Ubuntu Desktop in the Cloud, now working with Lucid

Just a few minutes ago, I noticed an update to the Desktop in the cloud blueprint on Launchpad.

It basically said that images available at http://uec-images.ubuntu.com/desktop/lucid/current now contain a NX server (neatx).

I did a quick test on EC2:

  • Create a new instance: ec2-run-instances ami-0a749663 –instance-type m1.large –region us-east-1 –key ${EC2_KEYPAIR_US_EAST_1}
  • Waited for it to start, watching with: ec2-describe-instances
  • Got the public IP and connected using ssh: ssh -i data/ec2/ec2-keypair.pem ubuntu@[some EC2 ip]
  • Created a new user with: sudo adduser test
  • Connected using a NX client (qtnx or the binary one)
  • Destroyed the test instance: ec2-terminate-instances

That was extremely easy and got me a working NX session showing a regular Ubuntu desktop. Thanks to everyone who made that happen !!

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8 Responses to Ubuntu Desktop in the Cloud, now working with Lucid

  1. Benjamin says:

    Hi,
    It seems age since i’d try to do something similar to that, without success, as most cloud provider didn’t support easy “suspend to disk” feature, and letting your desktop always-on would unnecessary raise the amazon bill. Could you share with us how you deal with this problem ?
    Now that VM can be booted from ESB volumes, maybe such thing is possible now ?
    Thanks

    • stgraber says:

      Interesting question.

      I actually don’t use the cloud for my own desktop in the cloud, I have a dedicated server doing that for a cost that’s probably lower than having a running instance all day long in the cloud.

      What I discussed a bit at UDS with different folks would be to use Ubuntu One or similar services to store all of the user /home (AFAIK it’s not possible yet as it doesn’t handle all of the POSIX standard) and the list of additional packages.

      That way you wouldn’t actually have to store the whole suspended image but only spawn a new image, login with your Ubuntu one account and it’ll let you access all of your data and install the packages you use.

      That said, having suspend-to-disk support in the cloud would be interesting as with NX you could suspend your NX session, then send the instance to suspend-to-disk and resume at a later time with all of your softwares still running.

  2. Anonymous says:

    How about using SPICE instead of NX?

    http://lwn.net/Articles/366102/

    It would be nice if you could add it to Debian too.

  3. bmullan says:

    I happened on this writeup and so I spun up one of the Lucid 64 bit AMI’s but those are server images w/out desktop so I installed ubuntu-desktop.

    Created a user acct then tried logging in with my Karmic NoMachine NX client and but it indicated no NX service.

    I’ll try the lucid 32bit ami to see if I get an nx server installed.

    In the meantime.. what you wrote up mentioned the server side was Neatx

    If it was… can you tell if works been done to complete some of the Neatx key features still reported on the .org site as not working such as audio, printing etc ?

    • stgraber says:

      Make sure you take the “desktop” images and not the “server” ones. If you look at the URL in the post, you can see a /desktop indicating that it’s a desktop image.

      The desktop image contains a regular ubuntu-desktop + neatx.

      As far as features are concerned for neatx, I consider it equivalent to freenx as printing, file sharing and sound aren’t working with freenx or the proprietary NX either.

      That’s because sound is still using ESD which is deprecated for a few years, so the NX client simply won’t work with sound, whatever the backend is. For printing and file sharing, that requires an unsecure (open) SAMBA server and port redirection with the side-effect of having everyone on the NX server being able to use your shares and printers.

      I haven’t spent too much time working on these features because I don’t have a high demand from my customers but fixing these would require quite a lot of work and getting the NoMachine folks to update their binary client as well.

      • brian says:

        Steve

        going to the Lucid URL

        I’ve checked the descriptions for all 6 AMI images
        The Descriptions for all 6 indicate either:

        Official image of 64-bit Ubuntu Lucid Lynx Server
        Official image of 32-bit Ubuntu Lucid Lynx Server

        I see no “Desktop” AMI’s posted yet (at least today at that URL) despite what the URL seems to imply.

        Regarding the NX features. I have recently tried x2go (its open source) as it is based on the NX transport GPL.

        x2go has windows, linux and Mac clients and within a couple weeks is to release a web-portal access.

        I’ve found that unlike NX and FreeNX… x2go supports printing and sound very well! Unlike NX and FreeNX x2go implemented default pulseaudio support.

        the x2go server side implements most of the useful NX features and some that NX doesn’t have.

        Anyway, EC2 Linux desktop servers accessed from an x2go client provides more or less the same performance as NoMachine NX client/server but has eliminated quite a few of
        the issues I was having trying to use NX’s nxserver -or- FreeNX.

        My concern with Neatx is that there are those key features that folks would need to even use it as a desktop that Neatx doesn’t have implemented/released yet.

  4. .I happened on this writeup and so I spun up one of the Lucid 64 bit AMI’s but those are server images w/out desktop so I installed ubuntu-desktop.

    Created a user acct then tried logging in with my Karmic NoMachine NX client and but it indicated no NX service.

    I’ll try the lucid 32bit ami to see if I get an nx server installed.

    In the meantime.. what you wrote up mentioned the server side was Neatx

    If it was… can you tell if works been done to complete some of the Neatx key features still reported on the .org site as not working such as audio, printing etc ?
    .
    thanks allot
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  5. those are server images w/out desktop so I installed ubuntu-desktop.

    Created a user acct then tried logging in with my Karmic NoMachine NX client and but it indicated no NX service.

    I’ll try the lucid 32bit ami to see if I get an nx server installed.

    In the meantime.. what you wrote up mentioned the server side was Neatx

    If it was… can you tell if works been done to complete some of the Neatx key features still reported on the .org site as not working such as audio, printing etc ?.

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