Connecting to a Linux Virtual Desktop

This document will take you through the process of connecting to a Linux virtual desktop and instruct you on how to:

Install a virtual server

To connect to a Linux virtual desktop, you will need to first install a virtual server with a desktop environment. The options available to you are:

  • Centos 6 Desktop
  • Debian 7 Desktop
  • Fedora 20 Desktop
  • Scientific Linux 6 Desktop
  • Ubuntu 14 Desktop

Order one of these virtual servers through your control panel. It will generally take 15 minutes to install the server and have it appear (see screen 1).

Control Panel
(Screen 1)

Install X2Go Client

  1. Download X2Go Client, a server-based computing environment that allows you to access your desktop using another computer, at The client is free and there are versions available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
  2. Once you’ve clicked on the link above, select either ‘mswin’ or ‘macosx’ from the ‘Download’ options underneath X2Go Client and run the installation. (see screen 2).
    X2Go Client
    (Screen 2)

    You might see a Windows firewall pop-up when you run the installation so please click ‘allow’ to let X2Go go through the local firewall and continue the installation.

Connect to your Linux virtual desktop

  1. Log into your Simply Cloud control panel to get the IP address and root password of your virtual server. Click on the Linux server you have purchased (see screen 3).
    Linux Virtual Desktop
    (Screen 3)
  2. The root password can be found within the “Overview” tab (see screen 4) and the IP address can be found in the “IP Addresses” tab (see screen 5).
    Overview tab
    (Screen 4)

    IP addresses tab
    (Screen 5)
  3. Open the X2Go Client and click ‘Sessions’ in the top left corner. Then select ‘New’ and enter the following information:

    Session name: This can be anything you like
    Host: Enter the IP address of your virtual server
    Login: Enter the word ‘root’ (all lower case and no quotation marks)
    Session type: Select one of the following based on your desktop environment:

    • Gnome: If you use Centos 6 Desktop or Scientific Linux 6 Desktop
    • xfce: If you use Debian 7, Fedora 20 Desktop or Ubuntu 14 Desktop
  4. Leave the other settings as they are and click ‘Ok’ (see screen 6).
    X2Go sessions
    (Screen 6)
  5. You will be returned to the main X2Go window with your configured session on the right under the name you have given your session (‘My Simply Cloud VPS’ in this example). Click on the session listed (see screen 7).
    X2go listed session
    (Screen 7)
  6. Enter the root password and click ‘OK’ (see screen 8).
    Root password
    (Screen 7)
  7. An error message will appear about the host key verification since you haven’t connected to the server before. Click ‘Yes’ to accept the key (see screen 9).
    Error message
    (Screen 9)
  8. A new window will open showing the Linux desktop with a message stating you are connected as the root super user. Click ‘Close’ (see screen 10) and you will see a clean desktop.
    Overview tab
    (Screen 10)

Create a new Linux account

The Super User is a specialized account that is not designed to run normal user sessions. Actions performed under the account can cause unrecoverable damage and a loss of data. While not required, we highly recommend creating a new account and reconnecting using it to safeguard your information and operating system.

Setting up a new account will vary based on the operating system you are using. The screens below are for Centos or Scientific using Gnome.

  1. Click ‘System’ from the top main menu and select ‘Administration’ from the pull-down menu. Choose ‘Users and Groups’ (see screen 11).
    (Screen 11)
  2. Then select ‘Add User’ and enter the details in the pop-up box. Click ‘Ok’ (see screen 12).
    Add user
    (Screen 12)
  3. Logout by clicking ‘Root’ in the top right corner and selecting ‘Quit.’ Then reconnect by opening the X2Go application and logging in as the new user.

Follow these steps for operating systems using xfce (Debian, Fedora or Ubuntu):

  1. Applications menu > Accessories > Terminal
  2. Use the command ‘adduser’ followed by the user name you want to create. Follow the prompts for additional information. You can then logout with Applications menu > Logout and then reconnect as the new user.

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