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Ask Slashdot: Open Source Remote Application Access? 113

First time accepted submitter taikedz writes "Citrix Xenapp with Receiver/Metaframe allows publishing individual applications installed on a Windows server to users on remote machines. These applications open in their own windows, along side others as if they were installed locally. I am looking to do the same at home, with free software, publishing applications from Mac, Linux, and Windows machines (and yes, I've verified the license agreements for the apps I am going to do this with!). Up until now, the only alternatives I have found are full-on remote desktop login, not seamlessly-integrated. Can you recommend any tools that can achieve the goal of remote individual application access across platforms for free or at low-cost?"
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Ask Slashdot: Open Source Remote Application Access?

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  • by aglider ( 2435074 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @01:08PM (#42727939) Homepage
    Read the friendly manual!
  • Two easy solutions (Score:5, Informative)

    by Burning1 ( 204959 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @01:14PM (#42728017) Homepage

    First, if you haven't already read up on Xwindows networking model, you really should. X natively supports what you're requesting, and has for decades. In most cases, it's as trivial as opening a ssh connection to the remote machine, using the -X flag. E.g. 'ssh -X remotehost'

    If you need to support Windows applications, you can use RDP in seamless mode. Newer RDP clients for windows support this natively, with a little configuration work. There is some support in the linux RDP client, but when I tried it about a year ago, it required a special helper application to work. Be aware that RDP is no where near as fast as Citrix.

    Finally, if you simply want Windows applications to seamlessly integrate with a linux desktop or visa versa, VMWare player/workstation supports a seamless virtualization mode. It would not surprise me if KVM or Xen have a comparable feature, but I haven't played with them on the desktop long enough to know.

  • rdesktop (Score:4, Informative)

    by doas777 ( 1138627 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @01:18PM (#42728087)
    Have you looked at these solutions? https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SeamlessVirtualization [ubuntu.com]
  • by julesh ( 229690 ) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @02:01PM (#42728765)

    google before you post OP. sweet fuck.

    To be fair on OP, it seems that at least some of the applications they want to run are running under Windows and/or Mac environments, for which this solution does not apply.

    Virtualizing a single application's windows from a remote machine is a non-trivial task that AFAIK hasn't been implemented in open source software for either of these platforms. The closest you'll get is by virtualizing the entire OS -- VirtualBox with Windows guests (and Windows only) can do this. You'd then have to run the virtualbox virtual machine process as an X client, and use X-over-SSH forwarding as described in many existing posts to get the windows to appear on the target machine. Performance will be poor (although my one experience of citrix suggests its performance was equally bad, so maybe you can tolerate that).

Friction is a drag.