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Accessing Computer Science Linux Desktop using X2Go

Created 2015-08-28 by Hanz Makmur

 

X2Go is program that enable user to access full graphical interface of a Linux system remotely as if you are sitting in front of your computer. It is a new technology that is much faster and more responsive than the current XWindows session.

Please note X2Go is currently only available on limited machines and installed on all CS Centos 7 Linux System only.

Requirement

  • Make sure you have an account on the machine you want to login to. All CS users MUST create/activate his/her account before s/he can login. Account is not activated/created for you automatically regardless what you were told by your classmates, TAs or instructors.
  • To run X2Go, install a X2Go client software which runs on a WindowsOS, MacOS X and Linux. Please download and install the right X2Go client for your operating system and follow its installation note. 

​Note for MacOS X users:

  • If you are running MacOS X 10.8 or later, you will need to install XQuartz before installing X2Go client.
  • If you are running MacOS X 10.7 or prior, please install Apple supplied X11 (part of optional MacOS X install)
  • Please note that most recent version of X2Go client will not run on MacOSX 10.7 and prior version. You will need to download X2Go Client 3.99 instead.

Known Problems with X2Go

  • Install latest version of X2Go client if have issue. Recent operating system update on your machine may break older client.
  • Recommended Session type for CS machines are MATE and XFCE  
  • Despite many listed Session managers in X2Go clients, only MATE and  XFCE are recommended Windows Manager on CS system. 
  • X2Go does not work with GNome3 due to incompatibility and hardware dependency.
  • X2Go does not work with KDE5 due to incompatible plasmashell requiring GLX 1.3
  • Suspended X2Go session containing graphical operation will run much slower than non suspended mode.
  • X2Go Sound and local printing may be broken depending on your client version.
  • X2Go "Shared folder" may not work depending on your client.

     

Connecting to X2Go Server

When you first run X2Go client, a new session window like below opens. Enter proper info shown. 
Note: If you need a list of iLab machines and their status see https://report.cs.rutgers.edu/mrtg/ilab.html

Under Media disable Sound and Client side printing support as shown below. These features are not currently supported.

Once the OK button is click, you will be presented with the session windows as shown below. You can add or edit the session if you prefer by clicking the respective icon. 

To start a connection, click on the session and you will be presented with the login screen as shown below. Enter your NetID and Password and click OK to login.

If this is the first time you connect to this machine, a dialog box like below is presented asking if you want to to trust the host key. Click Yes to confirm.

If everything is good, another windows will open and show you XFCE session as if you are sitting in front of the machine. Make sure you logout of the session when you finish using it.

Possible Issues

  • if you failed to start a session on  X2GO, try to use XFCE window manager. There seems to be an intermittedn issue with MATE preventing users starting a session.
     
  • If you fail to login for the first time on X2Go, login using PuTTY, and  temporarily rename your .cshrc, .bash and/or .login to something else. It is possible something you set there interfere with the login process.
     
  •  Any problems with your X2Go session is recorded in .xsession-x2go-* file. Please be aware that if there are any issues with your session, this file will grow very quickly rendering you to go out of disk quota.
     
    If you are unable to login via X2Go, please go the iLab Hill 120, Hill 248 or Hill 252,  and login on any machine in the room. If you login remotely,  use PuTTY.  On login, a system check will be done and truncate these big x2go error files to restore your disk space.  Alternatively, you can try to login to a different iLab machines. All iLab machines are the same you can use any of them and your files will be there.
     
  •  X2Go needs space to create .x2go folder containing all specific x2go session. You can delete this folder to reset your x2go session any time in case you can't login on any machine.
     
  • Tab key does not work with XFCE
    This is a known issue with XFCE. See Xfce bug 10760. To fix it follow:
     1.Open the Xfce Application Menu > Settings > Window Manager
     2. Click on the Keyboard Tab
     3. Clear the Switch window for same application setting
     
  •  Some users experience character "p" and/or "Tab" do not work in X2GO with XFCE Session on some version of MacOSX.
    There are a few ways to fix this problem. 
  1.  edit ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-keyboard-shortcuts.xml and remove all entries containing 'super'.
  2. the 'p' key is lost when one shift focus from OSX to the x2go session. Tapping any modifier key (ctrl, option, command...) recovers it. 
  3. Use other session manager like XFCE instead of MATE.

As always, if you continue to have issues, please direct Questions and Problems to help@cs.rutgers.edu. Dont forget to include your NetID and name of machine you have problems with.  If you need to learn more about X2Go, see X2Go Website.