Running Windows and Linux apps on the same desktop with OVD

Set Up the Application Server

Before you set up the AS, make sure the application tarball has been copied under the SM, if you downloaded it manually.

Now on to the computer that will serve as the Linux AS. Just as with the SM, users on DEB-based distros will need to add the OVD repository [1] to the sources.list file before calling apt-get:

# apt-get install ulteo-ovd

Users on RPM-based distros need to fetch the AS RPM [4] before installing it with:

# yum install --nogpgcheck ovd-application-server-latest.rpm

On Debian-based systems, the configuration routine is called automatically; however, other users will need to start it with:

# aps-chroot-install

When you are asked for the location of the SM, you can refer to it by either its FQDN or its IP address. If the settings are correct, the AS will copy the applications from the tarball over at the SM. Once it is done, you should restart the OVD service with:

# /etc/init.d/ulteo-ovd restart

Finally, you will need to launch the web browser and head over to the web-based SM administration console. Here, click on the Unregistered servers list link, which should list your AS. Then click on the Register button, which registers the server. Now head over to the Servers tab and click on the Switch to Production button to bring this server online (Figure 3).

Installing with the DVD

Besides the individual binaries and source tarballs for the SM and AS, the Ulteo OVD project also makes available a 784MB DVD ISO image [5], which includes both the SM and the AS. The DVD removes the need for a lengthy download if you are on a slow Internet connection.

Also, you should use the DVD if you are new to Linux or if you don't have Linux running on the computers that will act as the SM and AS. The installer on the DVD will set up a customized Ubuntu Linux for you, along with both the application server and the session manager.

Only install the SM and AS on the same computer if you are servicing a small number of users. Although this configuration might be faster and more convenient, it has the effect of putting all your eggs in one basket. Because Ulteo OVD is designed to work with multiple application servers, even if one AS server fails, the users serviced by the other servers will not be affected. However, if one computer accommodates both the AS and the SM and it goes down, the entire network will come to a screeching standstill because OVD can't function without the SM.

Once you have finished installing the customized Ubuntu with the Ulteo OVD DVD, use ifconfig to find the IP address of the machine. Assuming the IP address is 192.168.2.101, your session manager will be at http://192.168.2.101/sessionmanager and the administration console will be at http://192.168.2.101/sessionmanager/admin.

That's all there's to it. (Didn't I mention the DVD is convenient?) Now head over to the admin console to bring the server into production.

Set Up the Windows Application Server

Serving fully functional Linux apps remotely via a web browser is pretty cool in itself. But add Windows apps to that mix, and the coolness factor goes up quite a few notches.

Currently, Ulteo OVD supports only Windows Server 2003, with support for Windows Server 2008 expected soon. When you prepare the Windows server, be sure to install and enable the Terminal Services component as well. Also, don't forget to check the User Right Assignment. This ensures that your users are allowed to log in through terminal services.

When your Windows Server is set up, download the Ulteo Windows agent [6] and double-click on it to install. Next you'll be prompted for the IP address or FQDN of this server, as well as the SM (Figure 4).

Terminal Services uses the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to stream Windows apps over the network. Like the Linux AS, the Windows AS needs a web server. The OVD Windows agent includes an embedded http server, which runs on port 8082.

The Windows agent is controlled through a configuration file that's under the installation directory (typically C:\Program Files\Ulteo\Open Virtual Desktop\ulteo-ovd.conf). If you move the SM or the Windows application server, you'll have to edit this file to reflect the change in the IP address.

Once you're done installing the Windows agent, head over to the SM admin console and bring the Windows server into production.

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