Research Infrastructure

Linux x2goclient Setup Guide

This guide explains how to configure the x2goclient on your Linux desktop to set up a connection to our X2GO remote desktop servers.

Please click on the images below to enlarge them.

Current servers

You should now connect to either of the following identical servers.

  • nyx5.itservices.manchester.ac.uk New in Feb 2019 (please accept new key during setup).
  • nyx6.itservices.manchester.ac.uk New in Nov 2018.
  • nyx7.itservices.manchester.ac.uk New in Nov 2018.

The servers nyx5, nyx6 and nyx7 are identical (and have a fast connection to the iCSF). They both use the MATE desktop environment (instead of GNOME) and so you will need to reconfigure your nyx3 session if you already have one saved. See below for how to set up a session.

If you are using nyx2, nyx3 or nyx4 then you should delete that session and create a new session to connect to nyx5, nyx6 or nyx7.

Since November 2019 the University has been protecting remote access services with Global Protect and Duo 2FA. This has now been extended to include the ‘nyx’ X2GO gateways. Therefore from October 2020 you must now be logged in to the University VPN (GlobalProtect) to access these services from off-campus.

If on-campus and NOT connected to the University VPN (GlobalProtect) you will have to authenticate using your UoM 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) device e.g. Duo Mobile app or Duo fob, you must also make sure you are using at least version 4.1.1.1 of the x2go client. (See Start an X2GO session for more information)

Install and configure X2GO Client for your PC

  • Please download the appropriate X2GO client (you only need the x2goclient, not the full installation package) for your operating system. There are repositories for Ubuntu, Debian and Redhat (Mac and Windows downloads are also there).
  • Install the X2GO client as per the instructions on the download page. Accept all of the default options.
  • At the end of the install run the X2GO client from the command-line using:
    x2goclient

    You should get an X2GO Session Preferences window ready to set up a new connection to the Virtual Desktop Service (please click on the images to enlarge them). You can connect to nyx5.itservices.manchester.ac.uk and also nyx6 or nyx7(they are identical).

    Note that if you have already set up a connection and wish to edit the settings, please see the image below for how to edit an existing session.

    New nyx5 or nyx6 or nyx7 session setup

    Give the session a name — e.g., nyx5 linux desktop (or nyx6 linux desktop or nyx7 linux desktop)

  • Set the host to be one of the following:
    • nyx5.itservices.manchester.ac.uk OR
    • nyx6.itservices.manchester.ac.uk OR
    • nyx7.itservices.manchester.ac.uk
  • Set the login to be your central University username.
  • Set the Session type to be MATE for use with nyx5 or nyx6 or nyx7.
    • If not visible in your menu choose custom from the menu and set the command to be /usr/bin/mate-session)
  • DO NOT select OK just yet. DO select the Connection tab.

    • NB: If you do press Return or select OK then you can re-open the session preferences editor by selecting Session preferences... from the pull-down menu (small arrow) in the session box:
      Edit existing session settings

    New connection speed

    Change the slider to match your connection speed. If working at home keep it on ADSL. If using the linux desktop to access the GPUs in the iCSF then increase the speed to get full interactive framerate for graphical applications.

  • DO NOT select OK just yet. DO select the Settings or Input/Output tab.
    New connection display size

    • Adjust the size of the virtual desktop you require. This is just the initial window size. The virtual desktop window can be resized later by dragging the window borders, just like any other window.
    • Allowing X2GO to automatically choose the keyboard settings is usually the best option. If it can’t detect your keyboard settings then keys may behave incorrectly (e.g., cursor keys don’t work or some characters such as @ and ” are the wrong way round.) In this case, choose Configure Keyboard and change the Keyboard settings to match your own hardware. Note that for British English keyboards specify gb (rather than uk). Try using pc105 for the model and gb for the layout. Variant is usually left blank.
    • Disabling sounds support and printing will increase performance, but this is optional.
  • Hit OK to finish setting up your connection. Proceed with the steps below. You don’t need to exit x2goclient.

Start an X2GO session

  • If you’ve not already got the X2GO client running then use the following command on your linux machine:
    x2goclient
  • You’ll now see your session created earlier in the main X2GO session list window
    X2go client main window
    From the list select the session name you gave it (e.g. nyx5 linux desktop)
  • Enter your central University password when asked and select OK.
    Log in to nyx5 or nyx6 or nyx7 server

    Off-campus

    If logging in from off-campus you will first need to be connected to the University VPN (GlobalProtect) – You may already connect to the University VPN in order to access your email.

    • University managed laptops already have the GlobalProtect software installed. You can also download it and run it on your home PC/laptop.
    • If not already installed, please install the IT Services VPN Software (GlobalProtect) on your home PC/laptop.
    • This facility is provided by IT Services (not Research IT). Requests for help with the VPN and/or GlobalProtect should be made to via the Support Portal.

    On-Campus

    If on-campus and not connected to the University VPN you will need to authenticate using your 2FA device.

  • If you use the Duo mobile app as your 2FA device, Enter ‘1’ in the text box and press enter (text input will appear as a dot/s). Once the push notification has been received via the Duo mobile app ‘Approve’ the request in order to log on.
    x2go 2FA step
  • If you use a Duo fob as your 2FA device, generate a passcode with the fob, type the passcode into the text box and press Enter (text input will appear as a dot/s).
    x2go 2FA fob step
  • If connecting for the first time you will be asked to accept the nyx5 or nyx6 or nyx7 host key.
    Accept new host key
    It is safe to do so – select Yes.

    • If connecting to nyx5 using a session saved prior to the February 2019 upgrade you will be warned the host key has changed:
      New host key warning
      You should select No because we want to proceed!
    • You will now be asked to accept the new nyx5 host key:
      Accept new host key
      It is safe to select Yes to accept the new nyx5 host key.
  • A new window should open giving you a linux desktop on nyx5 or nyx6 or nyx7.
    Nyx5 MATE desktop
  • To open a terminal window on the desktop, from which you can log in to, select from the Applications / System Tools / MATE Terminal menu
    MATE terminal
  • That’s it! You are now logged in to the Virtual Desktop Service.
  • To log in to the CSF, run the following command in the MATE terminal window:
    ssh csf3
    (enter usual IT password when asked)
    

    To log in to the iCSF (incline), run one of the following commands in the MATE terminal window:

    ssh incline256
    (enter usual IT password when asked)
    
    # Can access other iCSF nodes using:
    ssh incline2000
    ssh incline
    
  • See the example usage guide for more on how to log in to systems such as the CSF and iCSF from here. The Logging in and Out section describes the two options available when you want to end your session on the virtual desktop (the difference between suspending your session and terminating your session).

Last modified on October 12, 2020 at 8:22 am by George Leaver