2016-02-17

Graphical Terminals


Every now and again I'm asked to give someone a way to connect to a Windows application server. Usually this is for a visitor but I have one or two other users who find it convenient to have a terminal for this on their desk so that they don't have to break out a laptop and wait for that to boot. We have a shelf full of old desktop PCs that were retired when Windows XP was killed off. Here's what I do:-

  1. Install NetBSD/i386 6.1.5
  2. Install rdesktop, an excellent remote desktop client.
  3. Create a user called "termuser".
  4. add the following to termuser's .profile:-
    startx
    clear
    exit
  5. create a .xinitrc file for termuser:-
    rdesktop -fd MYDOMAIN servername

Things to do: have the terminal authenticate against Active Directory or LDAP and then pass those credentials through to the application server, so the user only sees one login screen.

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