Author Topic: Ubuntu server + Windows terminal server, on the same machine  (Read 1941 times)

Pinako

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Ubuntu server + Windows terminal server, on the same machine
« on: August 10, 2011, 09:29:16 AM »
I just replaced my 5 year old server with a new rig, and it's been serving up Apache+MySQL+OpenVPN+Samba nicely on Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid/LTS). Now, all the other machines in my office run various flavors of Windows (XP, Vista, 7), and malware control is somewhat frustrating even though the users are all very careful. Therefore, I figured I'd serve some mission-critical Windows software over the network, in case something breaks.

Wait... Windows applications on a Linux server? That's a job for Wine+SSH, right? Well... I'm shooting for a more seamless experience. Hello, VPS ;)

The goal is to have a Windows 7 terminal server on KVM, tweaked to allow concurrent sessions. RemoteApp will be used to serve independent application windows instead of the whole desktop. With some work, one could also use Linux clients, but this particular use case does not apply to me.

I've tried this with Virtualbox, but I've never seriously tried KVM. Windows is currently updating; fingers crossed :P

Brad

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Re: Ubuntu server + Windows terminal server, on the same machine
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2011, 01:20:55 PM »
Should have no problems with this. We deploy a lot of our mission critical apps (ok, just the ones we cant push out via windows deployment services, too lazy to install on all the 600 PCs) this way. Just make sure your target machine has enough memory and you should be good to go!

I always used Srv2008 R2 for this however, so I'd be interested for your results with Win 7.
Regards, Brad

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Pinako

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Re: Ubuntu server + Windows terminal server, on the same machine
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2011, 02:15:45 PM »
Well what do you know... I wimped out and went back to VirtualBox. I was actually able to get it all working with KVM, and even got it to save snapshots (so I don't have to boot Windows from scratch every time), but I could never get it to restore the snapshots. D'oh!

I know Microsoft really wants you to use Windows Server 2008 for this, but Windows 7 Enterprise/Ultimate works just as well (excepting concurrent sessions involving the same account, but there's a registry fix for that). Windows 7 Professional's RDP service does not support RemoteApp.

It works! As a side effect, it's now really easy for me to get seamless-looking Windows apps on a Linux desktop. I've allocated 1 GiB of RAM for this, but it's only serving a handful of clients :3

Brad

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Re: Ubuntu server + Windows terminal server, on the same machine
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2011, 03:42:14 PM »
1GiB should be plentiful, from experience even with Srv2k8 there is a boatload of useless services etc you can disable on the Terminal Server in order to free up RAM.. I have no doubt Windws 7 will have even more. Have a play around, you should be able to get a really speedy piece of kit with some tweaking!
Regards, Brad

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Pinako

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Re: Ubuntu server + Windows terminal server, on the same machine
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2011, 11:53:00 PM »
The thing idles at around 400~500 MiB, so there's no problem. The 3.30 GHz core gets spun up once in a while when someone starts an app and, in the case of something simple such as IE9, settles at around 1%-5% utilization. The fun part is that it's pretty speedy even over the Internet, consuming some 90 kbps (gzipped, of course). It's almost impossible to browse MSN, though, because the homepage redraws so often. Even though it just zips along over the local network, I still changed the homepage to Google to save some resources :-X