694684191630174855276113858858644490084487922635
27407657612671471887563630990149686313179737831148878256058532261207121307761545
37226554073750496652425001832055579758510787971892507619849564722087378266977930
9875752082163453335538210518946058646748977963861144645730357512544251473818679
ssh-rsa AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAADAQABAAAAgQCCxIx/xtVoDR2qwY4Pym7F6yKmdJsB26MUbbTiGT7o
6M6G4A2l5Go1kdQRNjOWDJE9HZWToaApSkVprNeiQLeOkbELz2yND2Te/Oyl3u44YeIUImT1v4t7q9jC
MTpfZ+TpxLf0sd3DAk2So8EBAtUkhib/ugKqfTCqB7WNoHf0Nw==
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The second line, starting with "ssh-rsa", is the one needed for SSH version 2 authentication. For
instructions on how to associate this key with a user, see Section 9.4.
9.5.5. Client Configuration
The ThinLinc client requires no special configuration to use the smart card.
9.5.6. Automatic Connection
The client is able to automatically connect to the server when a smart card is inserted (see Section 7.4.5).
It does, however, require that the user is able to log in using the subject name on the card. As that is
rarely a valid user name, ThinLinc ships with a special NSS module, called nss-passwdaliases, that
enables alternate names for users.
The module is configured by editing the file /etc/passwdaliases. The file is a colon-delimited table
of alternate names and their corresponding user ids. Example:
givenname=John,sn=Doe,c=us:572
To activate the nss-passwdaliases module, it must be added to the list of NSS modules for the passwd
database. This is specified in the file /etc/nsswitch.conf. For example, replace the following line:
passwd: files ldap
with this line:
passwd: files ldap passwdaliases
9.5.7. LDAP Automatic Update (tl-ldap-certalias)
ThinLinc includes the tool tl-ldap-certalias that can automatically update the local databases needed for
smart card public key authentication, provided the system uses the OpenSSH server (or any SSH server
that uses a compatible format and location for authorized public keys) and standards compliant LDAP
servers where users and certificates are stored.
The tl-ldap-certalias command can also perform validation of certificates it finds in LDAP databases.
Read more about this in Section 9.5.7.3.
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•
On invocation, a list of all users and matching certificates is gathered. How is determined by the
certificate_user_match configuration variable. If allow_invalid_certificates is no, only
matching valid certificates will be gathered.
•
The user’s home directory, as well as the .ssh directory, are created if they are required and do not
already exist. tl-ldap-certalias reuses the /vsmagent/make_homedir_mode configuration variable
from vsmagent for determining the default permissions of newly created home directories.
Chapter 9. Authentication in ThinLinc
•
Any old public keys added by tl-ldap-certalias are removed from the authorized_keys file and the
keys from the current set of certificates are added.
•
The file /etc/passwdaliases is updated with a list of subject names and user id:s, to allow for
login without usernames. See Section 9.5.6 for more information.
Note: It should be noted that any custom entries in ~/.ssh/authorized_keys will be retained, but
custom changes to /etc/passwdaliases will be overwritten each time tl-ldap-certalias is run.
After deployment, tl-ldap-certalias is meant to be run from cron at regular intervals, for example every
15 minutes. This makes sure that the ThinLinc system automatically keeps all user certificates updated.
However, please note that if you’re using certificate validation, downloading and parsing certificate
revocation lists may take a long time (up to 5 minutes each). This is mitigated by caching the data from
the CRL:s, but the first run and whenever the CRL needs to be updated may take a long time. Thus, if
you have certificates from a lot of different certificate authorities, don’t run tl-ldap-certalias too often.
Since the default use of this tool is to be run from cron, the default behaviour is to produces no output
other than error messages. If you want more output from tl-ldap-certalias, see options in Section 9.5.7.1.
Note: The root user must able to write to the users’ home directories for tl-ldap-certalias to be able
to update the ~/.ssh/authorized_keys files.
9.5.7.1. Command line options
tl-ldap-certalias accepts a number of different command line options that affects how the program
interacts with its environment.
-v
--verbose
Turn on program status output to standard output. This is off by default.
-d
--debug
Turn on extra debugging putput to standard output. This is off by default.
-s
--simulate
Dry run mode. Specifying this option tells tl-ldap-certalias to avoid writing any changes to disk.
This is off by default.
-h
--help
Show usage information and exit.
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9.5.7.2. Configuration
tl-ldap-certalias uses the /utils/tl-ldap-certalias hiveconf folder for configuration purposes.
On a standard ThinLinc installation, it’s located in
/opt/thinlinc/etc/conf.d/tl-ldap-certalias.hconf.
Configuration parameters
/utils/tl-ldap-certalias/ldap_schema
Specify the schema type that is used on the target LDAP server. Valid options are rfc2307 and AD.
rfc2307 is default and should be used with standard LDAP servers that complies to rfc2307.
AD should be used if target LDAP server is an Active Directory.
/utils/tl-ldap-certalias/allow_invalid_certificates
This parameter controls whether to perform validation on certificates found in the LDAP database.
Possible values are yes and no.
Please note that by setting this to yes, you will allow users with expired, invalid, revoked or
untrusted certificates to log in as if their certificates are valid.
Note: If you want tl-ldap-certalias to match the behaviour of tl-ldap-certalias versions earlier
than 3.2.0, set this to yes.
/utils/tl-ldap-certalias/certificate_user_match
The method to use for finding certificates assigned to the user. Valid options are sameobject and
novell_certificate_subjectname.
sameobject makes tl-ldap-certalias search for certificates in the userCertificate attribute on
user objects it finds.
novell_certificate_subjectname allows for certificates to be stored in another LDAP tree.
User objects are associated to certificates by storing subject names of certificates in a multivalued
attribute called sasAllowableSubjectName (OID 2.16.840.1.113719.1.39.42.1.0.69) on the user
object. tl-ldap-certalias can handle both DN:s as written by Novell iManager
(DC=com.DC=example.OU=test.CN=foo) and as returned by tl-certtool --subject
(cn=foo,ou=test,dc=example,dc=com).
/utils/tl-ldap-certalias/users/uri
A LDAP server URI for finding users on the form ldap [s] :// name [:port]
/utils/tl-ldap-certalias/users/base
The LDAP search base for finding users.
/utils/tl-ldap-certalias/users/binddn
The username to bind as for searching for users. If left blank, no bind is performed.
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/utils/tl-ldap-certalias/users/bindpw
The password to use in combination with binddn for bind operations. If binddn is left empty, this
can also be left empty.
/utils/tl-ldap-certalias/certs/uri
/utils/tl-ldap-certalias/certs/base
/utils/tl-ldap-certalias/certs/binddn
/utils/tl-ldap-certalias/certs/bindpw
If certificate_user_match is not sameobject, these settings will be used to determine where to look
for certificates. They follow the same rules as the settings for users.
9.5.7.3. Certificate validation
tl-ldap-certalias can perform validation of certificates found in LDAP databases by the following
methods if allow_invalid_certificates is set to yes:
Certificate validity and expiry dates
tl-ldap-certalias now checks the certificate validity and expiry dates and rejects certificates that are
not valid yet or have expired.
Matching certificate to certificate issuers
Place the CA certificates you wish to trust certificates from in /opt/thinlinc/etc/ca/. The CA
certificates must be in DER form. If tl-ldap-certalias finds a certificate with an issuer that does not
match any of the certificates in /opt/thinlinc/etc/ca/, the certificate will be considered
invalid and ignored.
Certificate revocation lists
tl-ldap-certalias searches the certificates it encounter for certificate revocation lists (CRL), to make
sure that the certificate has not been revoked by its issuer. Once downloaded, the CRL will be
cached until the time for the next scheduled update found in the CRL list has passed.
Note: tl-ldap-certalias can only handle CRL lists distributed with HTTP.
Validation of certificate signatures.
tl-ldap-certalias can verify that the certificate signature is valid and thus assures that the certificate
has not been tampered with.
Note: To validate rsa-sha256, rsa-sha384 and rsa-sha512 certificate signatures, Python 2.5 or
newer is required. Trying to validate signatures with an older Python version will result in the
certificate being rejected with the message "Certificate signature algorithm is unknown".
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9.6. Using One Time Passwords
9.6.1. Introduction
In this section, we will describe how to configure ThinLinc for authentication against One Time
Password (OTP) servers, such as the NordicEdge One Time Password Server or RSA SecurID. By using
OTPs, you can increase the system security.
9.6.2. General Requirements
•
An OTP server which accepts the OTP twice. This is due to the ThinLinc architecture: The client first
contacts the master machine, and then the agent host. The NordicEdge One Time Password Server has
built-in support for ThinLinc. When using RSA SecurID, we recommend using the Steel-Belted
Radius server as a "Token Caching Server".
•
An user database (directory server) that is supported both by the operating system on the ThinLinc
servers, as well as the OTP server. We recommend using a LDAP directory server, such as Novell
eDirectory.
•
The operating systems on the ThinLinc servers must support the OTP servers authentication protocol.
We recommend using the RADIUS protocol, by using the pam_radius_auth PAM module from the
FreeRADIUS project (http://www.freeradius.org).
•
The SSH server on the ThinLinc servers must accept "keyboard-interactive" authentication. It’s
recommended to disable "password" authentication.
9.6.3. Configuration for NordicEdge One Time Password Server
This section describes how to deploy a OTP solution based on the NordicEdge One Time Password
Server. With this solution, OTPs are used in addition to normal passwords. Users should enter their
normal password in the ThinLinc client password input field, and the OTPs in the popup dialog that
follows.
The example below assumes that you are using LDAP and RADIUS. Step 2 through 8 should be
repeated on all ThinLinc servers.
1. Configure the OTP server, according to the OTP server documentation. Make sure to use an
appropriate "regenerate timeout" value. If this value is too short, authentication with the VSM agent
host might fail, even though authentication with the VSM server host succeeds.
2. Install pam_radius_auth. Some distributions, such as SUSE, includes this module.
3. Configure pam_radius_auth, by creating /etc/raddb/server . It should contain the OTP
server name, port, and a shared secret. Example:
myotpserver.example.com:1645 mysecret
4. Configure LDAP authentication according to your distribution’s documentation.
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5. Normally, when not using OTPs, the VSM and SSH Server PAM configuration is the same. This is
often accomplished by a symbolic link /etc/pam.d/thinlinc pointing to /etc/pam.d/sshd.
When using OTPs, this symbolic link should be replaced with a private copy:
# cp /etc/pam.d/thinlinc /etc/pam.d/thinlinc.new
# mv /etc/pam.d/thinlinc.new /etc/pam.d/thinlinc
6. Configure the SSH server for RADIUS authentication by modifying its PAM configuration. The
exact procedure depends on the system, but typically, this can be done by modifying
/etc/pam.d/sshd, by inserting the line
auth
sufficient
/lib/security/pam_radius_auth.so use_first_pass
after the line containing pam_unix.so. Lines with references to pam_ldap in the auth section
should be removed.
Note: If the system uses a "stackable" PAM configuration, then copy system-auth to
system-auth-radius, and modify this file instead of /etc/pam.d/sshd. Then, adapt this file to
use system-auth-radius instead of system-auth, in the "auth" section.
7. Restart the VSM and SSH server.
8. Login to the system with a SSH client, and verify that an OTP is required and accepted.
9. Login to the system with a ThinLinc client, and verify that an OTP is required and accepted.
9.6.4. Configuration for RSA SecurID
This section describes how to deploy a OTP solution based on RSA SecurID with ThinLinc. When using
this solution, the SecurID PASSCODEs are used instead of normal passwords. The PASSCODE should
be entered in the ThinLinc client password input field. Please observe the following limitations:
•
When SecurID requests additional information, in addition to the PASSCODE initially entered, a
popup dialog will be used. This happens, for example, in Next Token or New PIN mode. After
finishing the dialog, the ThinLinc client will display a "Login failed!" error message. This happens
since the SBR server clears the token cache when additional information is requested. When this
happens, wait until the token changes once more, and login again.
•
The ThinLinc Single Sign-On mechanism will store the string entered in the clients password input
field. When using SecurID, this is the PASSCODE, which cannot be used for further logins. To use the
Single Sign-On mechanism, the user must be prompted for their real password. This can be done with
the program tl-sso-update-password. To configure ThinLinc so that this program is executed during
login, execute this command:
# ln -s /opt/thinlinc/bin/tl-sso-update-password /opt/thinlinc/etc/xstartup.d/05-tl-sso-update-passw
•
If an external application server is used, and you want to able to establish connections with the Single
Sign-On mechanism, this application server cannot be SecurID-protected. This includes Windows
Terminal Servers. When using SecurID-protected Windows domains, users and computers can be
excluded from SecurID protection at the domain controller, by selecting Control Panel−→RSA ACE
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Agent−→Domain−→Advanced Domain Options . Windows Terminal Servers that are excluded in
this fashion should not have the RSA Ace Agent installed.
The configuration example below assumes that you are using LDAP and RADIUS, and the Steel-Belted
Radius (SBR) server. Step 8 through 11 should be repeated on all ThinLinc servers.
1. Install and configure RSA Authentication Manager (ACE server). For basic configuration tasks such
as creating users and assigning tokens, we refer to the RSA documentation.
2. Create a new Agent Host for the SBR server, with type "Net OS Agent". Select which users should
be able to login through ThinLinc. To allow all users, check the "Open to All Locally Known Users"
checkbox.
3. Generate a configuration file for the SBR server, by selecting Agent Host->Generate Configuration
File. Copy this file to c:\windows\system32 on the machine running SBR.
4. Open the SBR Administrator. Create clients for all ThinLinc servers, using default settings. Make
sure you enter a shared secret.
5. Use SBR Administrator to create a SecurID user. The user should typically be of type <ANY>.
6. Modify the SBR Authentication Policy, so that the only active method is "SecurID User". Exit SBR
Administrator.
7. Enable ACE authentication caching by editing the configuration file
c:\radius\service\radius.ini and set:
[SecurID]
CachePasscodes
= yes
SecondsToCachePasscodes = 60
Restart SBR after changing the configuration file. For more information about ACE authentication
caching, refer to the Steel-Belted Radius Tech Note RD310.
8. Install pam_radius_auth. Some distributions, such as SUSE, includes this module.
9. Configure pam_radius_auth, by creating /etc/raddb/server . It should contain the SBR
server name, port, and a shared secret. Example:
myotpserver.example.com:1812 mysecret
10. Configure the ThinLinc servers for RADIUS authentication by modifying its PAM configuration.
The exact procedure depends on the system, but typically, this can be done by modifying
/etc/pam.d/system-auth, by inserting the line
auth
sufficient
/lib/security/pam_radius_auth.so use_first_pass
after the line containing pam_unix.so.
11. Restart the VSM and SSH server.
12. Login to the system with a SSH client, and verify that an OTP is required and accepted.
13. Login to the system with a ThinLinc client, and verify that an OTP is required and accepted.
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ThinLinc supports accessing files on both Windows and Novell file servers.
10.1. Accessing Windows File Servers
10.1.1. Introduction
This chapter describes how to setup a ThinLinc server to access Windows file servers via the SMB/CIFS
protocol. CIFS is a modern version of SMB. In this document, we use the term CIFS, but the procedure
described in this documentation works for SMB servers as well.
CIFS is different from NFS in that CIFS mounts are per user, not per system. For example, with NFS, it’s
possible to mount all network file systems when the server boots. One NFS mount can be used by all
users on the system. With CIFS, each user must have their own mounts. Also, when mounting a CIFS file
system, the password of the user is usually required.
ThinLinc and many other UNIX applications requires that hard links are supported in the user’s home
directory. There are often other POSIX file system semantic requirements as well. This means that the
user’s home directories cannot be a mounted CIFS filesystem. The Linux CIFS client (smbfs) does not
support all POSIX file operations, such as hard links. The newer CIFS client (cifsfs) supports the CIFS
UNIX extensions, but few CIFS servers support this and this feature has not been tested with ThinLinc.
ThinLinc includes two utility programs for dealing with CIFS mounts: tl-mount-cifs and
tl-umount-all-cifs . These are described below.
The method described in this chapter mounts all CIFS shares below the directory ~/winshares. The
user’s CIFS home directory, if any, is mounted at ~/winshares/home.
10.1.2. Requirements
10.1.2.1. CIFS Server Requirements
This document assumes that you are using a Windows NT file server, version 4.0 or later
(2000/XP/2003/2003 R2/2008/2008 R2). However, you should be able to use any CIFS file server.
Usernames and passwords must be synchronized between the file server and the ThinLinc server.
Usually, this is accomplished by letting the ThinLinc servers and the CIFS file server use a common
directory server. For details, please refer to Chapter 9.
10.1.2.2. ThinLinc Server Requirements
Either of smbmount/smbumount or mount.cifs/umount.cifs must be installed. On Red Hat distributions,
they are available in the package samba-client. Refer to your distribution for how to install these
applications.
The programs smbmnt/smbumount and mount.cifs/umount.cifs must be setuid root. This is accomplished
by the following commands:
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# chmod u+s /usr/bin/smbmnt /usr/bin/smbumount
# chmod u+s /sbin/mount.cifs /sbin/umount.cifs
10.1.3. Mounting and Unmounting Shares
10.1.3.1. Using tl-mount-cifs
tl-mount-cifs is a small wrapper for smbmount and mount.cifs , which adds:
1. Automatically selects which file system implementation to use. cifsfs is used if the command
mount.cifs is available. Otherwise, smbfs is tried.
2. Automatically submits password, using the ThinLinc Single Sign-On mechanism.
3. Automatically creates mount point directory, if it does not exist.
4. Can optionally fetch the service and drive letter corresponding to the users home directory specified
in Active Directory.
5. Will automatically use the options specified in Hiveconf (as explained below).
The syntax for tl-mount-cifs resembles smbmount/mount.cifs :
tl-mount-cifs [-r] [--verbose] [-o options] service mount-point
tl-mount-cifs [-r] [--verbose] [-o options] --homedir [mount-point]
The -r option removes the mount point if the mount fails. The --verbose option executes both
tl-mount-cifs and the actual mount command with debugging information. Additional mount options can
be specified using the -o options option. Refer to the smbmount/mount.cifs documentation for more
information. If the --homedir option is specified, it is not necessary to specify the service to mount.
Instead, the service corresponding to the users home directory will be fetched automatically from Active
Directory. This requires that the Samba net command is available. When --homedir is used, the
mount-point argument is optional. If omitted, the service will be mounted on a directory in the users
home directory corresponding to the drive letter specified in Active Directory (without the trailing colon).
The Hiveconf parameter /utils/tl-mount-cifs/cifsmount_args specifies default arguments for
the tl-mount-cifs command. This Hiveconf parameter is normally found in
/opt/thinlinc/etc/conf.d/tl-mount-cifs.hconf. The default value of this parameter is "-o
dir_mode=0700", which makes CIFS mounts user-private. This option is however only recognized by
mount.cifs .
Example 1: User "john" has a home directory on the CIFS file server \\alabama, shared as "john$", which
should be mounted on /home/john/winshares/home. To do this, he runs the following command:
$ tl-mount-cifs -r //alabama/john$ ~/winshares/home
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Example 2: User "john" is part of a workgroup that shares files using a share called "project" on the file
server \\alabama. This share can be mounted on /home/john/winshares/project with the following
command:
$ tl-mount-cifs //alabama/project ~/winshares/project
Example 3: If a home directory and home drive is specified in Active Directory, the home directory of
user "john" can be executed with the command:
$ tl-mount-cifs --homedir
10.1.3.2. Using tl-umount-all-cifs
tl-umount-all-cifs is a utility that unmounts the current user’s mounted CIFS shares (all CIFS mounts
below the user’s home directory). It requires no arguments. The optional argument -a will unmount all
CIFS filesystems on the host.
10.1.3.3. Mounting Shares at Login
Often, it’s convenient to automatically mount CIFS shares for all users upon login. This can be
accomplished by creating a script in /opt/thinlinc/etc/xstartup.d. It can be named anything.
The script should contain something like:
#!/bin/sh
/opt/thinlinc/bin/tl-mount-cifs //alabama/${USER}$ ~/winshares/home
You should also make sure that tl-umount-all-cifs runs at logout. This can be done with the
following command:
# ln -s /opt/thinlinc/bin/tl-umount-all-cifs /opt/thinlinc/etc/xlogout.d
10.2. Accessing Novell Netware File Servers
10.2.1. Introduction
Novell Netware servers can serve files in several different ways. This document will focus on NCP
(Netware Core Protocol) and NFS access. It is possible that information about SMB/CIFS will be added
in future versions.
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10.2.2. Using NCPFS to Access Novell File Servers
Using the ncpfs package and kernel module, it’s possible to mount file resources from Netware servers
using the Netware Core Protocol, which is the same protocol that is used by for example Windows
computers accessing Netware file servers.
Note: There are currently two ways to access Novell File Servers via NCPFS - either via the ncpfs
package and kernel module, or via Novell’s Client for Linux. The latter is described in Section 10.2.3.
Since a NCP mount is per user, not per host as with NFS, every user must mount their own resources at
login, most often using their password. The procedure used is much like the one used when accessing
Windows file servers, described in Section 10.1.
10.2.2.1. Requirements
The package ncpfs must be installed on the ThinLinc server. The programs ncpmount and ncpumount
must be setuid root. This is accomplised by executing the following command:
# chmod u+s,a+x /usr/bin/ncpmount /usr/bin/ncpumount
On SuSE, the permissions of ncpmount and ncpumount are reset each time SuSEconfig is run. To avoid
this, add the following to /etc/permissions.local and run SuSEconfig:
/usr/bin/ncpmount root.root 4755
/usr/bin/ncpumount root.root 4755
The ThinLinc server must be configured to use LDAP for authentication as described in Section 9.3. The
commands used for mounting resources from Netware servers, described below, use the values in
/etc/ldap.conf to find what LDAP server to ask for needed information.
We assume that the Netware servers we will mount resources from operate in an IP environment, and
that DNS names exist for all Netware servers. If the latter is not true, aliases for the Netware servers need
to be added to /etc/hosts.
When using NCP to access the Netware file servers, the permissions are decided by the Netware server.
However, the permissions that are showed on the Linux side are not mapped to the effective permission.
Therefore, even though a file may look readable/writable when listing it from the Linux side, it may very
well not be readable/writable when trying, because the Netware file server denies it.
10.2.2.2. Mounting and Unmounting shares
10.2.2.2.1. Using tl-mount-ncp
tl-mount-ncp is a small wrapper for ncpmount which adds:
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•
Automatic submission of password using the ThinLinc Single Sign-On mechanism.
•
Automatic creation of mountpoint directory if it does not exist.
Chapter 10. File Access
•
Automatic translation of the username into a NDS distinguished name
•
Ability to automatically lookup where (on what server and path) a users home directory resides using
LDAP lookups in eDirectory.
The tl-mount-ncp has two main syntaxes:
•
tl-mount-ncp --homedir <mountpoint> will mount the Novell home directory of the current user (as
specified in the USER environment variable) after looking up the location of the home directory from
the ndsHomeDirectory attribute in eDirectory.
For example, if a user named john is logged in via ThinLinc and executes
tl-mount-ncp --homedir /home/john/novell/home
his Netware homedirectory will be mounted on /home/john/novell/home.
•
tl-mount-ncp <server>/<path> <mountpoint> will mount the Netware resource at <server>/path on
<mountpoint>
For example, the command
tl-mount-ncp ALABAMA/DATA/common /home/john/novell/common
will mount the directory /DATA/common on the Netware file server ALABAMA on
/home/john/novell/common, using the current user’s username and password.
If extra parameters need to be added to the ncpmount command line used by tl-mount-ncp, they can
either be added on the tl-mount-ncp commandline using the --ncpmount_args parameter, or in Hiveconf,
as the parameter /utils/tl-mount-ncp/ncpmount_args . The latter is the preferred way, since it
provides a systemwide way to specify the parameters. By default, the parameter has a value that makes
filenames with swedish characters work as expected. The Hiveconf parameter is found in
/opt/thinlinc/etc/conf.d/tl-mount-ncp.hconf. You can see the ncpmount command line
used by using the --verbose flag to ncpmount when testing functionality.
10.2.2.2.2. Using tl-umount-all-ncp
The tl-umount-all-ncp command is a utility that unmounts the current user’s mounted NCP shares (all
NCP mounts below the user’s home directory). It requires no arguments. The optional argument -a will
unmount all NCP shares on the host.
10.2.2.2.3. Mounting Shares at Login
Often, it’s convenient to automatically mount NCP resources for all users upon login. This can be
accomplished by creating a script in /opt/thinlinc/etc/xstartup.d. It can be named anything.
The script should contain something like:
#!/bin/sh
/opt/thinlinc/bin/tl-mount-ncp --homedir ~/novell/home
/opt/thinlinc/bin/tl-mount-ncp ALABAMA/DATA/common ~/novell/common
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You should also make sure that tl-umount-all-ncp runs at logout. This can be done with the
following command:
# ln -s /opt/thinlinc/bin/tl-umount-all-ncp /opt/thinlinc/etc/xlogout.d
Given the example above, the user’s Netware home directory will be mounted on the directory
novell/home under the user’s Linux home directory. Also, another Netware directory will be mounted
at novell/common. Upon logout, all Netware shares will be unmounted.
10.2.3. Using the Native Novell Client to Access Novell File Servers
Novell has released a Linux version of their Novell Client. ThinLinc provides support scripts to help
integrate the Novell Client in a ThinLinc installation by automatically adding information on username,
eDirectory tree, user’s context and user’s password, the latter by using the ThinLinc Single Sign-On
feature.
Note: There are currently two ways to access Novell File Servers via NCPFS - either via the ncpfs
package and kernel module, or via Novell’s Client for Linux. The former is described in Section
10.2.2.
The Native Novell Client for Linux can mount file resources from Novell file servers. This can be done
manually after login by using the map command, or by running the user’s login script. The latter is done
by passing the -r parameter to nwlogin.
10.2.3.1. Requirements
The Native Novell Client for Linux must be installed on the ThinLinc server. The integration scripts in
ThinLinc has been tested using Novell Client v1.2 on Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 10.
The ThinLinc server must be configured to use LDAP for authentication as described in Section 9.3. The
commands used for mounting resources from Netware servers, described below, use the values in
/etc/ldap.conf to find what LDAP server to ask for needed information.
10.2.3.2. Logging in
With ThinLinc, a command named tl-nwlogin is shipped. This is a wrapper around the nwlogin
command shipped as part of the Native Novell Client for Linux. The tl-nwlogin command takes the
same commandline parameters as nwlogin, with the difference that if required parameters such as
username, tree, context and password are missing on the commandline, tl-nwlogin will add them before
running nwlogin.
If a parameter for one of several of username, tree, context or password is passed on the tl-nwlogin
commandline, it will be passed untouched to nwlogin. This allows for flexibility. For example, if the user
should be logged in using the same username, context and password but to a different tree, just add -t
<treename> to the tl-nwlogin commandline. This will cause tl-nwlogin to automatically add username,
context and password, but will pass the tree parameter unchanged to nwlogin.
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10.2.3.3. Mounting Shares
After login, shares can be mounted by using the map command, part of the Novell Linux Client. They
can also be mounted as part of the login procedure by adding the -r parameter to tl-nwlogin. This will
cause the Novell Client to run the user’s login script.
10.2.3.4. Logging out
After session termination, the user should be logged out to free system resources and unmount shares.
For this purpose, ThinLinc ships a wrapper script named tl-nwlogout. This script automatically adds the
-t parameter to tell nwlogout which tree to log out from.
Simply run tl-nwlogout by linking it into /opt/thinlinc/etc/xlogout.d.
If the user was logged into any additional trees, make sure you add a script for logging out of all trees in
/opt/thinlinc/etc/xlogout.d.
10.2.4. Accessing Novell Netware File Servers using NFS
The NFS serving capabilities in Novell Netware differ between different versions of Netware. Here’s an
attempt to summarize what features exist in the different variants.
Table 10-1. NFS serving capabilities in different Novell Netware versions
Netware version
Serving Traditional volumes Serving NSS volumes
Netware 5.1 with Novell NFS 3.0 Support only over NFS v2. Hard
links supported. File locking
supported. File Access modes:
NFS mode, Independent mode,
Netware mode, Netware-NFS
mode and NFS-Netware mode.
Supported over NFS v2 and v3.
Hard links supported. File
locking not supported. Available
File Access modes: Independent
mode.
Netware 6.0sp2+ with Native
File Access for Unix
Supported only over NFS v2.
Hard links supported. File
locking supported. File Access
modes: Independent mode.
Supported over NFS v2 and v3.
File locking not supported. Hard
links not supported. File Access
modes: Independent mode.
Netware 6.5 with Native File
Access for Unix
Not supported.
Supported over NFS v2 and v3.
File locking supported. Hard
links not supported. File Access
modes: Netware mode and
Independent mode.
If the filesystems exported from the Netware server is to be used as home directories for Linux users,
both file locking and hardlink support is required for proper operation. Given the table above, home
directories can only be exported and used from a Novell Netware server if they reside on traditional
volumes on a Netware 6.0sp2 (or higher) server with Netware File Access for Unix installed.
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On the other hand, using Netware mode (if your fileserver runs Netware 6.5 or later) means you don’t
have to assign uid and gid values to all home directories from the Linux side, since Netware will do this
translation on the server side. However, since a NFS export from Netware 6.5 doesn’t support hard links,
the export can’t be used as a home directory without special care. Also, be aware of the fact that trustees
won’t work, so a shared directory where several people have read/write permissions can’t be used in a
decent way.
10.2.4.1. Requirements
10.2.4.1.1. Novell Netware Requirements
First you need to make sure that you have the Novell Native File Access for UNIX installed. This
contains the NFS server components and NDS schema extensions. You should install the available
service packs for your Netware system. Then Native File Access for UNIX is initially installed, it runs
the command schinst, which extends the NDS schemas.
If NDS is reinstalled, if you for example installs a Netware service pack, you may have to run it
manually afterwards. After schinst you should run nisinst which extends the schemas with NIS info,
which is needed. You should run nfsstop before and nfsstart after these commands.
10.2.4.1.2. UNIX Requirements
Of course you need some user handling, for example NIS, LDAP, NDS or similar.
10.2.4.2. NDS Configuration
Before you can export a Netware traditional file system you need to run the command:
$ add namespace nfs <filesystem>
Before this you won’t see the file system in the list of file systems possible to export in ConsoleOne and
the NFS server won’t be able to export it even if you add the filesystem to SYS:\ETC\NFSEXPRT
manually
When you have added the NFS namespace you need to export some volumes from the Netware server. In
Netware 6.0 this is done using ConsoleOne. First connect to the NDS tree, and then to the NFS server.
When you add the exports you can tell from which machines the root user will have root access to the
files (similar to no_root_squash on UNIX systems). In Netware 6.5, this configuration is instead done
via iManager - using ConsoleOne won’t work.
If you read users and groups from NDS (by using nss_ldap ) you should add a group, for instance
unixusers . In the group settings you should set the GID in the UNIX -tab. Then you add your users to
the group. You should also make sure that the Admin user has UID 0 set in the UNIX -tab.
To get file locking you need to run the lock file daemon. You can start it with the command:
$ load lockd
You probably want to add this to your startup files to make sure that it’s running from start. Also note
that if you are running ZENworks for Desktops, you want to change the load order in AUTOEXEC.NCF so
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that NFSSTART.NCF comes before ZFDSTART.NCF. Failing to do this may result in a server with 100%
load and malfunctioning NFS.
10.2.4.3. Securing Netware NFS Services
NFS can be used with several different authentication mechanisms. The most common one is called
AUTH_SYS. This is the only mechanism supported by Netware. AUTH_SYS only provides a legitimate
authentication if the network can be secured externally, and privileged TCP/UDP ports are used.
Unfortunately, the Netware NFS server does not require that NFS requests are originating from privileged
ports. This means that any user on any host (which has been granted NFS access) can impersonate any
other user (including root). To work around this problem, the Netware filtering support can be used:
1. Type FILTCFG at the console prompt.
2. Select Configure TCP/IP Filters->Packet forwarding Filters.
3. Change status to Enabled.
4. Make sure "Deny packets in filter list" is selected.
5. Select (List of denied packets).
6. Press Insert to define a new filter.
7. Highlight the "Packet type" entry, and press Enter.
8. Press Insert to define a new packet type. It should have the following properties:
Name: nfs-unsecure
Protocol: UDP
Source ports: 1024-65535
Destination ports: 2049
Stateful filtering: Disabled
9. Press Escape, and then Enter to return to the Define Filter screen.
10. Press Escape and Enter to save the filter.
11. Repeat step 6 to 10 to add a TCP filter. In step 8, the Name should be "nfs-unsecuretcp", and the
Protocol TCP.
12. Exit FILTCFG.
10.2.4.4. UNIX Configuration
10.2.4.4.1. Assigning permissions to NFS-exported filesystems
When exporting filesystems from a Novell Netware fileserver using NFS in the Independent mode (see
Table 10-1 for the available file access mapping modes on different Netware versions), no mapping is
done from the Netware permissions to the Unix permissions. Therefore, permissions on the exported
filesystems must be set from a Linux client by running chmod as root. This can be done either manually
or automatically using tl-nds-posixuser, described in Section 9.3.4.
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10.2.4.4.2. Mounting the homedirectories on the ThinLinc server
Depending on how the NFS-exports of filesystems on the Netware servers are organized, it’s more or less
easy to mount the homedirectories on the ThinLinc server(s).
10.2.4.4.2.1. All homedirectories on one export
If all homedirectories are found under one export, just add a line to /etc/fstab that mounts that path as
/home. This situation is however rare. Remember to put nfsvers=2 if the server only exports using NFS
v2. Another option is let autofs mount the home directories using a wildcard entry in the automounter
map.
10.2.4.4.2.2. Homedirectories spread among several servers and/or mountpoints
If the homedirectories are spread among several different servers and/or on several different exports, it’s
less easy to mount the correct path. For this purpose, ThinLinc provides the program tl-nds-mountpath
that searches LDAP and deducts the correct mountpath from the ndsHomeDirectory value.
The tl-nds-mountpath is added on a line in /etc/auto.master. An example line looks like this:
/home
program:/opt/thinlinc/libexec/tl-nds-mountpath nfsvers=2,hard,intr
This will cause tl-nds-mountpath to search LDAP for the correct mountpath for a specific user. The
program reads its parameters from /etc/ldap.conf or /etc/pam_ldap.conf, that is, it’s using the
same DN and password as pam_ldap and nss_ldap . Make sure the DN have the permissions to read the
ndsHomeDirectory attribute or tl-nds-mountpath will not work as expected. Use the ThinLinc Novell
Configurator as documented in Section 9.3.1 to create and configure the special DN used to search
LDAP for the needed information.
Note: In some Linux distributions, the /etc/auto.master syntax above will not work. Instead, the
line should look like this:
/home
program /opt/thinlinc/libexec/tl-nds-mountpath nfsvers=2,hard,intr
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is one example where this syntax is required.
Since many eDirectory installations has one or several entries where the ndsHomeDirectory has an
invalid value, tl-nds-mountpath normal behaviour is to check the result of the LDAP query to make sure
the key is also in the result. For example, when asked for the mountpath for the home directory of the
user alice, it checks that the result contains the string alice, in a case-insensitive string search. This
means that if the environment is setup so that the username is not in the home directory path,
tl-nds-mountpath will not work. If this is not the desired behaviour, it can be turned off by setting
/utils/tl-nds-mountpath/key_in_result_verify to 0.
The filter used by tl-nds-mountpath to find the user object and hence the ndsHomeDirectory attribute
can be configured in the parameter /utils/tl-nds-mountpath/ldapfilter. The default filter
removes alias objects from the result.
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The reason for this behaviour is that when tl-nds-mountpath is used in combination with
tl-nds-posixuser, assigning uid/gid values, a whole directory with many home directories can be
assigned incorrect uid/gid values, if the ndsHomeDirectory attribute of one user has a bad value.
Netware file systems are case insensitive when using NCP and CIFS, but case sensitive when using NFS.
Often, the path specified in NDS has a different case than the actual directory. If you try to mount the
path as specified in NDS, you will get an error message. The best way of solving this is to enter the
correct home directory path in NDS. However, correcting this for many users can be time consuming.
Therefore, tl-nds-mountpath contains support for testing different combinations of uppercase and
lowercase characters. When it finds a combination that works, the result is returned to the automounter.
Since the number of possible combinations is typically very large, not all combinations can be tested.
The combinations to test is specified by the parameter
/utils/tl-nds-mountpath/directory_cases . It is a list of strings. Each string can contain the
letters l, u or n, for lowercase, uppercase and NDS, respectively. These strings specify the different case
combinations for the beginning of the name of directories. The default value is "n l u ul". This means that
tl-nds-mountpath tries all combinations of directories that are named like:
•
Just like it is specified in NDS
•
With all letters in lowercase
•
With all letters in uppercase
•
With the first letter in uppercase, and the rest in lowercase
Other variants can be added as well, but please note that if you have a deep directory structure and many
case strings, the number of different combinations will be very large, which means that the execution of
tl-nds-mountpath might take a long time. The number of different combinations k is s **( d -1 ), where
s is the number of case strings, and d is the number of directories in the home directory path. The
average search time t is k *0.005/2 seconds (assuming one mount requests takes 5 ms). The table below
lists the search time for some sample values of s and d .
Table 10-2. Combinations and average search time for tl-nds-mountpath
Directories in
home directory
path:
1
2
3
4
1 case string
1 (5 ms)
1 (5 ms)
1 (5 ms)
1 (5 ms)
2 case strings
1 (5 ms)
2 (5 ms)
4 (10 ms)
8 (20 ms)
3 case strings
1 (5 ms)
3 (7.5 ms)
9 (22.5 ms)
27 (67.5 ms)
4 case strings
1 (5 ms)
4 (10 ms)
16 (40 ms)
64 (160 ms)
5 case strings
1 (5 ms)
5 (12.5 ms)
25 (62.5 ms)
125 (312.5 ms)
6 case strings
1 (5 ms)
6 (15 ms)
36 (90 ms)
216 (540 ms)
10.2.4.4.3. Special considerations when using directories mounted from Netware 6.5 as home
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directories
Since exports from Netware 6.5 don’t support hard links, they cannot be used as home directories in
Linux without special care. Both the X Window System, Gnome and KDE use hard links when locking
files. One workaround for this is to perform the following steps.
•
Create a directory either on the local filesystem or, in the case of a ThinLinc cluster, on the machine
running the VSM server. Regardless of which, we will call it /localhome in this example. Make
/localhome sticky by executing chmod o+ws /localhome. This will enable all users to create files
and directories in /localhome, but no user will be able to erase another user’s files/directories.
•
Each time the user logs in, check if the directory /localhome/<username> exists. If not, create it
using mkdir.
•
Set the following environment variables for each user:
ICEAUTHORITY=/localhome/${USER}/.ICEAuthority
GCONF_LOCAL_LOCKS=1
Note: It is only necessarity to set GCONF_LOCAL_LOCKS for GConf 2.3.0 or older. In newer
versions, you must instead make sure that the variable GCONF_GLOBAL_LOCKS is not set to 1.
Another problem is that in Netware, most home directories are not owned by the user it is associated
with, but instead some superuser owns it (since the superuser created it). Try using FLAG.EXE from
Windows to correct this.
10.3. Restricting write access to users home directory
10.3.1. Introduction
When accessing directories from CIFS and NCP servers, these are mounted in subdirectories of the users
UNIX home directory. It is not possible to place the UNIX home directory on a CIFS or NCP server,
since these typically does not support the necessary POSIX file system semantics (such as hard links). In
a typical setup, applications such as Mozilla uses the UNIX home directory for settings (~/.mozilla),
while the user saves documents in ~/MyDocuments. In this case, it might be desirable to restrict access
to the UNIX home directory: Forbid saving arbitrary files to it. This can be solved by using a feature of
ThinLinc called homecreatefilter .
10.3.2. Activation
To activate homecreatefilter , create a symbolic link in the xstartup.d directory:
# ln -s /opt/thinlinc/libexec/tl-homecreatefilter.sh /opt/thinlinc/etc/xstartup.d/06-tl-homecreatefilt
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10.3.3. Configuration
The configuration file /opt/thinlinc/etc/homecreatefilter.conf controls which files and
directories are allowed. By default, all files starting with a dot are allowed, as well as the files necessary
for KDE to start.
The configuration file is line based. A line not starting with a colon specifies a file object pattern that
should be allowed. A line starting with a colon specifies a command line pattern. Processes matching this
pattern will also be allowed write access, even if no file object pattern allows access.
10.3.4. Security Considerations and Limitations
The homecreatefilter feature is based on the LD_PRELOAD mechanism, which means it does not
support statically linked applications. Since environment variables can be modified by the user, the user
can disable the filter at will. homecreatefilter should not be regarded as a security mechanism, but rather
a mechanism that prevents the user from saving documents to the UNIX home directory by mistake.
In addition to the home directory, homecreatefilter restricts write access to the ~/Desktop directory.
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Chapter 11. Connecting to Windows Terminal Servers
11.1. Introduction
This chapter describes how to connect to Windows Terminal Servers via RDP. This makes it possible to
provide ThinLinc users with Windows desktops, but also to publish individual Windows applications to a
ThinLinc desktop, running on Linux or Solaris.
It is also possible to connect to Citrix servers by installing the Citrix ICA Client on the ThinLinc servers.
In this case, the ThinLinc commands tl-wfica and tl-wfcmgr can be used to provide Single Sign-On. For
more information about tl-wfica and tl-wfcmgr, see Chapter 13.
11.2. Single Sign-On
11.2.1. Information
ThinLinc provides Single Sign-On functionality into the Windows Terminal Server using either password
or smart card authentication. It is required that your ThinLinc servers are integrated with your Windows
infrastructure so that user authentication shares the same source on both Windows and ThinLinc.
If requirements mentioned above are met, Single Sign-On works out of the box with one exception
regarding smart card and CredSSP which is documented in the following section.
11.2.2. Smart card
If you want to use smart card Single Sign-On using Windows 2003 you need to install wtstools package
with our ThinLinc GINA. See Section 3.7 for more information.
Windows 2008 (RDP v6) and later does not require the mentioned GINA for using smart card SSO
authentication.
If your Windows Terminal Server is configured to explicitly only allow CredSSP authentication level,
ThinLinc needs to know a provide name for your smart card Crypto Service Provider (CSP). The
provider name is configured per application server group and is added to rdesktop_args configuration
value like the example below. See Section 14.2.4 for more information.
rdesktop_args=-o sc-csp-name="CSP Provider Name",
To obtain the provider name of your Crypto Service Provider (CSP) make sure that your smart card
driver are installed on your Windows Terminal Server. Open regedit and find the following registry key,
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Cryptography\Defaults\Provider. In this container you will find
a list of CSP providers registered with the system, find the matching provider for your smartcard and use
the key name as the CSP Provider Name.
11.3. Connection Modes
This section describes the different connection modes, and lists their limitations.
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11.3.1. Running a Windows Desktop in a Window
Sometimes it’s useful to run a Windows desktop in a window. This mode resembles many virtulization
solutions. The distinction between the Windows and UNIX environment is obvious. Connections of this
type can be made by using the tl-run-rdesktop command.
11.3.2. Running a Windows Desktop in Fullscreen
In this mode, the Windows desktop fully replaces the UNIX desktop. The UNIX environment is
completely hidden. Connections of this type can be made by using the tl-run-windesk command.
11.3.3. Running a WTS application in Standard Mode
The Standard Mode provides a limited form of application publishing. No extra software on the
Windows Terminal Servers is required. Typically, connections of this type are created with a command
such as: tl-run-winapp -D -T Excel excel.exe. When using this mode, please note:
•
The RDP connection window cannot be resized: It will remain the same size throughout the entire
RDP session. The default size is to occupy the "work area": The desktop area not covered by desktop
panels. Another size can be selected by using the -g argument.
•
It is possible to minimize the application. When using a size smaller than the work area, it is also
possible to move the application by using the applications title bar. Both these features requires that a
standard graphical theme is used on the Windows Terminal Servers: The button size should be 18
pixels. If not, the button size can be specified by using the -S option. For more information, consult the
rdesktop documentation.
•
The application must use a single, maximized window. The Windows calculator does not work
correctly, since it cannot be maximized. Mozilla Firefox does not work correctly when using multiple
windows.
For more information about tl-run-winapp, see the tl-run-winapp details in Chapter 13.
11.3.4. Running a WTS application in SeamlessRDP Mode
This mode makes it possible to publish applications "seamlessly", and allows for full integration with the
desktop. The remote applications can be moved, resized and restacked. Support for non-maximized and
multi-window applications is provided. When using the SeamlessRDP mode, the "WTS Tools" package
must be installed on all Windows Terminal Servers. The installation is described in Section 3.7.
Typically, connections of this type are created with a command such as: tl-run-winapp-seamless
c:\program\mozilla.org\mozilla\mozilla.exe http://www.cendio.com. When using this mode, please
note:
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•
A modern window manager is highly recommended.
•
No support for the System Tray is provided.
•
The command line application (cmd.exe) is not supported.
Chapter 11. Connecting to Windows Terminal Servers
•
You cannot run Internet Explorer in Protective Mode.
•
It is not possible to launch Explorer in file manager mode. As an alternative, Internet Explorer can be
used.
For more information about tl-run-winapp-seamless, see the tl-run-winapp details in Chapter 13.
Note:
• Windows 7 does not support publishing applications in SeamlessRDP mode.
• Windows Server 2012 and Window Server 2012 R2 does not support SeamlessRDP mode.
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Chapter 12. Accessing Client Resources from the Terminal Server
In this chapter we will describe how to access client resources, such as local drives and serial ports, from
the Terminal Server.
12.1. Accessing the Clients Local Drives
12.1.1. Introduction
Using ThinLinc, it is possible to access the clients’ drives and filesystems from the terminal servers.
With thin terminals, one might want to access a local CD-ROM drive. When running the client on a
workstation, applications on the terminal server can access all filesystems mounted at the workstation,
just like local applications can.
Note: Many Digital Cameras can be accessed as a USB storage device, and can be exported as a
local drive.
12.1.2. Mounting and Unmounting Local Drives
The exported local drives can be mounted with the command tl-mount-localdrives . The drives will be
mounted below $TLSESSIONDATA/drives. A symbolic link called "thindrives" will be created in the
user’s home directory, pointing to this directory. The syntax for tl-mount-localdrives is:
tl-mount-localdrives [-h] [-v]
The -v option causes the tool to be executed in verbose mode, while -h shows the syntax.
The Hiveconf parameter /utils/tl-mount-localdrives/mount_args specifies the mount
arguments. This Hiveconf parameter is normally found in
/opt/thinlinc/etc/conf.d/tl-mount-localdrives.hconf. The options mountport, port,
mountvers, nfsvers, nolock, and tcp will always be used.
Mounted local drives can be unmounted with the command tl-umount-localdrives .If some applications
are using a mount at this time, they can continue to access the mount, even though the mount has been
removed from the filesystem hierarchy (so called "lazy" umount). The syntax for tl-umount-localdrives
is:
tl-umount-localdrives [-a] [-s] [-l]
If -a is specified, then all mounted local drives, for all users on this machine, will be unmounted. If -s is
specified, then all mounted local drives, for all sessions belonging to the current user, will be unmounted.
If -l is specified, the thindrives link will not be updated.
Note: When using multiple sessions per user, the thindrives link will point to the newest session that
executed tl-mount-localdrives. tl-umount-localdrives will restore the link to the newest session
which is not newer than the current session and which has mounted local drives.
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12.1.3. Accessing local drives from Windows Terminal Servers
When using Windows Server 2003 or newer, access to the Local Drives is possible via RDP. In this case,
no configuration is required; sessions started with tl-run-rdesktop (and associated commands) will
automatically have the local drives redirected.
Note: Due to what seems to be a limitation in the RDP protocol, local drives with names longer than
seven characters will be displayed using only the first seven characters on the Windows Terminal
Server.
Local Drives can also be accessed from Citrix ICA servers. In this case, the Citrix ICA client must be
configured to export the desired "thindrives" directories.
12.1.4. Mounting Drives at Login
Often, it’s convenient to automatically mount all local drives for a user when the session starts. This is
done by default via a symbolic link in /opt/thinlinc/etc/xstartup.d, pointing at
/opt/thinlinc/bin/tl-mount-localdrives. This link is created for you during installation, as
well as its counterpart in /opt/thinlinc/etc/xlogout.d which points to
/opt/thinlinc/bin/tl-umount-localdrives.
12.1.5. Limitations and additional information
•
A mounted local drive, for example /var/opt/thinlinc/sessions/joe/47/drives/cdrom, is
only usable during the lifetime of the ThinLinc session. If the user ends the session without
unmounting and then starts a new session, the mount will not be usable even if the session number
happens to be same. In this case, any attempts to access the mount will give the error message "Stale
NFS file handle". To be able to use the local drive, the user needs to run tl-mount-localdrives .
•
The mounted local drive does not fully support POSIX semantics. The usual limitations of NFSv3
applies. Additionally, if the file is moved to another directory while a process has the file open, the
process will get a "Stale NFS file handle" error on any subsequent file operation for that file.
•
Local files are uniquely identified by their inode number. Some file system implementations, such as
the Linux kernel FAT implementation, do not provide persistant inode numbers. Inode numbers will
change on each remount, which usually results in "Stale NFS file handle" errors.
•
To prevent users from mounting local drives at the terminal server, execute this command:
# chmod u-s /opt/thinlinc/libexec/tl-mount-personal
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12.2. Using Serial Port redirection
12.2.1. Introduction
Using ThinLinc, it is possible to access the serial ports of the client from the terminal servers. This
means that you can utilize peripheral devices which connect through a serial port, such as digital
cameras, PDAs and modems. Up to two serial ports are supported at a time.
12.2.2. Requirements
•
The application which communicates with the serial port must be dynamically linked. Statically linked
applications are not supported.
12.2.3. Enabling Serial Port Redirection
Serial port redirection is activated (for the current user session) by sourcing the file
tl-serial-redir.sh. It can be done manually with this command:
$ source /opt/thinlinc/libexec/tl-serial-redir.sh
It is necessary to source this file, because it sets the environment variables CYCLADE_DEVICES and
LD_PRELOAD. Thus, all applications needing serial port access should be started as a subprocess to this
shell. The easiset way to accomplish this is to source tl-serial-redir.sh from the session startup
scripts. To automatically activate serial port redirection at login for all users, execute this command:
# ln -s /opt/thinlinc/libexec/tl-serial-redir.sh /opt/thinlinc/etc/xstartup.d/42-tl-serial-redir.sh
12.2.4. Accessing the redirected port from applications
When using redirected serial ports, applications should be configured to use a special, personal
device-file, instead of a port such as /dev/ttyS0. The two device files are called
$TLSESSIONDATA/dev/ttyS0. and $TLSESSIONDATA/dev/ttyS1.
Best Practice: Since the session number varies, it’s often convenient to use the symbolic link
/var/opt/thinlinc/sessions/$USER/last, which points to the last started session directory. For
example, the first serial port can be accessed as
/var/opt/thinlinc/sessions/$USER/last/dev/ttyS0.
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12.2.5. Limitations and additional information
•
When reconnecting to an existing session, it might take up to 10 seconds before the serial ports are
available.
•
A maximum of two serial ports per session can be redirected.
•
Currently, the redirected serial port is not accessible from Windows Terminal Servers. RDP serial port
redirection will be supported in future ThinLinc releases.
•
The redirection is handled by processes called cyclades-ser-cli. It writes debugging information
to $TLSESSIONDATA/ttyS0.log. and $TLSESSIONDATA/ttyS1.log. These processes will
automatically terminate when the session terminates.
•
Applications that uses the ioctl TIOCMGET are not supported yet.
12.3. Using Sound Device Redirection
12.3.1. Introduction
With ThinLinc, it is possible to access the client’s sound device from the terminal servers. This means
that you can run sound applications on the terminal servers and listen to the sound through the client’s
sound device and speakers. Input devices such as microphones can also be used.
12.3.2. Requirements
•
EsounD client libraries to support applications with native EsounD support.
•
esddsp to support OSS applications via EsounD.
•
PulseAudio client libraries to support applications with native PulseAudio support and the ALSA
plug-in. ThinLinc supports version 0.9 of PulseAudio.
•
padsp to support OSS applications via PulseAudio.
•
alsa-plugins, version 1.0.12 or later, to support ALSA applications via PulseAudio.
12.3.3. Using sound redirection with UNIX applications
ThinLinc can support sound redirection for almost all applications, provided that the correct libraries and
utilities are installed on the ThinLinc server.
12.3.3.1. EsounD applications
All applications that can communicate using the EsounD protocol will work automatically in ThinLinc.
Most modern multimedia applications support EsounD, meaning that the only required work is to make
sure they use EsounD by default. Unfortunately, EsounD does not work well for users running multiple
ThinLinc sessions.
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12.3.3.2. PulseAudio applications
All applications that can communicate using the PulseAudio protocol will also work automatically in
ThinLinc. Most current distributions are configured to use PulseAudio by default, but older ones might
require some configuration to work properly.
12.3.3.3. OSS applications
Most applications that use the Open Sound System (OSS) can be made to work with ThinLinc through
the esddsp or padsp application.
padsp redirects OSS applications to the PulseAudio protocol. The following command line should be
used:
padsp <application>
See the padsp manual page for more information.
esddsp redirects OSS applications to the EsounD protocol. The command line is similar to padsp but
requires an extra -m to enable mixer emulation:
esddsp -m <application>
See the esddsp manual page for more information.
The application which communicates with the sound device must be dynamically linked to glibc. It is not
possible to intercept the accesses to OSS in a statically linked application. Most applications that you
find on a Linux system will satisfy this requirement, but a test with ldd can also be done:
$ ldd /usr/bin/someapp
not a dynamic executable
When using esddsp or padsp on 64-bit platforms, make sure that you have both 32- and 64-bit versions of
the necessary libraries (libesddsp.so.0 and libesd.so.0 for esddsp , libpulsedsp.so and
libpulse.so.0 for padsp ). Usually, these are found in /usr/lib and /usr/lib64. Also, the esddsp
and padsp scripts must not contain absolute references to these libraries. Instead, the system should
automatically select the correct library, depending on if you are executing a 32- or 64-bit application. In
this case it’s necessary to have both library directories included in /etc/ld.so.conf.
esddsp has a bug which require you to create some files in /tmp in order for it to work. Execute the
following as root:
mkdir /tmp/.esd
touch /tmp/.esd/socket
Many distributions clean out /tmp periodically so this procedure should be added to that script or
repeated as necessary.
Although it is rare, some applications manage to misuse the OSS API in a way that works with local
sound cards but not esddsp or padsp . If you encounter problems, try updating the application to the latest
version as it might contain fixes for such bugs.
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12.3.3.4. ALSA applications
All applications that use the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) will also work well with
ThinLinc provided the correct plug-ins are installed and configured. The plug-ins can be found in the
alsa-plugins package (called libasound2-plugins on Debian-based distributions). The PulseAudio client
libraries are also needed to build and use the plug-ins.
To redirect ALSA applications to use the plug-ins, the ALSA configuration must be modified. This can
be done on a global level in /etc/asound.conf or per user in ~/.asoundrc. Add the following to the
file (creating it if necessary):
pcm.!default {
type pulse
}
ctl.!default {
type pulse
}
Unfortunately, there are some applications that use the ALSA API in an incorrect way. When using local
hardware this usually doesn’t matter, but when advanced ALSA features, like dmix or this plug-in, are
used, then problems start to appear. If an application misbehaves, the first step should be to upgrade it to
the latest version. With some luck, the API is used more correctly in a later version.
12.3.3.5. Choosing sound system
Many applications support several sound systems and it can be difficult to know which one to use. The
general principle is to choose a PulseAudio solution over a EsounD one at all times.
Applications should be configured in the following manner, listed from the best solution to the worst:
1. Native PulseAudio application.
2. ALSA appliction using the PulseAudio plug-in.
3. OSS appliction using padsp .
4. Native EsounD application.
5. OSS application using esddsp .
12.3.4. Using sound redirection with Windows Terminal Servers
It is possible to use sound redirection with applications running on Windows Terminal Servers, via RDP.
This is controlled by the parameter /appservergroups/rdp/<group>/sound . For more
information, please refer to Section 14.2.4.
To use input devices with applications running on Windows Terminal Servers, it is necessary to use the
ThinLinc WTS sound driver. See Section 3.7 for more information.
Sound redirection can also be used in conjunction with the Citrix ICA client, which is an OSS
application. For more information, see the section about OSS applications .
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12.3.5. Limitations and additional information
•
Transferring sound over the network requires a lot of bandwidth, so it is only suitable for high-speed
networks, such as LANs.
12.4. Using Smart Card Redirection
12.4.1. Introduction
Using ThinLinc, it is possible to access the locally connected smart cards and smart card readers from
the terminal servers. This means that you can use smart cards for encrypting your email, signing
documents and authenticing against remote systems.
12.4.2. Requirements
•
The application which communicates with the smart card must be using the PC/SC API and be
dynamically linked to pcsc-lite.
12.4.3. Enabling Smart Card Redirection
Smart card redirection is always activated on the server so there is no administration required to enable it.
12.4.4. Limitations and additional information
•
When a client disconnects, all smart cards and smart card readers will disappear for the applications.
Some applications do not handle hot-plug and must therefore be restarted when this happens.
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In this chapter, we will describe the commands shipped as part of the ThinLinc server that are meant for
the common user.
Commands in /opt/thinlinc/bin
tl-best-winserver server [server ...]
The tl-best-winserver command asks the Windows Terminal Servers listed on its commandline for
their respective load status. It then prints the name of the least loaded terminal server on standard
out, and exits. If the file .thinlinc/last-winserver exists in the user’s home directory, the
server listed there will be checked for sessions owned by the user. If such a session exists,
tl-best-winserver will print the name of that terminal server regardless of its load, since the user
should get his/her old session when logging in again. The information that this script prints out is
used by tl-run-rdesktop when it chooses which Windows Terminal Server to connect to.
tl-session-param [options ] parameter
The tl-session-param command is used to access the session information managed by the VSM
server. This includes information sent by the client, such as if the client has exported any local
drives, or what language is set on the client side. This command is used by for example
tl-set-clientlang.sh, documented later in this chapter.
tl-config options
The tl-config command is used to access configuration parameters used by the ThinLinc system. It
is also used to set parameters from scripts, and can be used instead of an editor when some
parameter needs to be changed. tl-config uses hivetool, part of the Hiveconf system. See Chapter 15
for more information about Hiveconf.
tl-desktop-restore
When a user’s Gnome or KDE desktop needs to be reset to default, the command
tl-desktop-restore can be run. This will move the settings directories for KDE and Gnome to a
backup directory named .old-thinlinc-desktop in the user’s home directory, which will make
both Gnome and KDE revert to the default settings.
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tl-limit-printers
This command is run by VSM Server at session startup and reconnect if the Printer Access Control
feature of ThinLinc is activated. See Section 5.5 for details.
tl-mount-cifs
This command is used to mount CIFS/SMB network file systems at login-time. See Section 10.1 for
documentation on this subject.
tl-memberof-group groupname
This command can be used to determine if the current user is a member of the specified group. It
returns true (0) if the user is a member, false (1) if the user is not a member and false (2) if the
specified group does not exist.
tl-nds-memberof-container LDAP container
This command can be used to determine if a user is member of a specific LDAP/eDirectory
container, in eDirectory known as ou. It returns true (0) if the LDAP object corresponding to the
current user resides under the container specified as parameter and false(1) if not.
This command connects to the LDAP/eDirectory server using the parameters specified in
/etc/ldap.conf.
tl-passwd
This command is used to let the user change their password, both in the underlying authentication
mechanism and in the ThinLinc Single Sign-On mechanism.
In order for this to work, any user must be able to read the file /etc/pam.d/sshd (or, more
correct, the file that the symbolic link /etc/pam.d/thinlinc points at.
Also, in the case where the underlying authentication mechanism is LDAP or eDirectory, make sure
that the parameter pam_password in /etc/ldap.conf is set to a value that is appropriate for your
environment. If you’re authenticating against eDirectory servers, it must be set to nds. See the
comments in ldap.conf for more information.
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tl-run-rdesktop [options ]
The tl-run-rdesktop program is a wrapper around the rdesktop program. It extends the
functionality of rdesktop by connecting to one of the Windows Terminal Servers specified by the
system administrator in /appservergroups/rdp/<group>/servers . If the user has a
pre-existing session on one of the servers in the list, the session is reconnected. If not, the server
with the least load is selected. The command creates the connection with the correct domain and
keyboard layout. For more information, see Section 14.2.4. Multiple groups of Windows Terminal
Servers can be specified. This makes it possible to direct different groups of users to different
Terminal Servers in an easy way. In the parameters specified above, exchange <group> for the
group you have specified in Hiveconf, and tell tl-run-rdesktop which group to use by using the -G
commandline option. If no group is selected, the group named default is used.
tl-run-unixapp [arguments ]
This command uses single sign-on to login to a UNIX server defined in
/appservergroups/x11/<group>/servers , executing either a shell or the commands
specified. It also sets up X11 over SSH if defined in
/appservergroups/x11/<group>/use_ssh_encryption . Just as with tl-run-rdesktop,
tl-run-unixapp supports application server groups, which means multiple groups of Unix servers
can be specified. The application server group to be used is choosen by using the -G commandline
option to tl-run-unixapp. If no group is selected, the group named default is used.
Note: This command requires that the OpenSSH client is installed on the server where it is run.
Best Practice: If the SSH host key of the server tl-run-unixapp is configured to connect to is
not known, a window will be shown where the user is asked if the host key should be trusted. If
this question is confusing your users, add the host keys of the servers in
/etc/ssh/ssh_known_hosts. That will make SSH recognize the host, removing the question
for the users. It will also increase security, since the host key is then checked by personell that
have the ability to actually verify the key.
tl-run-winapp [-D] [-T title ] [arguments ] windows-app [application arguments ]
This is a wrapper around tl-run-rdesktop that executes a single command on the Windows
Terminal Server with most system resources left.
tl-run-winapp takes many different arguments, but the most common ones are -D , which hides the
window manager decorations. -T title sets the title of the window to the string in question.
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Example: tl-run-winapp -D -T Excel excel.exe
tl-run-winapp-seamless [arguments ] windows-app [application arguments ]
This command resembles tl-run-winapp except that the application is executed in SeamlessRDP
mode. This allows for full integration with the desktop. For more information, see Section 11.3.4.
tl-run-winapp-seamless takes the same arguments as rdesktop, except for the -G parameter.
Example: tl-run-winapp-seamless c:\program\mozilla.org\mozilla\mozilla.exe
http://www.cendio.com
tl-run-windesk
This is a wrapper for tl-run-rdesktop that starts a full screen session against the best Windows
Terminal Server available.
tl-run-xstartup.d
This command is run by the session startup file (~/.thinlinc/xstartup) in its default form to
execute all start scripts in the directory /opt/thinlinc/etc/xstartup.d/. Files with the suffix
.sh will be sourced. All other files will be executed.
tl-select-profile
This command is run by the session setup file (/opt/thinlinc/etc/xstartup.default or
~/.thinlinc/xstartup) and provides a menu where the user can choose what kind of session to
run. See Section 14.4 for more information.
tl-set-clientlang.sh
By creating a symlink from /opt/thinlinc/etc/xstartup.d to this command, the user’s
LANG environment will be set to the language environment reported by the client.
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tl-shadow-notify
This command starts the tl-shadow-notify command for the lifetime of the session. This will enable
notifications when the session is shadowed.
tl-single-app command [arguments ]
The tl-single-app command can be used to execute a single application in a ThinLinc session. A
window manager with a suitable configuration is automatically started. All top level windows are
automatically maximized. Window titles are displayed in the title bar of the ThinLinc Client, not in
the ThinLinc session. The client close button will disconnect the session as usual. Inner close
buttons closes application windows. The tl-single-app command can be specified as a client
supplied start program (see Section 14.4.4), or used with the ThinLinc profile selector (see Section
14.4.5).
Switching Between Windows: If the application opens multiple top level windows, you can
switch between them by clicking on the application icon in the top left corner.
tl-sso-update-password
This command requests a password from the user, to be used with the Single Sign-On mechanism of
ThinLinc. It is useful when the password is not already available, for example, when using One
Time Passwords. See Section 9.6.4 for more information.
tl-support [-p listen-port ] [-u user ] [host ]
The tl-support command can be used to enable a support technician to login to your ThinLinc
server, even though the server is behind a firewall that doesn’t allow connections to the ssh port.
This is accomplished by opening a ssh connection from the server to an external server on the
internet, at the same time setting up a tunnel from the remote host to the local host’s ssh port. The
default server to connect to is support.thinlinc.com with the default username "support". This
command should only be used after contacting your ThinLinc support technician.
tl-umount-all-cifs
This command is used to unmount CIFS/SMB network file systems at logout-time. See Section 10.1
for documentation on this subject.
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tl-wfica [options ] [connection file ]
This command is a front-end for the Citrix ICA client (wfica), which provides Single Sign-On for
ICA sessions in a secure fashion. This command does not modify any ICA Client configuration
files. The ThinLinc Single Sign-On password is only used for connection which lacks a manually
configured password. The arguments are the same as for wfica. For more information, consult the
Citrix ICA Client documentation.
tl-wfcmgr [options ] [connection file ]
This command is a front-end for the Citrix ICA client GUI (wfcmgr), which provides Single
Sign-On for ICA sessions in a secure fashion. Single Sign-On is provided both for the "Connection"
and "PNAgent" view, through modifications to ~/.ICAClient/appsrv.ini and
~/.ICAClient/reg.ini. Only connections which lacks a manually configured password are
modified. Single Sign-On for the "PNAgent" view requires that the Citrix server allows the user to
save passwords.
Warning
When using tl-wfcmgr, the ThinLinc Single Sign-On password is
permanently stored in ~/.ICAClient/appsrv.ini and
~/.ICAClient/reg.ini.
The arguments are the same as for wfcmgr. For more information, consult the Citrix ICA Client
documentation.
tl-disconnect
This command is used to disconnect from the current session. This can be used to provide an
alternative to the F8 key, such as a disconnect button on the Gnome panel.
tl-sso-password [--check] [--remove]
This command can be used to hook up the Single Sign-on mechanism of ThinLinc with new
applications. It can be used to test for the presence of a valid password and to feed that password out
on standard output to another application.
To check for the existance of a valid password, invoke the command as tl-sso-password --check. A
return code of zero indicates a valid password.
If the --remove option is specified, the password will be removed, after the retrieval or check.
There are two basic models to connect tl-sso-password to an application. The first is to use shell
pipes:
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# tl-sso-password | /usr/bin/application --read-password-on-stdin
The second is to have the application invoke tl-sso-password as needed:
# /usr/bin/application --password-prog tl-sso-password
tl-sso-token-passphrase [--check] [--remove]
This command is identical to tl-sso-password, except that it uses the smart card token passphrase
(PIN) instead of the user’s password. For usage, see the tl-sso-password section above.
tl-env [-d ] [-n nr ] [command [arg... ] ]
tl-env [-s] [-n nr ]
This command can be used to save and restore the ThinLinc session environment variables. It
operates on the file xstartup.env in the session directory. During session startup, tl-env is called
with the -s option after everything in xstartup.d have been executed. Later, tl-env can be used to
execute a command in this environment, even outside the ThinLinc session. During restore, the
DISPLAY environment variable can be excluded by specifying -d. By default, this command
operates on the "last" session number for the invoking user. An alternative session number can be
specified with the -n option.
Commands in /opt/thinlinc/sbin
tl-notify [-u username ] message
This command sends a user-visible message to ThinLinc sessions on the server. The default is to
send the message to all sessions, but the -u option can be used to send the message to a single
recipient instead.
To send messages to all users in a ThinLinc cluster, you can use this command in combination with
the tl-ssh-all command described in this section.
tl-rsync-all
This command is used to synchronize files and directories in a ThinLinc cluster. It runs the rsync
command over SSH against all terminal servers in the cluster. When using this command, it’s
convenient if password-less SSH login between the servers in the clusters has been setup.
See also tl-ssh-all below for some tips regarding password-less running of ssh.
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tl-ssh-all
This command is used to perform shell commands on all slaves in a ThinLinc cluster. It works by
running the ssh command against all terminal servers in the cluster. When using this command, it’s
convenient if password-less SSH login between the servers in the clusters has been set up.
Best Practice: An alternative approach to using password-less login is to use the SSH agent to
cache the passphrase of a SSH keypair. This increases the security, since a malicious party
that gains access to the server which is configured to login to the other servers with SSH
key-pair does not automatically get access to the rest of the servers - a password is needed.
First, setup the SSH key-pair as described below:
#
# First time / One time procedure
#
# Generate a private and public key-pair for SSH with SSH keygen.
# When prompted pick a secret password for the key-pair.
#
ssh-keygen -t dsa
# Copy the public key to SSH authorized_keys
cp /root/.ssh/id_dsa.pub /root/.ssh/authorized_keys
# Make sure the authorized key has the right permissions
chmod 600 /root/.ssh/authorized_keys
# Copy the authorized key to all Thinlinc Agents
tl-rsync-all /root/.ssh/authorized_keys
Next, before using tl-ssh-all, do as follows
eval ‘ssh-agent‘
ssh-add
# Run your commands
tl-ssh-all rpm -Uvh /root/kdelibs-3.5.1-1.fc4.i386.rpm
Commands in /opt/thinlinc/libexec
tl-crossover-drives
CodeWeavers CrossOver allows you to configure the mapping between Windows drive letters and
paths in the Linux file system. This can be done globally by adding symbolic links to the directory
/opt/cxoffice/support/BOTTLENAME/dosdevices. However, this does not work if drive
letters should correspond to different paths for different users. In this case, a bottle hook script is
required. tl-crossover-drives is such a script that automatically maps "personal" mounts to separate
drive letters in CrossOver. This includes all mounts mounted on subdirectories in the users home
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directory. The first character of the directory name determines the drive letter. To activate this
command for all bottles, execute:
# mkdir /opt/cxoffice/support/scripts.d
# ln -s /opt/thinlinc/libexec/tl-crossover-drives \
/opt/cxoffice/support/scripts.d/02.tl-crossover-drives
tl-has-gnome-2
The tl-has-gnome-2 command is used to check if Gnome 2 is installed on the system, in a way
which works for most distributions. It is used by the default profile configuration.
tl-unity-2d [--test ]
The tl-unity-2d command is used to start the Unity 2D desktop environment, in a way that works
on most distributions. It is used by the default profile configuration. The --test option can be used to
test if this desktop environment is installed.
tl-kinit.sh
The tl-kinit.sh command is used to obtain a Kerberos ticket automatically during start of the
session, using the single sign-on mechanism.
tl-kdestroy.sh
The tl-kdestroy.sh command is used to destroy the Kerberos ticket cache. It calls kdestroy during
logout.
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14.1. Configuring ThinLinc Servers in a Cluster
In this section, we will describe how to configure a ThinLinc cluster with multiple agent servers to allow
load-balancing and redundancy.
Note: This section does not address configuration of high availability (HA). For information on
configuring your ThinLinc cluster for high availability, see Chapter 6.
A ThinLinc cluster consists of one master server (or multiple master servers in a HA configuration) with
multiple agent servers behind it. While ThinLinc in its simplest configuration may be run with both the
master and agent installed on the same machine, running ThinLinc in a cluster configuration conveys
numerous advantages:
1. A cluster configuration allows automatic load-balancing of sessions across multiple agents
2. Having multiple agents offers redundancy; for example, if one agent goes down or is taken out of
service for maintenance, other agents are still available to handle user sessions
3. A cluster configuration is scalable. Since most of the workload is taken up by the agents and not the
master, adding more capacity to your ThinLinc installation is generally as easy as installing one or
more new agent servers
14.1.1. Configuration Options
When configuring ThinLinc servers as a cluster, there are two main configuration options which need to
be set, one on the master and one on the agent(s):
/vsmserver/terminalservers
This parameter is configured on the master, and contains a list of all agent servers which will be part
of this cluster. Only servers in this list will be considered by the master as available to create
sessions on. See Section 14.2.2 for details.
/vsmagent/master_hostname
This parameter is configured on each agent in the cluster, and contains the name of the master server
for the cluster. See Section 14.2.1 for details.
Once the two parameters above have been configured, and the vsmagent and vsmserver services have
been restarted, these ThinLinc servers will then function as a cluster.
14.1.2. Cluster Management
When multiple agents have been configured as part of a cluster, it is usually desirable to keep their
configurations synchronised. Instead of making the same change seperately on each agent, ThinLinc
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ships with the tool tl-rsync-all to ensure that configuration changes can be synchronised easily
across all agents in a cluster. See Chapter 13 for more information on how to use this tool.
The tl-rsync-all command should be run on the master server, since it is the master which has a list
of all agents in the cluster (in /vsmserver/terminalservers ). For this reason, it is often useful to
configure the master server as an agent as well, even if it will not be used to host user sessions in general.
This allows the master to be used as a "template" agent, where configuration changes can be made and
tested by an administrator before pushing them out to the rest of the agents in the cluster. In this way,
configuration changes are never made on the agents themselves; rather, the changes are always made on
the master server, and then distributed to the agents using tl-rsync-all.
An example of how one might implement such a system is to configure the master server as an agent
which only accepts sessions for a single administrative user. The steps to do this are as follows:
1. Configure the master as an agent too. On a ThinLinc master, the vsmagent service should already
have been installed during the ThinLinc installation process; make sure that this service is running.
2. Make sure that the master server is not listed in the parameter /vsmserver/terminalservers .
This will ensure that normal users will not be able to create sessions on the master server.
3. Create an administrative user, for example tladmin . Give this user administrative privileges if
required, i.e. sudo access.
4. Make sure that the master server is explicity selected as the agent for tladmin whenever they create
a session. This is done using the parameter /vsmserver/explicit_agentselection . See
Section 14.4.9 for details on this parameter. As an example, the parameter should contain the value
tladmin:master.example.com .
In this way, configuration changes are never made on the agents themselves; rather, the changes are
always made on the master server, and then tested by logging in as the tladmin user. If successful, these
changes are then distributed to the agents using tl-rsync-all.
14.2. Server Configuration Parameters
The ThinLinc server is configured using a number of configuration parameters stored in Hiveconf. For
information about how to access and set the parameters, please refer to Chapter 15. In this chapter, we
will describe the different parameters and their meaning.
The parameters used in ThinLinc are divided into a number of folders, each having zero or more
subfolders. The following folders exist:
contains parameters common to both the VSM agent and the VSM server. This folder normally
resides in /opt/thinlinc/etc/conf.d/vsm.hconf
• /vsm/
• /vsmagent/
contains parameters specific to the VSM agent. This folder normally resides in
/opt/thinlinc/etc/conf.d/vsmagent.hconf
• /vsmserver/
contains parameters specific to the VSM server. This folder normally resides in
/opt/thinlinc/etc/conf.d/vsmserver.hconf
contains parameters used by ThinLinc to access application servers. This
folder normally resides in /opt/thinlinc/etc/conf.d/appservergroups.hconf
• /appservergroups/
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contains parameters for configuring the different session profiles. This folder normally
resides in /opt/thinlinc/etc/conf.d/profiles.hconf
• /profiles/
contains parameters used by miscellaneous ThinLinc utilities. Each utility has its own
configuration file, but all parameters are then merged in under /utils when read by the HiveConf
framework.
• /utils/
• /sessionstart/
• /tlwebadm/
contains some parameters used during session startup.
contains parameters for the tlwebadm web configuration interface.
• /webaccess/
contains parameters for the server part of ThinLinc HTML5 browser client.
14.2.1. Parameters in /vsmagent/
In this section, we will describe all the parameters currently used by the VSM agent.
/vsmagent/agent_hostname
Public hostname; the hostname that clients are redirected to. If not defined, the agent will use the
computer’s IP address. This is the default configuration, and means that ThinLinc does not require
DNS to work properly. However, if you are using Network Address Translation (NAT), you must set
this parameter to a IP address or DNS name that all clients can connect to. Example:
agent_hostname = thinlinc.example.com
/vsmagent/allowed_clients
This is the list of VSM servers that should be allowed to connect to this VSM agent and create new
sessions. The localhost is always allowed as well as the IP of the hostname the VSM agent runs on,
and the host specified in the /vsmagent/master_hostname/ parameter.
/vsmagent/default_environment
This subfolder of /vsmagent contains environment variables that should be set in each user’s
session. Example:
[/vsmagent/default_environment]
LANG=sv_SE
LC_CTYPE=sv_SE.UTF-8
FOOBAR=foobar
This will set the LANG environment variable to sv_SE , the LC_CTYPE variable to sv_SE.UTF-8
and the FOOBAR variable to foobar in each user’s session.
Note: Since xstartup is run through /bin/bash --login, files in /etc/profile.d will be
sourced and may override values in [/vsmagent/default_environment]
/vsmagent/default_geometry
The default session size, to be used when clients are not requesting any specific session size.
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/vsmagent/display_max
The maximum display number to be used for ThinLinc sessions on each specific VSM agent host.
Default value is 2000.
The maximum ThinLinc sessions allowed on a specific VSM Agent host is
/vsmagent/display_max - /vsmagent/display_min .
/vsmagent/display_min
The lowest display numbers to use for clients. The default is 1, and unless there are other processes
needing display numbers, the recommendation is not to change this number. See Appendix A for an
in-depth explanation of port allocation.
/vsmagent/listen_port
The TCP port VSM Agent listen to for incoming requests. This should normally be set to the same
value as /vsm/vsm_agent_port.
/vsmagent/lowest_user_port
The lowest port to be used by normal user processes. This may never be lower than
/vsmagent/max_session_port . See Appendix A for an in-depth explanation of port allocation.
/vsmagent/make_homedir
If this parameter is true, the users home directory will be automatically created if it doesn’t exist.
/vsmagent/make_homedir_mode
When a home directory is created (see parameter /vsmagent/make_homedir above), the mode
for the newly created directory will be determined by this parameter.
/vsmagent/master_hostname
This parameter specifies the hostname of the master machine, i.e. the machine that runs the VSM
server. In a HA setup, this should be the hostname of the IP address that is on the machine that is
currently the active node, to ensure that services on the agents that need to access the VSM Server
always connects to the machine that is up and running.
/vsmagent/max_session_port
The highest port to use for VNC and tunnel ports on the VSM Agent. See Appendix A for an
in-depth explanation of port allocation.
/vsmagent/single_signon
This parameter decides whether the passwords of the users should be saved in order to support
Single Sign-On when connecting to servers from the ThinLinc session, for example when running a
Windows session.
/vsmagent/xserver_args
Extra arguments to pass on to the Xserver Xvnc. One common case is to use -localhost , which
makes Xvnc require connections to originate from localhost, thus forcing applications to either be
local or use a tunnel (which often also means that the traffic is encrypted). Other examples include
-IdleTimeout and -MaxIdleTime. For more information, see Section 14.5.
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/vsmagent/xauthority_location
This parameter controls the location of the Xauthority file. Currently, two values are supported:
With "homedir", the file will be placed in the users home directory. With "sessiondir", the file will
be placed in the session directory below /var/opt/thinlinc/sessions. The XAUTHORITY
environment variable is set accordingly by the VSM agent.
14.2.2. Parameters in /vsmserver/
In this section, we will describe all the parameters currently used by the VSM server.
/vsmserver/admin_email
The administrator’s email address. This is where warnings about overuse of Licenses are sent,
among with other administrative messages. Make sure this is a valid address.
/vsmserver/agentcomm_bind_hostname
The hostname the outbound requests from the VSM server to the VSM agents should come from.
This parameter should be set if the machine running VSM server has several interfaces in order to
make sure that the correct interface is used for outbound connections to the VSM Agents
/vsmserver/allowed_clients
A list of hosts from which privileged operations are allowed. The default (empty) allows localhost
to do this. Privileged operations are for example to deactivate a session, something that should be
allowed by the host running the ThinLinc Web Administration service.
/vsmserver/allowed_groups
ThinLinc access can be limited to certain groups. If allowed_groups is empty, all users are
accepted. Otherwise, the user must be a member of the groups listed below, to be able to use
ThinLinc. Example:
allowed_groups = students teachers
/vsmserver/allowed_shadowers
A list of users that are allowed to shadow other users. Please note that these users will gain full
access to other users’ sessions.
/vsmserver/explicit_agentselection
This parameter presents a way to force the sessions created for certain users or groups to always be
created on specific agent hosts. See Section 14.4.9 for more information.
/vsmserver/terminalservers
All ThinLinc machines part of this ThinLinc cluster. This should be a list of DNS host names.
These will be used for communication between the server and the agent. The names reported to
clients are fetched from the agent itself; names in /vsmserver/terminalservers are not
reported directly to clients.
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/vsmserver/bogomips_per_user
Estimated bogomips required for each user.
/vsmserver/existing_users_weight
This parameter decides the importance of the amount of logged in users on a VSM agent host when
calculating load balance parameters. A host with low load, but a lot of users, is generally more
likely to get a higher load within short time when the users get active. For this reason, the load
balance calculating code takes the number of users at a certain host into its calculation. The
/vsmserver/existing_users_weight controls how important this factor is. A higher value of
this parameter means the load balancing code will care less about a high number of users on a
certain machine.
Note: This parameter should normally not be changed, unless when fine-tuning the load balancing.
/vsmserver/HA/enabled
If this parameter is true, the VSM server will try to replicate information about sessions to the other
VSM server node. See Chapter 6 for more information about ThinLinc in a High Availability
configuration.
/vsmserver/HA/nodes
This parameter lists the hostnames of both nodes in a ThinLinc HA setup. The list should include
the hostname of the current node. This means that vsmserver.hconf can be identical on both
nodes.
/vsmserver/listen_port
The TCP port VSM Server listen to for incoming requests. This should normally be set to the same
value as /vsm/vsm_server_port.
/vsmserver/load_update_cycle
The number of seconds allowed for updating the load status in the entire cluster.
/vsmserver/max_sessions_per_user
The maximum number of sessions allowed per user. 0 means no limit.
/vsmserver/ram_per_user
Integer, number of estimated MiB memory required for each session. A value of 8 is appropriate if
only tl-run-windesk is used.
/vsmserver/sshd_log_files
A list of sshd log files. These files are used for determining the client IP. Different systems use
different files. VSM server will try all listed files in order. If this list is empty, VSM server will not
try to determine the client IP.
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/vsmserver/unbind_ports_at_login
If this parameter is true, processes occupying the users’ interval of forwarded ports will be killed at
login. This means that if a user logs in twice to the same session, the second login will get working
tunnel ports, if this parameter is true. The first session’s tunnel ports will stop working. If the
parameter is false, the first session will keep the ports.
14.2.3. Parameters in /vsm/
Parameters in the /vsm/ folder are used by both the VSM agent and the VSM server. Neither of them
need to be changed on a normal ThinLinc installation.
/vsm/tunnel_bind_base
The tunnels setup by the client to access various resources (audio, serial port, network resources,
local printer) need one port number each on the server running the VSM agent the client is
connected to. This parameter decides the lowest such port that is allocated by the VSM agent. Each
user has a port range defined by the formula /vsm/tunnel_bind_base + display-ID*10 +
service_slot where the service_slot depends on which service will use the tunnel. This port
range is however used only for sessions with display numbers less than 100. See Appendix A for an
in-depth explanation of port allocation.
Note: This parameter should normally not be changed.
/vsm/tunnelservices/
There are several parameters under the /vsm/tunnelservices folder. Each one decides which
ports are used at serverside termination points for the tunnels used to access client resources. See
Appendix A for an in-depth explanation of port allocation.
Note: None of these parameters should normally be changed.
/vsm/tunnelslots_per_session
The number of ports to reserve for tunnel port endpoints on the server. The number of ports actually
used depends on the number of services defined under /vsm/tunnelservices/ . We recommend
letting this parameter have its default value (10), since that leaves for further services and easy live
upgrades of ThinLinc. See Appendix A for an in-depth explanation of port allocation.
/vsm/vnc_port_base
The port base for VNC communication. The VNC protocol runs on one port per active user on the
VSM agent host, and this is the base of the numbers used. That is, for the first user, the port will be
/vsm/vnc_port_base + 1, for the second user /vsm/vnc_port_base + 2 and so on. This
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algorithm is used only for display numbers below 100. See Appendix A for an in-depth explanation
of port allocation.
Note: This parameter should normally not be changed.
/vsm/vsm_agent_port
VSM agent communication. This is the port that the VSM server connects to on VSM Agents. This
traffic is not encrypted.
Note: This parameter should normally not be changed
/vsm/vsm_server_port
The port that the VSM server listens to.
Note: This parameter should normally not be changed
14.2.4. Parameters in /appservergroups/
Parameters related to how ThinLinc connects to application servers, such as UNIX servers via the X
Window system, or Windows Terminal Servers using the RDP protocol, are stored under
/appservergroups/ in the Hiveconf tree. There are two subfolders of /appservergroups/, rdp
and x11. The rdp subfolder is used for settings related to connections to Windows Terminal servers. The
x11 subfolder contains settings related to UNIX X11 and Linux servers. Each of the two subfolders have
one or more subfolders. Each subfolder represents an application server group, a way of configuring
what server a specific user should be connected to. The commands tl-run-unixapp, tl-run-winapp,
tl-run-winapp-seamless, tl-run-windesk, and tl-run-rdesktop all take the parameter -G to choose
which appserver group to connect to. If no -G parameter is given, they connect to the group named
default.
/appservergroups/rdp/<appgroup>/domain
The Windows NT domain to use.
/appservergroups/rdp/<appgroup>/keyboard_layout
The keyboard layout to use for connections to Windows Terminal Servers. If no layout is specified,
the appropriate keyboard layout will be determined automatically based on the session’s locale
settings.
/appservergroups/rdp/<appgroup>/novell
Set this parameter to true to improve compatibility with servers that authenticate against Novell
eDirectory.
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/appservergroups/rdp/<appgroup>/rdesktop_args
Extra arguments for RDP connections to Windows Terminal Servers. See the documentation for
tl-run-rdesktop in Chapter 13 for information about the possible values of this parameter.
/appservergroups/rdp/<appgroup>/redirect_printers
True if printers should automatically be redirected to Windows Terminal Servers. See Section 5.6
for details.
/appservergroups/rdp/<appgroup>/servers
A list of Windows Terminal Servers to connect to using the RDP protocol. This list is read by
tl-run-rdesktop (and associated commands) to decide which Windows Terminal Server to
connect to. The Windows Terminal Server with the least load is chosen.
/appservergroups/rdp/<appgroup>/sound
This parameter determines the sound system to use. If set to "esddsp", sound redirection using the
"esddsp" wrapper will be enabled. A value of "padsp" uses the PulseAudio (http://pulseaudio.org/)
system instead. If "auto" is specified, "padsp" and "esddsp" are both tried, in that order. The empty
string disables sound redirection.
/appservergroups/x11/<appgroup>/servers
A list of external UNIX servers to connect to when the tl-run-unixapp is called.
Note: In the current release of ThinLinc, load balancing is not supported when connecting to UNIX
servers, so only the first server in this list will be used.
/appservergroups/x11/<appgroup>/use_ssh_encryption
True if X11 traffic should be encrypted via SSH.
/appservergroups/x11/<appgroup>/xauth_path
The path to the xauth executable on the remote server. This is only used if use_ssh_encryption
is false.
14.2.5. Parameters in /sessionstart/
In this section, we will describe all the parameters currently used by the session startup scripts.
/sessionstart/background_color
The initial color of the background that is set early during session startup. By default this is a dark
blue color.
/sessionstart/background_image
A PNG image used as the initial background. The image will always be scaled to cover the entire
screen.
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If the image contains transparency then the color set by background_color will shine through.
/sessionstart/keyboard_layout
The default virtual keyboard layout used by Xvnc. The protocol is not dependent on this being
configured, but some applications can misbehave if a different virtual layout is configured compared
to the real keyboard layout on the client device.
A list of possible keyboard layouts is given from this command:
$ man /opt/thinlinc/share/man/man7/xkeyboard-config.7
14.2.6. Parameters in /tlwebadm/
For details of parameters in /tlwebadm/, see Section 16.2
14.2.7. Parameters in /webaccess/
For details of parameters in /webaccess/, see Section 8.7.3.1.1
14.3. Configuring Logging on ThinLinc servers
In this section we will describe how ThinLinc logs activities on the server, and how the logging can be
configured.
Logs are written by each individual session and by the following ThinLinc server components.
•
VSM server
•
VSM agent
•
Web Integration
•
Web Administration Interface
•
Web Access (HTML5)
14.3.1. ThinLinc server components
Logging is configured by editing parameters in Hiveconf. Each component that uses the logging system
has a Hiveconf folder named logging . In this folder and its subfolder, the logging system is configured.
14.3.1.1. Log destinations
Logs can be written either to file on the local disk, to syslog or both.
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14.3.1.1.1. Writing Logs to File
The file name for the log file written to local disk is configured by editing the parameter logfile under
the logging folder. To turn off logging to file, set the parameter log_to_file to 0. Note that the log
file will still be created. If abnormal situations occur because of programming errors, data may appear in
the file.
14.3.1.1.2. Writing Logs to Syslog
For large installations, using a central loghost might be very convenient. ThinLinc supports writing logs
to syslog, which makes it possible to collect all logs in one place.
By setting the parameter log_to_syslog under the logging folder to 1, logs will be written to syslog.
Specify the syslog facility in the parameter syslog_facility . The default behaviour is not to log to
syslog.
If the parameter syslog_host is set, logs will be sent via UDP to the syslog daemon on the host
specified. If not, logs will be sent to syslog by writing to the socket specified in syslog_socket . The
latter is the default.
14.3.1.2. Subloggers
Each program doing logging uses a number of sub loggers. Sub loggers are a way to distinguish different
types of information written by the program. For example, the VSM server uses the subloggers license,
session and shadow for logging license-related messages, information about sessions and information
about shadowing repectively. Every sublogger can be configured to use a different log level. This allows
the system administrator to, for example, increase the information about new sessions without increasing
the overall loglevel, easing debugging of specific problems.
14.3.1.3. Log levels
The amount of logging can be configured using log levels. The log levels available are:
Table 14-1. Log Levels
Log Level
Explanation
ERROR
Unrecoverable Errors
WARNING
Warnings - something went wrong, but ThinLinc
can recover.
INFO
Messages that are useful in daily maintenance.
DEBUG
Messages that can be of use for system
administrators when debugging problems.
DEBUG2
Messages useful to trained ThinLinc personel
when doing advanced debugging.
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The log level configured can be seen as a barrier. If the log level is set to for example INFO, log
messages with a level of INFO or higher are let through. If the log level instead is set to DEBUG2, all log
messages are let through, since all log levels are higher than DEBUG2.
There is one default loglevel, and one loglevel per sublogger defined. If the log level for a sub level is set
to a lower value than the default loglevel, more information will be written by that specific sublogger.
The default loglevel is configured in the logging/defaultlevel parameter. Each sublogger’s level
can then be configured by setting the parameters under the logging/levels folder.
14.3.1.4. Summary
The default logging configuration is summarized in Table 14-2.
Table 14-2. Default Log Behaviour
Component
Default Behaviour
Log Configuration Hive
Folder
VSM server
Log to /var/log/vsmserver.log
/vsmserver/logging
VSM agent
Log to /var/log/vsmagent.log
/vsmagent/logging
Web Administration Interface
Log to /var/log/tlwebadm.log
/tlwebadm/logging
Web Access (HTML5)
Log to /var/log/tlwebaccess.log
/webaccess/logging
14.3.2. Per-Session Logging
Each Session writes what is written to standard output and standard error output to a file named
xinit.log which is located in the session directory for a specific session. For example, the log for the
last session of the user pelle is located in /var/opt/thinlinc/sessions/pelle/last/. This log
contains for example output written by software run in the session, but it also has some output from
ThinLinc software that is run by the user.
14.4. Customizing the User’s Session
In this section, we will describe how the session startup in ThinLinc can be customized.
14.4.1. Session startup - the big picture
The session setup is constructed to be easy to use and configure yet still easy to customize for advanced
use cases.
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Figure 14-1. Session Startup Procedure - on VSM Server.
In Figure 14-1, shows a (simplified) description of what happens on the VSM Server when a client
connects to login:
•
The VSM Server checks if the user has an existing session.
•
If a session exists, VSM Server contacts the VSM Agent running on the host where the session is
running, and asks it to verify that the session is still alive.
•
If the session was alive, VSM Server runs any scripts placed in
/opt/thinlinc/etc/sessionreconnect.d. When all such scripts are completed, session
information is returned to the client. The client proceeds by contacting the agent on which the session
is running.
•
If the existing session was not alive, or if there were no existing session at all, VSM Server finds out
which VSM Agent has the least load, and contacts this agent to request a new session.
•
When the agent responds that a new session has been created, VSM Server runs any scripts placed in
/opt/thinlinc/etc/sessionstartup.d. When all such scripts are completed, session
information is sent back to the client. The client proceeds by contacting the agent on which the session
was started.
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14.4.1.1. Scripts run at session startup/reconnect
Scripts in /opt/thinlinc/etc/sessionstartup.d and
/opt/thinlinc/etc/sessionreconnect.d are run by the root user, on the VSM Server. Session
information will not be sent back to the client until these scripts have completed. This makes it possible
to ensure that commands have been run before the client connects to the VSM Agent.
If background execution is desired, place the command to be run in the background and make sure all file
descriptors are closed. Here’s an example on how to execute a script in the background.
${TLPREFIX}/sbin/tl-limit-printers < /dev/null > /dev/null 2>&1 &
14.4.2. Session startup on VSM Agent
Figure 14-2. Session Startup Procedure - on VSM Agent
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Figure 14-2 outlines what happens when an VSM Agent is contacted by VSM Server to request a new
session. In detail, the following happens:
1. The VSM agent on the machine where the session will reside executes the script
/opt/thinlinc/etc/xsession.
2. The file /opt/thinlinc/etc/xsession is a shell script that can be customized by advanced users. In its
standard version, as delivered with ThinLinc, it will check if there is a file named
~/.thinlinc/xstartup in the user’s home directory. If there is such a file, it will be executed. If no
such file exists, the file /opt/thinlinc/etc/xstartup.default is executed instead. See Section 14.4.3
for a description of the standard behaviour of this file.
This system allows for experienced users to customize how their session startup should work by editing
the file ~/.thinlinc/xstartup. On the other hand, at sites where users should not be able to customize their
system startup, /opt/thinlinc/etc/xsession can be modified so that it doesn’t try to execute user-specific
xstartup-files. The standard setup should however suit the needs of the majority of installations.
14.4.3. Profiles and the standard xstartup.default file.
ThinLinc allows for different "profiles" when starting up a user session. The users will be presented with
a menu after logging in, where they can choose for example between a desktop suited for engineering
users, a desktop suited for the marketing department or a Windows desktop. The example configuration
files that are delivered with ThinLinc have several different alternatives, however only those sessions that
are actually available on the system are displayed. This is just an example configuration, meant to be
customized for each individual ThinLinc installation.
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Figure 14-3. The ThinLinc profiles and xstartup.default
As described in Section 14.4.1, /opt/thinlinc/etc/xstartup.default is executed if there is no
~/.thinlinc/xstartup for the user. This file, in its unmodified version as delivered with ThinLinc,
executes three steps, as outlined in Figure 14-3.
1. The command tl-run-xstartup.d is executed, which causes all files in
/opt/thinlinc/etc/xstartup.d/ to be executed. Files that have filenames ending with .sh
will be sourced as shell scripts. Other files are executed normally. This way, environment variables
that persist down to the session command can be set in *.sh files.
If a specific execution order is needed for the scripts in the xstartup.d/ directory, let the names of
the scripts begin with numbers, where a script with a lower number will be executed before one with
a higher number. For example 10setuphomedir will be executed before 20copyfiles.
By default, the script /opt/thinlinc/etc/xstartup.d/20-tl-select-profile.sh will invoke
tl-select-profile, to let the user choose among the possible profiles. See Section 14.4.5 for
documentation on how to setup profiles. If only one profile is available, tl-select-profile will select it
without asking the user. The environment variable TLPROFILE is set to the name of the selected
profile.
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Worth noting is that the environment variable TLPROFILE is available when running the scripts in
xstartup.d, for decisions based on what profile will be run.
2. The command tl-run-profile is run. This runs the commands associated with the selected profile, for
example startkde to start a KDE session.
3. When the commands run by tl-run-profile exits, xstartup.default runs the command
tl-run-xlogout.d which runs scripts and commands located in the directory
/opt/thinlinc/etc/xlogout.d. The same information that applies to files in xstartup.d (as
documented in 1) applies to files in this directory.
Note: Scripts in /opt/thinlinc/etc/xstartup.d and /opt/thinlinc/etc/xlogout.d are run on
the agent, with the same rights as the user owning the session.
14.4.4. Session Startup with a Client Supplied Start Program
If the client has requested that the session should be started with a command supplied by the client, VSM
agent will set the environment variable TLCOMMAND to this command. In this case, the profile selection
dialog will be disabled and tl-run-profile will execute the command specified by the client, instead of a
profile command. To disable client supplied start programs, create the file
/opt/thinlinc/etc/xstartup.d/00-no-startprog.sh, containing:
unset TLCOMMAND
14.4.5. Configuring available profiles
The profiles choosable via the tl-select-profile command are configured via Hiveconf, under the
/profiles path. The default configuration includes a number of examples.
The default parameter must be present, and specifies the default profile. The profile chooser will have
this entry selected when it starts, and it may also be used automatically for some error conditions.
The order parameter selects which profiles should be available for selection, and the order in which
they are displayed.
If the show_intro parameter is true, a configurable introduction text will be displayed and requires user
input to proceed with the logon process. The introduction parameter is a text that will be displayed if
introduction is shown, this text block does also supports Pango Markup format styling for a fancier text
layout.
Each profile is defined under a section named /profiles/<profile key>. It has the following fields:
xdg_session
Connects this ThinLinc profile with a system desktop session configuration. The directories
/etc/X11/sessions and /usr/share/xsessions will be searched for a file matching
<xdg_session>.desktop. It is recommended that this field is used for all modern desktop
environments as it sets up important environment variables.
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The fields name, description, icon, cmdline and testcmd will all be implicitly filled in by the system
configuration. You can override those values individually by specifying a different value in the
ThinLinc configuration.
Multiple values can be specified in this field. The first matching configuration will be used. If no
matching configuration can be found then the profile will not be shown.
Note: If the configuration is listed in /etc/upstart-xsessions then the specified command is
ignored and an Upstart user session will be started instead. A manually specified cmdline can
still be used to override the command.
name
A short description of the profile, shown in the profile list.
description
A longer description, shown under the screen shot when the profile is selected.
icon
A 22x22 image shown next to the name in the profile list. Paths can be absolute or relative
/opt/thinlinc/share/tl-select-profile.
screenshot
A 200x150 image shown when the profile is selected. Paths can be absolute or relative
/opt/thinlinc/share/tl-select-profile.
cmdline
The command to execute if this profile has been chosen.
If xdg_session is set then the environment variable XDG_EXEC will be set to the original command
line from the system desktop session configuration.
testcmd
A shell expression or command that is executed to determine if this profile should be visible or not.
A non-zero return code causes the entry to be hidden. If this field is empty or missing then the entry
will always be shown.
If xdg_session is set then the environment variable XDG_TRY_EXEC will be set to the expected
binary from the system desktop session configuration. Note that this value differs in behaviour from
testcmd. XDG_TRY_EXEC should only name a executable binary in PATH , whilst testcmd will be
executed and its return code inspected.
The name and description variables mentioned above also support Pango Markup
(http://developer.gnome.org/pango/stable/PangoMarkupFormat.html) format styling which provides a
simple way to display formatted text (for example, bold or italicized words).
The following example changes the name to be displayed using a blue foreground color and a large font,
and the description with a boldface tag to emphasise the machine’s operating system type.
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/profiles/windows_desktop
name=<span foreground="blue" size="x-large">Windows Desktop</span>
description=This is a standard <b>Windows</b> desktop.
cmdline=${TLPREFIX}/bin/tl-run-windesk -G windows_desktop
14.4.6. Configuring different Linux Desktops based on the selected
profile
Please read Chapter 17 for documentation on how to configure different desktops with for example
different menu and desktop icons depending on what profile were selected.
14.4.7. Speeding up Session Startup
If a user has a complicated session startup with many time-consuming operations, it can take quite a
while before the user’s desktop environment (for example KDE or Gnome) begins to start. Prime
examples of when this happens is when mounting local drives, or when mounting some shared
directories from a Netware server.
One way of speeding up this process is to execute some of the operations in the background. Most often,
there is no need to mount the local drives before starting KDE, because it takes longer time to start KDE
than it takes to mount the local drives. The two operations can easily run in parallel. The same goes for
the example of mounting shared directories.
The easiest way to accomplish this is to add an & sign after commands run by scripts in
/opt/thinlinc/etc/xstartup.d.
Make sure that commands that must be run before starting the window environment are run sequentially.
For example, configuring desktops via TLDC must be done before starting KDE.
14.4.8. Configuring the language environment on the server based on the
client language
The ThinLinc client reports the language settings on the client side when requesting a session. This can
be used to configure the language on the server side. The idea is that in an environment where several
languages are in use, a user could automatically get their preferred language based on what their client
computer is configured for.
To activate this, a symlink needs to be created:
# ln -s /opt/thinlinc/libexec/tl-set-clientlang.sh /opt/thinlinc/etc/xstartup.d/00-tl-set-clientlang.s
Also, make sure no other parts of the startup environment are trying to set the LANG variable. For
example, on Fedora, the files /etc/profile.d/lang.sh and /etc/profile/lang.csh will
override the LANG variable set by tl-set-clientlang.sh.
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14.4.9. Forcing sessions for some users to certain agent hosts
In some situations, it is desirable to force sessions for certain users to be started on a specific agent host.
Examples of when this is needed is when testing a new server platform, allowing a group of test users to
run their sessions on the new platform, and when configuring desktops with the ThinLinc Desktop
Customizer (as described in Chapter 17), where you want to end up on the same server every time to
make it easier to copy the resulting files to all other hosts.
ThinLinc provides a mechanism for this. By creating a unix group and associating it with a specific agent
server, sessions for users that are members of the group will always be created on the agent host in
question. Individual users may also be specified in this way.
The configuration parameter used for this is /vsmserver/explicit_agentselection. Add pairs of
user/group and agent hostnames as a space-separated list to this parameter. The names of groups should
be prepended by a + sign, to identify them as groups.
An example:
/vsmserver/explicit_agentselection = +group1:agent1 +group2:agent3 user1:agent1
Since only one server can be associated with each group, no load balancing is used. That means that if a
user that is a member of group1 requests a session, and agent1 is down, no session will be created.
If a server associated with a group is also listed in /vsmserver/terminalservers, sessions will be
created for all users, not only the ones that are members of the group associated with the server. If the
server is not listed in /vsmserver/terminalservers, only users in the group associated with the
server will have sessions on the server.
14.4.10. Indicating that Shadowing is in Progress
At some sites it is a legal requirement that the user must be told when shadowing is in progress. By
running the tl-shadow-notify program during the session lifetime, a window will pop up with
information about the shadowing whenever shadowing starts or stops.
To activate tl-shadow-notify, a symlink must be created:
# ln -s /opt/thinlinc/bin/tl-shadow-notify /opt/thinlinc/etc/xstartup.d/15-tl-shadow-notify
14.5. Limiting Lifetime of ThinLinc Sessions
The Xserver has three options which controls the maximum lifetime of ThinLinc sessions. These are
described below, and can be added to the parameter /vsmagent/xserver_args.
•
-MaxDisconnectionTime s
Terminate when no client has been connected for s seconds. Note: Never use a value smaller than 60.
• -MaxConnectionTime s
Terminate when a client has been connected for s seconds
• -MaxIdleTime s
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Terminate after s seconds of user inactivity. Note: Never use a value smaller than 60.
In addition to the options above which control the lifetime of the ThinLinc session, the option
-IdleTimeout can be used to configure how long an idle session should remain connected. The
-IdleTimeout option takes a number of seconds as an argument, and can be added to the parameter
/vsmagent/xserver_args as per the options described above.
Note: Setting -IdleTimeout s will simply disconnect the client from the session after s seconds; it
will not terminate the ThinLinc session itself.
14.6. Restricting SSH Daemon Port Forwarding
ThinLinc requires that the SSH daemon allows the user to create a forwarded TCP connection to Xvnc
process, in order to be able to connect to the session. The default configuration of the SSH daemon is
typically to allow forwarding to any destination. If you are using the OpenSSH server, version 4.5 or
later, it is possible to use a more restricted configuration. To activate this, add the lines below to
/etc/ssh/sshd_config:
PermitOpen 127.0.0.1:22
# @thinlinc-begin@
Note: The first line essentially turns off TCP forwarding. The "none" option can also be used if you
are using OpenSSH 6.1 or later.
In this case, ThinLinc will automatically add "PermitOpen" lines between this marker and the end
marker:
# @thinlinc-end@
Please note that this feature only works with an OpenSSH (or compatible) daemon. Additionally, if
shadowing should be allowed this must be manually specified. For example, to exclude root from port
forwarding restrictions and allow shadowing, add this to the configuration:
Match User root
PermitOpen any
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Chapter 15. Hiveconf
15.1. Overview
Hiveconf is the name of the configuration system used in ThinLinc. It is however not a ThinLinc-specific
configuration system, but instead a generic configuration framework for storing key/value pairs in a
human readable way, although still in a format that’s easy to read and modify from a computer program.
Hiveconf stores data using a "backend", meaning configuration data can be stored in different ways. The
default backend which is also used in ThinLinc is using a text file format similar to Windows .INI-files,
or the format used in smb.conf from Samba.
In this section, we will describe Hiveconf from a general point of view and also describe
ThinLinc-specific details.
15.1.1. Basic Syntax
Basically, a Hiveconf file consists of key/value pairs with a equalsign(=) between them, as in the
following example:
vsm_server_port = 9000
vnc_port_base = 5900
The values after the equal sign can be of the following types:
•
String
•
Boolean
•
Integer
•
Float
•
Binary data as hexadecimal ASCII
Data can also be lists of the above types.
15.1.2. Tree Structure
Parameters in Hiveconf all reside in folders. Folders are just like a directory or folder in a normal file
system. By adding folder directives to Hiveconf files, the parameters will be split up in a tree structure,
meaning each parameter will be addressed using a path. This way, two folders can have two parameters
with the same name without collision.
The benefits of this is that a software suite (for instance ThinLinc) can have one common configuration
namespace, without having to name all configuration parameters uniquely, since every component in the
suite can have its own namespace. In ThinLinc, the VSM server has its parameters in the vsmserver/
folder, the VSM agent has its parameters in the vsmagent/ folder and so on.
Looking from a system global point of view, every software package has its own folder, meaning all
configuration parameters of the system can be accessed using a common tool.
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Folders are put into the configuration files by adding a path inside square brackets to the file as in the
following example:
[root@tlha-master conf.d]# cat vsmserver.hconf
#
# Hiveconf configuration file - VSM server
#
[/vsmserver]
unbind_ports_at_login=true
# Administrators email
admin_email = root@localhost
#
# Terminal servers. A list of hostnames. These will be used ...
# between the server and the agent. The names reported to ...
# the agent itself; names in terminalservers are not reported ...
#
terminalservers = tlagent-0.example.com
In this example, all three parameters ( unbind_ports_at_login , admin_email , and
terminalservers ) reside in the /vsmserver folder. This means that they should be addressed as
/vsmserver/unbind_ports_at_login , /vsmserver/admin_email and
/vsmserver/terminalservers respectively if used from inside a program using the Hivetool
libraries. This is of course not that important from the system administrator’s point of view, but it’s
important to understand the principle.
15.1.3. Mounting Datasources
One Hiveconf file can use another Hiveconf file by mounting the other file using a mount command as in
the following example:
%mount HA.hconf
The mount should be compared to a mount on a UNIX or Linux system. That is, the mount adds the tree
structure of the file mounted at exactly the place in the current tree structure where the mount command
was found.
Mounts can also use wildcards, as in the following example
%mount conf.d/*.hconf
The above is exactly what you’ll find if you look into the file /opt/thinlinc/etc/thinlinc.hconf.
Hiveconf will mount all files in /opt/thinlinc/etc/conf.d and add them to the current folder. This
is a very convenient way to add all configuration files for a specific software suite to the Hiveconf
namespace.
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15.1.4. Hostwide Configuration
As we hinted in Section 15.1.2, Hiveconf lays the foundation for a hostwide configuration system where
all applications on a host can be configured using a single system with a common API. This can be
accomplished because each application will get its own subfolder in the hostwide configuration folder, so
that two applications parameters won’t collide even if they have the same name. Using the mount
command, every application can have its own configuration file, while still exporting its parameters to
the hostwide folder system.
There is a hostwide Hiveconf "root", implemented by the file /etc/root.hconf. This file mounts all
files in /etc/hiveconf.d/ where an application can drop its own hiveconf file at install-time, just like
it can drop a file in for example /etc/logrotate.d or /etc/profile.d. There is such a file for
ThinLinc that mounts the file /opt/thinlinc/etc/thinlinc.hconf under the folder thinlinc.
15.1.5. Hiveconf Tools
In addition to the system libraries used by applications to read and write configuration parameters that
reside in Hiveconf files, there is a command line utility named hivetool for inspecting and setting
parameters from the command line. This can be very convenient, for example when scripting setup
scripts that need to set some parameter.
Hivetool without parameters will do nothing. To see all parameters on the system, run:
# hivetool -Ra /
which instructs hivetool to print all parameters, beginning from the root (/) and recursing downwards.
With a standard Hiveconf installation this will list Samba and KDE configuration parameters. If
ThinLinc is installed, it will list ThinLinc parameters as well.
To print a specific parameter, run hivetool with the name of the parameter as parameter. For example:
[root@tlha-primary etc]# hivetool /thinlinc/vsmserver/admin_email
root@localhost
Setting a parameter is equally easy. To set the admin_email parameter above, execute the following:
# hivetool /thinlinc/vsmserver/admin_email=test@example.com
15.2. Hiveconf and ThinLinc
ThinLinc uses Hiveconf as its primary configuration system on the serverside. In this section, we will
describe the convenience utility shipped with ThinLinc. For descriptions of the folders and parameters
used by ThinLinc, please refer to Chapter 14
15.2.1. The ThinLinc Configuration Tool - tl-config
In order to access the ThinLinc part of the Hiveconf configuration namespace without having to address
it using the hostwide path (i.e. to avoid having to add /thinlinc/ to all parameters, a tool named
tl-config is shipped with ThinLinc.
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tl-config takes the same parameters as hivetool and works the same way. Refer to Section 15.1.5 for
information about hivetool. Try for example
# tl-config -Ra
/
a command that will print all ThinLinc-related parameters.
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Administration Interface
16.1. Introduction
This chapter describes the web-based ThinLinc administration interface called tlwebadm . This
administration interface is installed automatically by the ThinLinc installation program, and may be
accessed by pointing your web browser to https://<hostname>:1010. For information on configuring
tlwebadm , for example setting a password or changing the default port, see the following section Section
16.2.
16.2. Configuring tlwebadm
tlwebadm offers a number of configuration options, which are stored in the configuration file
/opt/thinlinc/etc/conf.d/tlwebadm.hconf. The various configuration options are described
below.
Note: The password must be set and the tlwebadm service restarted before use.
/tlwebadm/username
The username to authenticate with when accessing the web interface.
/tlwebadm/password
The password for the above user. The tool /opt/thinlinc/sbin/tl-gen-auth may be used to
create hashes of the format required for use with this parameter.
/tlwebadm/cert
The path to the certificate file to be used for TLS encryption.
/tlwebadm/certkey
The path to the certificate private key file.
/tlwebadm/listen_port
The local port for the web server to listen on.
/tlwebadm/logging/logfile
The file to use for logging tlwebadm messages. By default, this is /var/log/tlwebadm.log.
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16.3. Modules
The tlwebadm interface consists of several modules which address different aspects of ThinLinc
configuration:
•
System Health, for viewing information about ThinLinc master and agent services, and testing user or
group lookup performance. See Section 16.3.1 below.
•
Status, for viewing information such as license usage, server load and sessions. See Section 16.3.2
below.
•
VSM, for viewing information and managing ThinLinc master and agent services. See Section 16.3.3
below.
•
Profiles, for viewing and configuring profiles. See Section 16.3.4 below.
•
Locations, for viewing and configuring printers and terminal locations. See Section 16.3.5 below.
•
Desktop Customizer, for configuring desktops. See Section 16.3.6 below.
•
Application Servers, for viewing and configuring application servers.
•
Novell Configurator, for configuring, optimising and troubleshooting Novell LDAP servers. See
Section 16.3.8 below.
•
Documentation Center, a module containing documentation and other useful information.
These modules are described in more detail in the following sections.
16.3.1. The System Health Module
The System Health module allows you to check the running state of the ThinLinc services VSM Master
and VSM Agent. There is also a tool to perform a user or group lookup which reports the time for the
lookup.
•
VSM Master reports current running state of VSM Master service.
•
VSM Agent reports current running state of VSM Agent service.
•
Users and Group Lookup allows you to test performance of user and group lookup on the system.
Fill in values for username and/or group and click the Test user and group lookup button to
perform a lookup.
16.3.2. The Status Module
The Status module allows you to view or manipulate the following aspects of ThinLinc, by selecting the
relevant submenu:
•
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Licenses allows you to view current and historic license usage, as well as the current number of
licenses.
Chapter 16. Administration of ThinLinc using the Web Administration Interface
•
Load allows you to check the current server load on both ThinLinc and application servers.
•
Sessions allows you to terminate, shadow or view details of sessions. This feature is described in more
detail in the next section, Section 16.3.2.1
16.3.2.1. The Sessions Menu
When you select the sessions menu, a table with all currently active users is displayed. To perform
additional tasks, click on the corresponding user name. This will bring up the session details page, which
displays all the session parameters for each session the user has running. The information table is
described below.
•
Terminal Server : The DNS host name of the server that is hosting this session. If you only have one
ThinLinc server, this server will host all sessions. If you have several ThinLinc servers in a cluster,
new sessions will be created on the server with the lightest load.
•
Display Number : Each session on a certain server has a unique number, the X Window System
display number. Display zero is reserved, and never used for ThinLinc sessions.
•
Terminal ID : An identification of the thin terminal. This is the terminal’s ethernet hardware address
(MAC address).
•
Framebuffer Size : The size (resolution) of the active session.
•
Local Screen Size : The size (resolution) of the terminal’s screen.
•
Session process ID : The PID (process identification number) of the tl-session process, which is the
parent for all processes belonging to a certain session.
•
Command : The command line that was specified when starting this session. This is usually empty
for full desktop sessions.
Below each table, there are two buttons:
•
Terminate Session : By clicking this button, you can terminate a session immediately. Caution: This
can lead to data loss, since applications running on the ThinLinc servers may not hold unsaved data.
•
Shadow Session : This button will generate a ThinLinc "launch file" (see Section 8.7.1) that starts
the native ThinLinc client, preconfigured to shadow the current user.
Note: The user will not be informed that shadowing is in progress, unless tl-shadow-notify is
enabled.
16.3.3. The VSM Module
VSM contains information about VSM Master and Agent services. This module allows you to start or
stop the services, and modify a subset of the configuration options.
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•
Home allows you to view current status of VSM services.
•
VSM Master allows you to start or stop the service, and modify a subset of the configuration options.
•
VSM Agent allows you to start or stop the service, and modify a subset of the configuration options.
16.3.3.1. Home
On this page, you can check the status of VSM services.
16.3.3.2. VSM Master
On this page you can start or stop VSM Master service. There are also a subset of configuration options
available for configuration of the service.
•
Service Status gives you the ability to start or stop the VSM Master service.
•
Sessions per user allows you to configure how many session are allowed per user.
A value of zero means no limit and will give unlimited sessions per user.
•
Allowed Groups allows you to configure which groups should be given access to connect to ThinLinc.
If no groups are specified, all users will have access to connect to ThinLinc
•
Allowed Shadowers allows you to configure which users should be able to shadow other ThinLinc
sessions.
Click the Save button when you want to save your changes to the configuration files.
Note: You need to restart the service to apply your changes.
16.3.3.3. VSM Agent
On this page you can start or stop the VSM Master service. There are also a subset of configuration
options available for configuration of the service.
•
Service Status gives you the ability to start or stop the VSM Agent service.
•
Agent Hostname allows you to configure the hostname that clients are redirected to.
Note: This configuration is needed if running ThinLinc in a NAT environment. See Section 3.3.4 for
more information.
•
Extra Arguments to X Server allows you to configure additional arguments to the Xserver (Xvnc) for
new sessions that are started.
Click the Save button when you want to save your changes to the configuration files.
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Note: You need to restart the service to apply your changes.
16.3.4. The Profiles Module
On this page you can modify text shown in the profile chooser, and manage profiles. You can create or
delete a profile and configure the profile order.
•
Introduction Texts allows you to modify and manage translation of texts used in the profile chooser.
•
Profile List allows you to configure the available profiles and their order.
16.3.4.1. Introduction Texts
Introduction texts contains translation tables for greetings and introduction texts. There is also a
configuration option to enable or disable the use of introduction texts.
•
Greeting Text the text to show at the top of the profile chooser.
•
Show Introduction disable or enable the introduction text which is shown to the user before the profile
selection dialog.
•
Introduction Text the text to show before presenting the list of profiles.
To add a new translation, fill in language code and the translated string. Click the Save button to save the
new translation and add it to the translation table.
To delete a translation select the row using the checkbox in Delete column of the translation table. Click
the Save button to carry out the actual deletion of selected rows.
16.3.4.2. Profile List
The Profile List module contains functionality to manage your profiles. You can change the default
profile, or create new and edit existing profiles. You can also change the order of profiles.
•
Default Profile allows you to specify the default profile to be selected in the profile chooser.
•
Profile List allows you to modify profiles and their order, or create new profiles.
Create a new profile by clicking the Add new profile button. If you want to edit an existing profile, click
the profile name in the table of available profiles.
When creating a new or editing an existing profile a form is displayed. This form is shared between both
modes and each field details are described below.
•
Identification
An unique string identifier for the profile which is used when referencing this profile.
•
XDG Session Desktop
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The system desktop session configuration that this profile should be connected to.
•
Default Name
A name for the profile which is displayed in the profile chooser.
•
Availability
This will make the profile available to be selected and used. If you uncheck it will not be shown to the
user in the profile chooser.
•
Take Description From
The description is shown in the profile chooser when a profile is selected. This field can be a static text
which is defined in the input field Default Description .
•
•
Test command : This will take and use the output of defined Test Command as description for
the profile.
•
Manually defined text below : This will use the text defined in the Default Description field
below.
Default Description
A text used as description for the profile. This is text is used if Take Description From above is
selected to use the manually defined text.
•
Icon Path
A filename of the icon to use in the profile chooser.
•
Screenshot Path
A filename of the screenshot to use in the profile chooser.
•
Command Line
This command is used to start up a session, it might be a simple xfce4-session or one of shipped
binaries like ${TLPREFIX}/bin/tl-run-windesk -G wts_farm.
•
Test Command
This command is evaluated and if it returns true, the profile is shown to the user. If the command
evaluates as false, the profile will not be shown in the list of available profiles for the user.
ThinLinc includes the tool "tl-memberof-group" which may be used to test memebership of groups.
You can use this tool as test command, such as ${TLPREFIX}/bin/tl-memberof-group
my_profile_access_group. This example will give memebers of group my_profile_access_group
access to the profile.
If you only want to give a specific user access to the profile you may specify test ${USER} = user.
When you have filled out the form, or changed any fields, click Save button at the bottom of the form to
save your changes into the configuration file.
To delete a profile click the profile name in table of available profiles. Then click the checkbox at the
bottom of the form to verify your intention about deletion of the profile. Complete the deletion by
clicking the Delete button.
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16.3.5. The Locations Module
Locations contains information about locations where terminals and printers reside. A location can be a
room, a floor, a house or some other type of geographical delimitation.
Every terminal should be assigned as a member of a location. In addition to terminals, printers may also
be assigned to locations.
16.3.5.1. Terminals
Terminals contains necessary information about all terminals. The most important information here is
every terminal’s interface hardware (MAC) address.
Each terminal should be entered as described in this section. Enter the terminals module by clicking on
the menu item. You will be presented with a list of currently entered terminals. This could be something
like the example in Figure 16-1.
Figure 16-1. Terminals
Figure 16-1 shows a system with a total of two terminals.
To edit a terminal, click on its name in the list.
To add a new terminal to the list you press the Add new terminal button. This will bring up an empty
terminal edit form. See Figure 16-2 for an example.
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Figure 16-2. New terminal form
There are three editable fields in this view, Hardware (MAC) address , Terminal name and Location .
They are described in Table 16-1 below.
To save changes, press the Save button. When you have pressed the Save button you will see that the
Hardware (MAC) address field will change from being an editable field to become a static text label.
To assure data integrity between the modules you aren’t allowed to change this field after it’s added.
When a new terminal is saved or when clicking an existing in the terminals list, there will be three buttons
inside the form. The Save button is used to save changes made to the terminal. The Delete button
deletes the currently viewed terminal. The Add Printer button will add a new printer field to the form.
Table 16-1. Terminal properties
180
Name
Description
Hardware (MAC) address
hardware (MAC) address of the main interface of
the terminal. This field is important! Without a
correct value the nearest printer won’t work!
Terminal name
Name of the terminal. Could for example be the
terminal’s DNS name or a name following a
naming scheme that identifies the terminal.
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Name
Description
Location
Which of the locations, entered in the Locations
module, this terminal belongs to.
It is also possible to add a printer to a terminal in the terminal module. This can be used if a terminal has
its own printer or is closer to another printer than the ones assigned to this terminals location. You should
use this feature moderately since it may cause more administration.
To add a printer you do exactly as in the Locations menu. Click the Add printer button, select the printer
in the pop-up menu and then press Save to make sure that the settings are stored. To delete it, check the
relevant Delete checkbox(es) for the printer(s) you wish to remove, and click Save .
16.3.5.2. Locations
To edit a location, click on its name in the list.
To add a new location to the list you press the Add location button. This will bring up an empty location
edit form. See Figure 16-3 for an example.
Figure 16-3. New Location Form
Fill the Name and Description fields with relevant information. Check the checkbox if this location is to
be used for unknown terminals when using the printer access control feature (see Section 5.5 for details).
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To save changes, press the Save button. When you have pressed the Save button you will see that the
Name field will change from being an editable field to become a static text label. To assure data integrity
between the modules you aren’t allowed to change the name of an item after it’s added.
The Delete button deletes the currently viewed location, but only if the confirmation checkbox is also
checked. The Add Printer button will add a new field to the form, a drop-down menu with all possible
printers. An example of this can be seen in Figure 16-4.
Figure 16-4. Location Details With Printer
The Printer field above has the printer europa selected. Remember to save the changes if you change
printer! You can assign more printers to this location by clicking Add printer again to bring up another
printer line. To remove a printer you select the Delete checkbox corresponding to the printer(s) you want
to delete, and click Save to apply the changes. The printer(s) will disappear.
Note: Printers contains entries for all available printers. These entries are just shadows of the real
CUPS (Common Unix Printing System) printer system entries. This means that you first need the
printers to be installed in the CUPS printer system and then added to this list.
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16.3.6. The Desktop Customizer Module
The ThinLinc Desktop Customizer is described more fully in its own chapter, Chapter 17. Links to
sections of this chapter pertaining to the respective menus of the Desktop Customizer Module are
provided below for convenience.
16.3.6.1. Application Groups
For information on configuring Application Groups using TLDC, see Section 17.2.5
16.3.6.2. Applications (Manual)
For information on configuring Manual Applications using TLDC, see Section 17.2.3
16.3.6.3. Applications (System)
For information on configuring System Applications using TLDC, see Section 17.2.1.1
16.3.6.4. Menu Structure
For information on configuring Menu Structures using TLDC, see Section 17.2.4
16.3.7. The Application Servers Module
The Application Servers module provides a way to define application server groups via tlwebadm. For
more information on application server groups, see Section 14.2.4.
16.3.7.1. UNIX Application Server Groups
This menu allows you to configure UNIX-based application server groups, for publishing applications
via X11-forwarding. The default installation provides a single example server group, as shown in Figure
16-5.
Figure 16-5. UNIX Application Server Groups List
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To edit an existing server group, click on the name of the group in the list. To add a new server group,
click on the Add new Unix Group button - Figure 16-6 shows the page for adding new UNIX server
groups.
Figure 16-6. Adding a UNIX Application Server Group
The descriptions of the fields are provided in Table 16-2 below.
Table 16-2. UNIX Application Server Group Fields
184
Name
Description
Group name
A unique name for the application server group.
Description
A description of the application server group.
Servers
A space-separated list of servers (IP addresses or
resolvable hostnames) which will be members of
this application server group.
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16.3.7.2. Windows Application Server Groups
This menu allows you to configure Windows-based application server groups, for publishing Windows
applications and desktops via RDP.
To edit an existing server group, click on the name of the group in the list. To add a new server group,
click on the Add new WTS Group button - Figure 16-7 shows the page for adding new Windows server
groups.
Figure 16-7. Adding a Windows Application Server Group
The descriptions of the fields are provided in Table 16-3 below.
Table 16-3. WTS Application Server Group Fields
Name
Description
Group name
A unique name for the application server group.
Description
A description of the application server group.
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Name
Description
Servers
A space-separated list of servers (IP addresses or
resolvable hostnames) which will be members of
this application server group.
Domain
The Windows domain, if any, to specify when
connecting.
Keyboard layout
The keyboard layout to use for this server group.
Sound system
The sound system to use for this server group, or
select "disable" to disable sound.
Redirect printers via RDP
Check this box to share printers via RDP from the
ThinLinc server.
Use Novell username even when
reconnecting
Check this box to reconnect using the Novell
username by default.
Extra rdesktop arguments
Any extra arguments you wish to give to rdesktop
can be entered here.
16.3.8. The Novell Configurator Module
The ThinLinc Novell Configurator is described more fully in its own chapter, Section 9.3.
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Desktop Customizer
In this chapter, we will document how to create custom desktops for ThinLinc users using either the K
Desktop Environment (http://www.kde.org) or the Gnome Desktop Environment (http://gnome.org), in
combination with the ThinLinc Desktop Customizer (TLDC).
The TLDC:s core functionality is to build the menu of ThinLinc users based on factors such as group
membership, user name and ThinLinc profile. It can also add icons to the desktop of each user, based on
the same premises.
17.1. Introduction
The ThinLinc Desktop Customizer is a combination of a web-based administration tool and a command
that is run at session startup for all users. It enables the administrator to decide what menu entries should
be presented for specific users, and what icons should be made available on the desktop. Which menu
entries and/or desktop entries are given to a specific user is decided based on the unix group
memberships of the user, the username and what ThinLinc profile was choosen (if any).
Note: Since KDE4 uses a different desktop configuration mechanism to previous versions of KDE,
icons added to the desktop using the ThinLinc Desktop Customizer will not be shown in KDE4. This
can be solved by changing the "Desktop layout" setting of your KDE4 desktop to "Folder view".
17.2. Using the ThinLinc Desktop Customizer
Using the ThinLinc Desktop Customizer, the system administrator can decide what applications should
be available in the menu and/or on the desktop for specific users or for users that are members of some
Unix group. The ThinLinc Desktop Customizer is configured via a web interface, part of the ThinLinc
Web Administration. Chapter 16 describes the interface in general, this section will describe the Desktop
Customizer part of it.
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17.2.1. Concepts
Figure 17-1. ThinLinc Desktop Customizer Concepts
The main concept in the ThinLinc Desktop Customizer is the Application Group. The Application Group
combines data about Applications, A Menu Structure, Unix Groups and Users, and some other Settings.
17.2.1.1. Applications
The Applications referred to in the Application Groups are found by scanning the directories defined in
the Hiveconf parameter /utils/tl-desktop-customizer/xdg_data_dirs for files named
*.desktop. The files are read according to the Freedesktop.org (http://freedesktop.org/) Desktop Menu
Specification. The TLDC scans the directories in the same way that KDE will do when building the
menu.
Some applications are marked by the system to be shown only for root, or only in either Gnome or KDE.
On SuSE, there is also a X-SuSE-Unimportant parameter in some *.desktop files, which will make
the KDE packaged with SUSE hide the application. TLDC handles this by adding a comment to the
application in the applications listing, and in the selectboxes used when creating application groups.
In addition to the desktop files automatically found, it is also possible to manually define applications.
This is needed for example when an application without a *.desktop-file has been installed, when an
application has been installed in a non-standard location, or when the applications are available on
application servers and should be run for example via tl-run-winapp.
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17.2.1.2. Menu Structure
Each Application Group can add applications to a specific place in the menu structure. The available
menu structure is edited in the "Menu structure" part of the web based administration interface.
17.2.1.3. Unix Groups and Users
An Application Group is used by zero or more Unix groups and by zero or more specific users. An
example would be an educational environment. Let’s say that all pupils attending the class "biology 4"
are members of the Unix Group "bio4". By creating an Application Group named "Biology 4" with all
Applications that are specific to the biology class, and then adding the "bio4" Unix Group as one of the
groups that should be assigned the "Biology 4" Application Group, all students attending the class will
automatically get the applications specific to the biology class in their menu. By adding the teacher of the
class as a specific user, he/she as well will also get access to the applications.
17.2.2. Using the ThinLinc Desktop Customizer
The Daily use of the TLDC consists of one or several of the following steps:
•
Create an Application
•
Create a folder in the Menu Structure
•
Bind one or several applications to a folder in the menu structure, using an Application Group
In the following sections, we will more thoroughly describe the different actions that may be needed.
17.2.3. Handling Applications
The handling of applications is normally the first step in using the TLDC. Click on the "Applications
(Manual)" link in the TLDC, and you will enter a view where the applications you’ve defined manually
are listed. Several example applications are included with ThinLinc at installation. By clicking on the
text "Applications defined by system", you can also see what applications are found automatically by
scanning, as described in Section 17.2.1.1.
If the application you want to add to a menu or to the desktop is not found among "Applications defined
by system", you need to define it manually. This is the case for applications installed without adding a
.desktop file in the correct location, or for applications that are run by connecting to an application
server, for example a Windows Terminal Server.
Definining applications manually is done by clicking on the button "Add new application" (located at the
top of the list of applications). This leads to a page where you can define the following properties for the
new application:
•
Default Application Name
This is the name of the application. It’s the name that is written next to the icon (if any), in the menu,
and under the icon if the application is to be added to the desktop.
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The Default Application Name is used if there is no name defined for the language in use when the
application is shown, or if the language is english.
•
Application Name (<language-code>)
This is the name of the application in the language with the RFC1766 language code <language-code>.
This name is shown if the locale is set to that language when the menu or desktop is shown.
The languages that should be configurable are set by editing the parameter
/utils/tl-desktop-customizer/desktop_languages. The default value of this parameter is
sv, which means that the TLDC will allow you to set the default name and the name in swedish.
•
Command
The Command field is divided into three sections. Which one to choose depends on which kind of
application you are adding.
•
Command Run on ThinLinc Server
Select this radio button if you are adding an application that is executed on the ThinLinc server.
Enter the path to the command followed by any arguments in the Command box. The input box
follows bourne shell syntax rules.
Example:
"/usr/bin/my program" --fullscreen --title "My title"
•
Command Run on Windows Terminal Server in SeamlessRDP mode
Select this radio button if you are adding an application that is run on a Windows Terminal Server in
SeamlessRDP mode. In SeamlessRDP mode, an application running on a WTS can open several
windows on the ThinLinc desktop, and windows can be resized dynamically. Applications defined
this way are run via the command tl-run-winapp-seamless.
Enter the path to the command on the Terminal Server’s filesystem in the Command on Server input
box. If the path contains spaces, quote the entire path with double quotes.
Example:
"C:\Program Files\My Vendor\My Program.exe" %TEMP%
Choose which application server group should be used to run the command in the selectbox labeled
Application Server Group. By having several application server groups, you can have several groups
of Windows Terminal Servers for different purposes, with individual load balancing between the
servers in each group.
Add any extra arguments to tl-run-winapp-seamless in the third input box, labeled Other
tl-run-winapp-seamless args.
•
Command run on Windows Terminal Server in Standard Mode
Select this radio button if you are adding an application that is run on a Windows Terminal Server
(from now on referred to as WTS) in standard mode (not in SeamlessRDP mode). Applications
defined this way are run via the command tl-run-winapp.
Enter the path to the command on the Terminal Server’s filesystem in the Command on Server input
box. If the path contains spaces, quote the entire path with double quotes.
Example:
"C:\Program Files\My Vendor\My Program.exe" %TEMP%
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Choose in which application server group the command should be run in the select box labeled
Application Server Group. By having several application server groups, you can have several groups
of Windows Terminal Servers for different purposes, with individual load balancing between the
servers in each group.
It’s most often recommended to hide window manager decorations, or the application will get
double frames.
When running applications on WTS in this mode, the application gets a fixed size. The size can be
set to one of fullscreen, size of desktop work area (which is fullscreen minus the area used by the
window manager’s taskbar), a fixed size or a percentage of the ThinLinc desktop’s size.
The title of the window is by default set to the name of the executable run on the WTS. The title can
be explicitly set in the Window Title input box.
Add any arguments to tl-run-winapp in the last input box, labeled extra tl-run-winapp args.
•
Path to Icon file
The filename of the Icon for the application. If the icon is available in one of the directories where
KDE automatically looks for icons, just the filename without the extension can be given. Otherwise,
the complete path must be specified.
•
Command Startup Feedback
Check the box to instruct the Window Manager to show a special icon while the command is starting.
Note that this does not work very well for applications run from a Windows Terminal Server, so for
these applications, it’s recommended not to enable this functionality.
Press save when done filling the fields. The application will now show up among the other manually
defined applications.
If you want to, you can add the application directly to an existing application group by checking the
checkbox in front of the application name, then selecting the application group and if the application
should be added to the menu or desktop of this application group, in the form at the top of the page. This
can be done for both manually defined, and automatically found applications.
17.2.4. Defining a Menu Structure
With TLDC, the normal menu structure as defined by the Linux Distributor or by the KDE team is not
used. Instead, a new menu structure is defined. This gives more flexibility in designing menus. The
TLDC administrator can fully decide where in the menu structure a certain application is placed.
To define the menu structure, click on the "Menu structure" submenu in the left pane of the TLDC
administration interface. This leads to a view where a menu structure can be defined. The Root menu
folder is always available and can’t be removed.
Note: A menu called "Hidden Menu" is shipped with the default ThinLinc configuration. See Section
17.4.3 for an explanation of its functionality. Please don’t remove it if you are planning to use KDE.
The following properties can be edited for a menu:
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•
Default Menu Name
This is the name of the menu, as it will be shown in the menu.
•
Menu Name (<language-code>)
This is the name of the menu in the language with the RFC1766 language code <language-code>. This
name is shown if the locale is set to the language at runtime.
•
Path to Icon File
The filename of the Icon for the menu, shown to the left of the menu name in the KDE menu. If the
icon is available in one of the directories where KDE automatically looks for icons, just the filename
without the extension can be given. Otherwise, the complete path must be specified.
•
Hide This Menu
If this radio button is set to Yes, the menu will be a hidden menu. It will not be shown in the menu, but
any applications that are added to this menu via an application group will be available in the KDE File
Associations.
Just as for Applications, the name of the menu can be defined in several languages. The Default Menu
Name is used if no language-specific name is defined, or if the locale specifies that the language is
english. The list of languages that can be defined using the TLDC is found in
/utils/tl-desktop-customizer/desktop_languages.
17.2.5. Defining Application Groups
Enter the "Applications Groups" part of the "Desktop Customizer". This will present you with a list of
existing application groups and their settings.
Note: An application group called "Hidden" is shipped with the default ThinLinc configuration. See
Section 17.4.3 for an explanation of its functionality. Please don’t remove it if you are planning to use
KDE.
Press the button "Add new group" (located at the top in the table of existing application groups) to create
a new application group. This will open a rather large form, where you can define the following
properties:
•
Name of the Application Group
This is the name of the Application Group. This is not displayed to the users, but only to the System
Administrator using the ThinLinc Desktop Customizer. Set to something that reflects the contents of
the Application Group.
•
Applications Added to Menu
First, define in the dropdown box what location in the menu structure applications choosen in the
boxes below it should be added to.
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Add to the left selectbox the applications that should appear in the menu folder selected above, for the
users that are assigned this Application Group. The right selectbox lists the applications defined or
found installed on the system. If there are no applications available, you’ve forgotten to define
Applications, as documented in Section 17.2.5.
•
Applications Added to Desktop
Add to the left selectbox the applications that should appear as icons on the desktop of the users that
are assigned this Application Group. Just as for Application added to the menu, only applications
earlier defined, or automatically found, will show up as selectable.
•
Unix Groups with this Application Group
This is where you connect Unix groups to Application Groups. If for example a specific school should
be assigned this Application Group, and all the pupils of that school are members of the Unix group
"school-1", add the Unix group "school-1" to the left selectbox. When logging in, the group
memberships of each user is inspected to determine which Application Groups to assign to the user.
Note: If the mapping between the numerical group id and the group name doesn’t work, the group
is shown as #<gid>. This might be because the group has been removed from the system, or
because the operating system has problems in the connection to the directory service used.
•
Specific Users with this Application Group
This parameter allows you to decide that specific users should be assigned this Application Group as
well, even if they are not a member of one of the groups that were added above. This way, for very
specialized applications, no Unix group needs to be created. Another way of using this field would be
that the teachers of a specific class could be added to the Application Group for that class, if the
teachers are not part of the unix group that is associated with the class.
Note: If the mapping between the numerical user id and the user name doesn’t work, the user is
shown as #<uid>. This might be because the user has been removed from the system, or
because the operating system has problems in the connection to the directory service used.
•
ThinLinc profiles with this Application Group
This setting allows you to connect the Application Group to ThinLinc Profiles as documented in
Section 14.4.3. This allows for different Application Groups to be selected based on user input after
login.
•
Shell Command Activating this Application Group
This setting allows you to activate application groups based on the return value of an arbitrary
command. If the command returns 0 (which is the standard return code for success for shell
commands), the application group will be activated.
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This can be used for example to activate application groups based on OU in eDirectory installations by
using the tl-nds-memberof-container command. It can also be used to activate an application group
for all users by running /bin/true as activation command.
The command is run via the shell in the current user’s environment when running
tl-desktop-activate.sh. The environment variable TLDCGROUP is set to the application group currently
under consideration for activation.
•
Save!
Don’t forget to press the Save-button, or none of the changes will be written to the database.
17.2.6. Distribute Configuration to all agent hosts
After doing changes to the Desktop Configuration, the new configuration must be copied to all VSM
agent hosts. The files/directories to be copied are
/opt/thinlinc/etc/conf.d/tl-desktop-customizer.hconf and all subdirectories of
/opt/thinlinc/desktops.
Best Practice: Use the tl-rsync-all command as described in Chapter 13 to copy the files.
17.3. Enabling the Custom Desktops for users
Enabling the Custom Desktops for users is easy. Simply create a symbolic link in
/opt/thinlinc/etc/xstartup.d:
# ln -s
/opt/thinlinc/bin/tl-desktop-activate.sh
/opt/thinlinc/etc/xstartup.d/35-tl-desktop-activate.sh
The ThinLinc session startup will read this file and make sure the environment variable KDEDIRS is set
correctly. It will also write a ~/.config/menu/applications.menu and possibly create symbolic
links under ~/.kde/share/apps/kdesktop/Desktop. Your profile should then execute the
command startkde.
Note: The TLDC activation script only runs TLDC for non-root users. Test your TLDC configuration
using a normal user.
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17.4. Tips & Tricks with TLDC
17.4.1. Unwanted Icons on the Desktop with KDE
At first login for each user, KDE copies files from /usr/share/apps/kdesktop/DesktopLinks to
the Desktop directory of the user. This means that if there is a Home Icon in DesktopLinks and you
add a Home Icon via TLDC, there will be two Home Icons.
Remove the contents of /usr/share/apps/kdesktop/DesktopLinks to solve the problem, and let
TLDC be the sole provider of icons on the desktop.
Note: If you KDE is based somewhere else than under /usr, the DesktopLinks directory will be
situated elesewhere. For example, on SuSE, KDE is based at /opt/kde3.
17.4.2. File Associations for Applications Not In the Menu
When KDE tries to determine what application to use for opening a specific file, it is only looking for
applications that are available in the menu. There are cases where not all applications that may be used
for opening files are meant to be available in the menu.
In this case, create a hidden menu by setting "Hide this Menu" to Yes in the Menu Structure Editor, and
then create an Application Group that adds the applications that should be available for file associations
in to this menu.
17.4.3. Home Icon not Working in KDE?
This is a case of the problem above where File Associations are not working. Create an Application
Group that includes the Konqueror (kde-kfmclient_dir) application in a hidden menu, and make
sure this application group is added for all relevant users, and the home icon will work again.
Note: A menu named "Hidden Menu" is created by the application group "Hidden" which is by
default activated for the profile kde. This menu contains the kde-kcmclient_dir) to make sure the
home icon is working. Make sure this application group is activated for all users with a desktop based
on KDE.
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Appendix A. TCP Ports Used by ThinLinc
A.1. On Machine Running VSM Server
22: SSH Daemon
Port 22 is not used by ThinLinc per se, but since no ThinLinc installation can work without a
running SSH daemon, we list port 22 here. Port 22 is the normal SSH port, but basically any port
can be used - the client has support for connecting to any port. Note however that if the SSH
daemon on the VSM server is listening on port x, all VSM agents must also have their SSH
daemons configured to listen on port x.
300: ThinLinc HTML5 Browser Client
By default, ThinLinc’s HTML5 Browser client service tlwebaccess is available on TCP port 300.
Traffic to this port is encrypted (TLS).
Note: The port on which tlwebaccess runs is configurable via the parameter
/webaccess/listen_port. See Section 8.7.3.1.1 for details.
1010: ThinLinc Administration Interface (tlwebadm)
By default, ThinLinc’s web-based administration interface is available on TCP port 1010. In order
to access this interface remotely, port 1010 will need to be reachable. Traffic to this port is
encrypted (TLS).
Note: The port on which tlwebadm runs is configurable via the parameter /tlwebadm/listen_port.
See Section 16.2 for details.
9000: VSM server
The VSM server listens on port 9000. The traffic is not encrypted, but sensitive information will
only be shared with root or connections originating from a port lower than 1024, from a list of
known IP adresses. The protocol used is XML-RPC through HTTP (using a minimal internal HTTP
server in the VSM server).
A.2. On Machine Running VSM Agent
22: SSH Daemon
Just as for the VSM server, there must be a SSH Daemon running on all VSM agent machines. This
daemon is normally listening to port 22, although it can listen to other ports as well. See the entry
about port 22 on Section A.1.
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300: ThinLinc HTML5 Browser Client
By default, ThinLinc’s HTML5 Browser client service tlwebaccess is available on TCP port 300.
Traffic to this port is encrypted (TLS).
Note: The port on which tlwebaccess runs is configurable via the parameter
/webaccess/listen_port. See Section 8.7.3.1.1 for details.
904: VSM Agent
The VSM agent listens on port 904 for incoming requests from the VSM server host. The traffic is
not encrypted, but the VSM agent only allows connections originating from a port lower than 1024,
from a list of known IP adresses. The protocol in use is XMLRPC through HTTP.
1010: ThinLinc Administration Interface (tlwebadm)
By default, ThinLinc’s web-based administration interface is available on TCP port 1010. See the
entry about port 1010 at Section A.1.
5901-5999: VNC servers for first 99 sessions
Ports 5901-5999 are used by Xvnc processes serving display numbers strictly below 100.
4900-5899: Tunnels from Terminal Server to clients
The ports in this interval is used as serverside endpoints for the SSH tunnels used to access local
resources of the client, for example local drives, serial ports and sound.
This interval is used for sessions with display number strictly below 100.
The algorithm used for calulating which ports to use for a specific display number in this interval is
4900 + display-id*10 + SERVICE_SLOT where SERVICE_SLOT is a number defined under
/vsm/tunnelservices.
6001-8000: X Display ports
If Xvnc is configured to listen for incoming TCP requests from X Window System clients on other
hosts, ports 6001-8000 are used by display numbers 1-2000. The default is not to listen for
incoming TCP requests, so in the default configuration, the ports in this interval are not open.
Port 32767 downwards to 11857
The algorithm described below is used to allocate ports for the Xvnc process and for the serverside
endpoints for SSH tunnels to access local resources of the client. This algorithm is used for sessions
with display numbers strictly higher than 99.
Each session is allocated /vsm/tunnelslots_per_session (default value 10) + 1 ports, leading
to an allocation of 11 ports per session with the default configuration. The ports are allocated
starting with the port given as /vsmagent/max_session_port (default 32767), and then
downwards. This means that the ports are aligned upwards as closely as possible to the upper limit
defined. This is a good practice to avoid collisions with other services running on the machine.
Some examples follow
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Display number 50
The VNC port will be 5950 which is 5900+display.
The tunnel ports allocated for this display are 5400-5409, which is
4900+(10*display)+SERVICE_SLOT where SERVICE_SLOT is 0-9.
Display number 100, /vsmagent/display_min = 1 (the default),
/vsmagent/max_session_port = 32767.
The VNC port will be 32757, which is 32767-((display100)*(/vsm/tunnelslots_per_session+1)+/vsm/tunnelslots_per_session)).
Ports 32758-32767 (inclusive) will be used for tunnel ports.
Display number 300, /vsmagent/display_min = 100, /vsmagent/max_session_port =
32767 (the default).
The VNC port will be 30557 which is 32767-((display100)*(/vsm/tunnelslots_per_session+1)+/vsm/tunnelslots_per_session).
Ports 30558-30567 (inclusive) will be used for tunnel ports.
Display number 600, /vsmagent/display_min = 300, /vsmagent/max_session_port =
32767 (the default).
The VNC port will be 29457, which is 32767-((display300)*(/vsm/tunnelslots_per_session+1)+/vsm/tunnelslots_per_session).
Ports 29458-29467 (inclusive) will be used for tunnel ports.
A.3. On Windows Terminal Servers
5667: ThinLinc Load Agent
The ThinLinc Load Agent for Windows Terminal Servers listens on port 5667, and reports system
load to the ThinLinc servers.
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Appendix B. Troubleshooting ThinLinc
In this appendix, we will describe how to troubleshoot common problems in a ThinLinc installation.
We will begin by giving a general view of the recommended troubleshooting method, and then continue
with more detailed instructions for troubleshooting specific problems.
B.1. General troubleshooting method
In most cases, troubleshooting a ThinLinc session problem should follow the method outlined in Figure
B-1.
Figure B-1. The General Troubleshooting Method
The method is to first check that the user was let in by SSH on the VSM server. This information is found
on different places on different distributions. Common log filenames for SSH information are
/var/log/secure, /var/log/auth.log or /var/log/daemon.log. If the user was let in by SSH,
the VSM server log (/var/log/vsmserver.log) is inspected. In some cases, the reason for session
failure can be found there, but most of the times, it’s neccesary to find out which VSM agent was selected
for the session, and inspect the VSM agent log (/var/log/vsmagent.log) on the server in question.
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If inspecting /var/log/vsmagent.log on the server that was selected for the session does not reveal
the reason for the failure, there is a per-session log in
/var/opt/thinlinc/sessions/<username>/last/xinit.log where the output of commands
run during session startup is stored.
In very rare cases, it might also be neccesary to inspect the SSH log on the VSM agent.
B.2. Troubleshooting Specific Problems
B.2.1. Problems Where the Client Reports an Error
In the following sections, we will describe how to cope with problems where the ThinLinc client is
reporting an error.
B.2.1.1. Couldn’t set up secure tunnel to ThinLinc server. (Couldn’t establish
SSH tunnel, SSH terminated.)
This error is caused by failure to connect to the SSH daemon on the ThinLinc server (the server running
the VSM server). This could be caused by the fact that the SSH daemon is simply not running, or that it
is not letting the user in for some reason.
Another possible reason is that there is a firewall between the user and the ThinLinc server, that forbids
communication.
B.2.1.2. "Login Failed! Wrong username or password."
This error is very often caused simply by the user entering an incorrect password. Begin by verifying that
the user is actually entering the correct username and password.
If the username and password are correct and this is the first time the user tries to login, check the SSH
logs of the server. If SSH says that the user is invalid, that means that something is incorrect in the user’s
user information database entry. For example, this may happen if a user stored in eDirectory has two cn
attributes, one of them different than the other.
The getent command can be a valuable tool to dissect problems of this type. If the output of getent
passwd <username> doesn’t produce any output, that is a sign that the user is in fact invalid.
Note: Usernames beginning with numbers (for example 96aabbcc are parsed as numeric uids by
getent, rendering getent rather useless for debugging purposes in environments with username
schemes beginning with numbers.
If usernames with numbers in the beginning are in use, the following python code can be used to
verify a username
python-thinlinc -c ’import pwd, sys; print pwd.getpwnam(sys.argv[1])’ <username>
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B.2.1.3. The SSH connection succeeded, but the ThinLinc server connection
failed.Perhaps this server doesn’t run a ThinLinc server?
This error is most often caused by the fact that the VSM server is not running on the server. Start the
VSM server and try again.
A user entering the wrong hostname, for example the hostname of one of the VSM agents, would also
get this error message. Check that the user has entered the correct hostname. In very rare cases, this
could also be caused by incorrect DNS data.
B.2.1.4. ThinLinc login failed. (Couldn’t create session on selected server)
Check the VSM server log to see which VSM agent was selected. Check the VSM agent log on the
selected server to see what happened.
One common reason for this error is that the user database on the selected server is failing, so the user
does exist on the VSM server, but not on the VSM agent.
B.2.1.5. ThinLinc login failed. (Cannot find any working terminal server).
This error is reported if there were no working VSM agents available according to the load balance
information in the VSM server.
In a system with few VSM agent servers, restoring a VSM agent that has been down for some reason
doesn’t take effect immediately - the load balance information is only updated once every 40 seconds by
default. Either wait for the load balance cycle to complete, or restart the VSM server. In a small cluster it
might be a good idea to lower the load balance cycle, by setting the parameter
/vsmserver/load_balance_cycle.
The load balance information can be inspected in the ThinLinc Web Administration, see Chapter 16.
B.2.1.6. ThinLinc login failed (The terminal server couldn’t create your session)
When this error occurs, the user was valid on the VSM server, but for some reason, the session couldn’t
be created on the VSM agent.
One very common reason for this problem is that the VSM agent has lost its connection to the user
database backend (LDAP, Windows domain or other database), so the user exists on the VSM server, but
not on the VSM agent. If this is the case, the VSM agent log on the selected server will clearly state that
the user doesn’t exist on the system.
Another very common reason is home directory trouble on the VSM agent. Verify that the home
directory exists on the selected server, and that it is owned by the correct uidNumber/gidNumber. Of
course, the user must have write permissions on his/her home directory.
To verify that the home directory works, the following command can be used:
ssh <username>@<agenthost> touch .
If the home directory is correctly mounted and writable by the user, the above command will not produce
any output except the password question.
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B.2.1.7. Couldn’t set up secure tunnel to VNC! (Couldn’t establish SSH tunnel,
SSH terminated.)
This error is caused by failure to connect to the SSH daemon on the selected VSM agent. This could be
caused by the fact that the SSH daemon is simply not running, or that it is not letting the user in for some
reason.
Another possible reason is that there is a firewall between the user and the selected VSM agent that
disallows communication.
B.2.2. Problems that Occur After Session Start
In this section we will discuss some problems that can occur after the successful login, that is, after the
ThinLinc login window has closed. In this phase, a number of session startup problems can occur
B.2.2.1. Session starts, but closes down immediately
If the ThinLinc login window closes, and the session starts up but then immediately shuts down, inspect
xinit.log found in /var/opt/thinlinc/sessions/<username>/last/on the selected VSM agent.
Some of the commands run during session startup will probably have written an error message that will
be stored in that file.
It may also be of value to inspect the VSM agent log on the selected server.
B.2.2.2. At login, user is reconnected to previous, faulty, session
If a previous session still exists and is faulty, for example because of desktop environment failures, the
user is reconnected to the same session when logging in. Disconnect from the session, enable the "End
existing session" checkbox and log in again. That will terminate the current session and start a new one.
B.2.2.3. Login Succeeds, but the ThinLinc Desktop Configuration fails
When using the ThinLinc Desktop Customizer, as documented in Chapter 17, the KDE or Gnome menu
and the entries on the desktop are customized at each login. If this fails, quota problems are very often
the problem. Check the quota of the user in question.
B.2.2.4. Login Succeeds, but KDE Fails to Start
If KDE fails to start, complaining about being unable to create symlinks and similiar, quota problems are
very often the real problem. Check the quota of the user in question.
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Appendix C. Manually Configuring Integration with Novell
eDirectory
In Section 9.3, we explain how to integrate a ThinLinc Cluster with Novell eDirectory using the ThinLinc
Novell Configurator (TLNC). In this chapter we will explain how to do it manually, without the TLNC.
This information is provided to further explain what is done by the TLNC, and to provide documentation
on what needs to be done if the TLNC can’t be used for some reason.
C.1. Schema extensions
In order for pam_ldap and nss_ldap to work, the NDS must have schema extensions for posixAccount
and posixGroup.
Most eDirectory installations already have the relevant schema installed, but if not, it must be installed.
The extensions will be added to NDS if Novell Native File Access for Unix is installed. During
installation of this the command schinst is run to extend the schemas with posixAccount and
posixGroup. You may have to run schinst manually later, for example after applying a Novell service
pack. If Novell Native File Access for Unix is not available for your Novell platform (it’s available for
Netware 6.0 and above), extending the schema by hand should work although this is an untested
configuration.
C.2. Increasing performance by adding an index on some Attributes.
In a standard eDirectory installation, there is no index on the Object Class attribute, nor on the
uidNumber or gidNumber attributes. Since pam_ldap and nss_ldap use LDAP queries that include the
objectclass, uidNumber and gidNumber attributes, performance can often be increased by adding an
index for these specific attributes. This has to be done on all servers that carry data needed for
authentication.
We will give an example on how to add an index on "Object Class":
1. Find the server object for the server where the index is to be added. That is, find the Netware server
object, not the LDAP server object.
2. Select properties, and choose the index tab.
3. Press the Add button, set Index Name to "objectclass". Choose "Object Class" in the list of
Attributes.
Note: The list of Attributes has a peculiar sorting order. All attributes that have names that start with
a capital are ordered before the ones that don’t.
Set the Rule to "Value".
4. Press OK.
5. Press Apply. That will create the index, a background process that may take a few minutes on a very
large directory.
Repeat the procedures above for all servers that have replicas with the relevant information.
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Repeat the steps above for the uidNumber and gidNumber attributes, adjusting parameters as needed.
C.3. Removing Attribute Mappings
After extending the schema, two attribute mappings must be removed for proper operations. If they are
not removed, neither uidNumber nor gidNumber will work as needed.
Attribute mappings are used to map LDAP attribute names to NDS attribute names as a compatibility
feature of Novell NDS. Since NDS has been around for a longer time than the LDAP specification, a lot
of software exists that use the NDS names of object classes and attributes.
In order for LDAP authentication to work, the mapping from uidNumber to UID as well as the one from
gidNumber to GID must be removed.
To remove the mappings you right click on the LDAP group entry at root level of your tree and select
Properties . Under the Attribute map tab is a list of attribute mappings. Depending on your version of
eDirectory and your version of Console One, there are either direct mappings between gidNumber and
GID, or a mapping between groupID and GID, with gidNumber as a secondary LDAP attribute. If there
is a search function available, use that to locate the relevant mappings, and delete them.
One symptom of the fact that attribute mappings for gidNumber and uidNumber have not been removed
is that when searching eDirectory for groups without specifying what attribute to fetch, the gidNumber
shows up, but when explicitly specifying that gidNumber should be fetched, no data is returned.
C.4. Adding nss_map_attribute statements to /etc/ldap.conf
For NSS (looking up information about users and groups) to work well when fetching information from
eDirectory, the following three lines should be in /etc/ldap.conf
nss_map_attribute uniqueMember member
nss_map_attribute uid cn
pam_password nds
The first two make sure that the Linux machine asks for the correct attributes, and more importantly, that
when processing a request to find out which groups a user is member of, it doesn’t have to lookup every
DN found as a member to find out which uid it corresponds to. The last line makes sure changing
passwords in eDirectory from Linux works. Use any PAM-enabled password-changing program in Linux
to achieve this functionality.
C.5. Creating a DN for search operations
In most environments, it’s not a good idea to setup eDirectory so that anyone can read the attributes
needed by LDAP Authentication (uid, uidNumber, gidNumber, homeDirectory and loginShell).
Depending on the network setup, the information may be more or less sensitive. To prevent this, a special
user is created in the database, and all search operations from the ThinLinc servers are made after
binding as this user. This way, the amount of information that can be extracted by an anonymous user is
limited. However, all users on the ThinLinc servers can read the password of this user, so the protection
is limited. The user must have access to the mentioned attributes. In this section, we will describe how to
create this user and setup the access control.
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Appendix C. Manually Configuring Integration with Novell eDirectory
•
Begin by creating a user in eDirectory at an appropriate place in the tree. This user is a so-called
application DN, so if your tree already has a place for similar users, place the user there. In our
example, the DN of the user will be cn=tl-posixsearcher,ou=thinlinc,o=example. This DN will be
used as binddn in /etc/ldap.conf on the ThinLinc server.
•
Set a password for the user using the normal procedure (choose properties on the object, set the
password under the Restrictions tab). Do not use a password that is used for anything else. This
password will be used as bindpw in /etc/ldap.conf on the ThinLinc server and will be readable
by all users on the ThinLinc server.
•
Now add the user just created as a trustee on a appropriate object in the tree. This object should be
above all users that should be able to login to the ThinLinc server(s). For example, if all users reside
under ou=People,o=example, add the user as a trustee on the ou=People,o=example object. Adding
the trustee is done using the following procedure:
•
Right-click the object where the trustee should be added. Select "Trustees of this object..."
•
Press "Add Trustee..." in the dialog that appears and select the user we just created
(cn=tl-posixsearcher,ou=thinlinc,o=example in our example).
•
Select the user just added and press "Assigned Rights". For each of the attributes CN, gidNumber,
homeDirectory, loginShell, uidNumber, Member, and uniqueID do:
•
Press the "Add Property..." button.
•
Locate the attribute in question and select it. You will have to check the "Show all properties"
checkbox to see all required attributes. Also note that the sorting order in the dialog is a bit
peculiar - attributes that begin with lowercase are sorted after all attributes that begin with
uppercase. The easiest way to find attributes is probably to type their name, since the dialog then
will find them for you.
•
After selecting the attribute, return to the "Rights assigned to" dialog box by pressing OK, and
check the "inheritable" checkbox for the newly added attribute.
Repeat the procedure for [Entry Rights] which is not a normal LDAP attribute but a special
keyword. Without browse rights on entries, the user will not be able to see any objects at all which
is the first step in reading the information in them.
If tl-nds-mountpath (described in Section 10.2.4.4.2.2 is to be used, read access must also be
enabled for the ndsHomeDirectory attribute.
•
Close all dialogs by pressing "OK". Your posixsearcher user should now be able to search the
directory and retrieve all relevant attributes. Test this by executing the following command:
[root@test root]
ldapsearch -x -D \
cn=tl-posixsearcher,ou=thinlinc,o=example’ -W -H \
ldaps://ldap.example.com -b \
ou=People,o=example
The output should contain CN, gidNumber, homeDirectory, loginShell, uidNumber, and uid. Also,
if you add this users dn and password to /etc/ldap.conf on the ldap server, all users should be
present in the output of getent passwd.
An alternative way of assigning the ACLs required is to add the following LDIF to the toplevel object
(ou=People,o=example in our example) using ldapmodify or a similar tool:
ACL: 3#subtree#cn=tl-posixsearcher,ou=thinlinc,o=example#CN
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ACL:
ACL:
ACL:
ACL:
ACL:
ACL:
ACL:
3#subtree#cn=tl-posixsearcher,ou=thinlinc,o=example#UID
3#subtree#cn=tl-posixsearcher,ou=thinlinc,o=example#gidNumber
3#subtree#cn=tl-posixsearcher,ou=thinlinc,o=example#homeDirectory
3#subtree#cn=tl-posixsearcher,ou=thinlinc,o=example#loginShell
3#subtree#cn=tl-posixsearcher,ou=thinlinc,o=example#uidNumber
3#subtree#cn=tl-posixsearcher,ou=thinlinc,o=example#member
1#subtree#cn=tl-posixsearcher,ou=thinlinc,o=example#[Entry Rights]
C.6. Creating the DN used to modify users in the directory
In order to function properly, tl-nds-posixuser and tl-nds-posixgroup needs to bind to eDirectory as a
user that has appropriate permissions. Specifically, the user needs to write the attributes uidNumber,
gidNumber, loginShell, uniqueID, and homeDirectory. Since an objectclass is also added, the user also
needs write access to the objectclass attribute. It must also be able to read the cn attribute, and needs
browse permissions on [Entry Rights] in order to find the users at all.
Follow the instructions in Section C.5 but use another username. On the container that is above all users,
set "write" permission on uidNumber, gidNumber, loginShell, uniqueID, objectclass and homeDirectory.
Set read permission on the cn attribute and browse on [Entry Rights]. The raw ACL list for this looks as
follows (given a DN of cn=tl-posixsetter,ou=thinlinc,o=example):
ACL:
ACL:
ACL:
ACL:
ACL:
ACL:
ACL:
ACL:
208
7#subtree#cn=tl-posixsetter,ou=thinlinc,o=example#objectClass
1#subtree#cn=tl-posixsetter,ou=thinlinc,o=example#[Entry Rights]
7#subtree#cn=tl-posixsetter,ou=thinlinc,o=example#loginShell
7#subtree#cn=tl-posixsetter,ou=thinlinc,o=example#uidNumber
7#subtree#cn=tl-posixsetter,ou=thinlinc,o=example#gidNumber
7#subtree#cn=tl-posixsetter,ou=thinlinc,o=example#homeDirectory
7#subtree#cn=tl-posixsetter,ou=thinlinc,o=example#uid
3#subtree#cn=tl-posixsetter,ou=thinlinc,o=example#cn
Appendix D. Configuring CUPS queues on Windows Terminal
Servers
If your ThinLinc cluster uses a Windows Terminal Server for some applications, printers must be made
available on the Windows servers as well. This is normally handled automatically by ThinLinc, see
Section 5.6. In some special cases, it may be neccesary to add printers manually. This appendix describes
how.
The Nearest Printer and Local Printers are added by defining printer queues that use the Internet Printing
Protocol. Create one Network Printer in the printer wizard for each of them, and provide an IPP URL of
the following form:
http://server_host_name:631/printers/printername
For the nearest printer, and following our example with the VSM Server host having a hostname of
tl.example.com, the URL would be:
http://tl.example.com:631/printers/nearest
For the local printer, the URL would instead be:
http://tl.example.com:631/printers/thinlocal
Note: Use the hostname of the VSM Server host. The thinlocal backend on the VSM Server host will
then reroute the thinlocal job to the appropriate VSM Agent host.
Use a generic PostScript printer driver for both the nearest and the thinlocal queues. We recommend the
driver "Generic/MS Publisher Imagesetter", which is included in modern Windows versions.
Define all other printer queues using the same method. Either print via CUPS on the VSM Server host, or
use an existing printer server if available.
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Appendix D. Configuring CUPS queues on Windows Terminal Servers
210
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