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Old 04-26-2012, 05:36 PM   #1
Registered: Jan 2006
Location: France
Distribution: Debian Wheezy, Webmin + Virtualmin (remote dedi)
Posts: 214

Rep: Reputation: 30
Smile Installing a linux-distro remote desktop on an already remote debian server... errr?

Hello everyone, my question may perhaps NOT belong to the newbie section, but I really, really didn't know where to ask it.

I'll start with a LONG description, sorry but I prefer to write too much rather than not enough

Here's my situation : at the moment, I have a dedicated server for my websites and the websites of my parents to whom I'm providing hosting. The dedi isn't hosted at my home but at OVH, a good French host.
The dedi is running with Debian Squeeze, with Webmin + Virtualmin as a control panel, which gives me 3 ways to access my server : web-based with virtualmin, shell-based with SSH and Filezilla-based ( ) for SFTP.
I don't think the server has graphical utilities/modules/whatever_you_name_it installed, it is solely targeted at web serving.

However, I would need to be able to use my dedi as a remote desktop, not as a web-based control panel, but as a fully graphical mode distro, as if I had Mint/Debian/Mandriva/Whatever installed on my own computer. And in that distro, I could freely use a web browser, to click here and there, and do stuff, basically, as if it was on my own home computer.

I'll spare you the details, but I want to make use of my dedi's monstruous power, RAM and bandwidth compared to my poor own home PC (my dedi is doing respectively, approximatively, 4 times better, 8 times better and 100 times better _ ). For tasks that are impossible to do through SSH, that require a graphical mode distro.
The distro that would run as remote desktop has no importance, this is not for elite stuff.

I have no experience with remote desktops, and the few guides I found were quite the elitist type, or else were dealing with "how to install a windows remote desktop" or "how to install a linux remote desktop on a linux server". Is it so wrong to want to install a linux remote desktop (graphical mode FTW !) on a linux server ?! O_o

After all, the way I see it, all it has to require is to install a virtual machine software, set that software up so that it accepts external connexions (from my home computer), and then install a linux distro on that virtual machine, isn't it the way to proceed ? O_o

Or am I missing something supposed to be obvious ?
Perhaps, if my server is already running Debian, it's recommended to activate its graphical mode easily, something like that ?

In this latter situation, I DEFINITELY want to avoid it, actually, and keep things separated,
. my current debian + webmin + virtualmin for web serving, and web serving alone
. my remote desktop for very occasional stuff, and even if I screw up the remote desktop system, this won't affect the dedi's real distro, debian and all of its settings


Sorry for the very long introduction

Please, in my current situation, do you think there is a guide that you could recommend me, to set it all up ?

Or would there be a flaw in my project, something of which I would be oblivious ?

Thank you VERY MUCH if you can help ! I'll be grateful, as always

Last edited by Sabinou; 04-26-2012 at 06:30 PM. Reason: mention that there are no graphical utilities/drivers
Old 04-26-2012, 06:18 PM   #2
Registered: Jun 2005
Location: Kentucky
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 794

Rep: Reputation: 56
You can forward X over SSH with the -x argument. So for example, you would log in with SSH like normal using:

ssh -X hostname
After you log in, you can then launch graphical applications and they will appear as windows on your computer. This is assuming the computer you are remoting in with is also running Linux of some kind, and that the server even has graphical utilities installed.

The responsiveness of those windows depends on the quality of your internet connection, and would not be suitable for doing things like watching movies or playing games, but I use it to help me run graphical utilities that make life easier.
Old 04-26-2012, 06:29 PM   #3
Registered: Jan 2006
Location: France
Distribution: Debian Wheezy, Webmin + Virtualmin (remote dedi)
Posts: 214

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 30
Thanks for the fast reply, Dudeman !

Then I'll have to edit my post, I didn't even think of it. I'm running MS Windows on my computer, but I can open a virtual machine with a linux distro inside.

However, my remote server, Debian, doesn't have graphical utilities installed, it is solely dedicated to web serving. I'm not sure if adding graphical modules won't harm its web performance, something to which I'd be highly reluctant (I'd prefer a virtual machine that I could stop when I'm done, something like that...)


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