Providing Windows and Linux applications with Ulteo Open Virtual Desktop


To set up a simplified test environment for OVD, admins can use the aforementioned Subsystem, a special package that includes a Linux application server and a file server. Together with the Session Manager and the web portal, the Subsystem can be installed on a single server. The test team chose Ubuntu 4.12 Linux (Precise Pangolin) for the test setup described below. Alternatively, Ulteo is available as a preconfigured virtual appliance. For more information on the OVD Virtual Appliance, see the "Out of the Box: Ulteo OVD Virtual Appliance" box.

Out of the Box: Ulteo OVD Virtual Appliance

The OVD Virtual Appliance is ideal for a quick test of Ulteo OVD. It is based on Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid) and contains the Community Edition of OVD. The virtual appliance can thus also be used as a permanent fixture in small environments. The VM in Open Virtualization Appliance format (.ova) is available online [5] and can be commissioned on VMware (ESX/Workstation/Player) or VirtualBox within a few minutes. The setup is described in detail in the documentation [6].

After starting the VM, the IP address of the appliance is displayed on the console; you can immediately connect with the admin front end on http://<IP_address>/ova/admin with a username and password of admin. If needed, you can log in at the console with a username and password of ulteo; among other things, this gives you the option of entering a static IP address and opening a root shell. You can then use the root shell to add the Premium Repository configuration:

deb \
  lucid main

Now type

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install \

and you will have the Premium Edition up and running in a few minutes. Before installation, you need to switch to maintenance mode the installed Comunity Edition via the admin console; the installation fails otherwise.

For access to all the features and to access applications with native clients, I installed the Premium Edition. A subscription key is required [7]; you can quickly request a key for 45 days and a maximum of 10 users, but you will need to reveal some personal data. The key then pops into your Inbox within a few minutes.

If you prefer to work with the free Community Edition, simply install the ulteo-ovd-session-manager package instead of the ulteo-ovd-session-manager-premium package.

Ulteo OVD is based on the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP). The Session Manager comes with Apache and PHP, so you only need to install MySQL in advance. The easiest way to install the Ulteo packages is to add the Ulteo repository on your system. To do this, launch your preferred editor and create the file /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ulteo_ovd.list (root privileges are required); then, add the following line to the file:

deb precise main

Now save the file and update by running:

sudo apt-get update

You can fix the GPG error that is then reported by installing the appropriate keyring package:

sudo apt-get install ulteo-keyring

Then, you need to update again as before.

To install MySQL, type:

sudo apt-get install **mysql-server

During the MySQL server installation process, you are prompted for the MySQL root user password, which you need after the install to create the database for OVD. Type the following:

mysql -u root -p -e 'create database ovd'

Now only the Ulteo packages are missing; you can install them as follows:

sudo apt-get install ulteo-ovd-session-manager-premium \
  ulteo-ovd-administration-console ulteo-ovd-guacamole

The installer prompts you for a password for the admin user to configure the Session Manager IP address or the fully qualified domain name (FQDN). For the test scenario, you can use as the default IP address. The same applies to the download URL for the Subsystem referred to earlier.

Alternatively (e.g., if the OVD server does not have Internet access), you can install the Subsystem archive manually. For a how-to, check out the detailed documentation [8]. Select the "Installing …" document appropriate to your Linux distribution (e.g., "Installing OVD 4 on Debian Wheezy").

This completes the installation; the next step is to configure the session manager and set up the Subsystem.

Setting Up the Session Manager and Subsystem

Before you install the subsystem, you will first need to configure the connection from the Session Manager to the database. To do this, call the Session Manager admin page in the browser by typing https://<server_IP_mac_address>/OVD/admin/ and log in with the previously assigned credentials for the admin user.

Next, fill in the fields for database access on the page that comes up with Configuration | Database Settings, as in Table 1, and save the changes.

Table 1

Database Settings



Database type


Database host address

Database username


Database password


Database name


Table prefix


If you installed the Premium Edition, now upload the subscription key to the Configuration | Subscription Keys page to unlock all the features. Ulteo has difficulties with the latest Ubuntu kernel, so you need to perform a kernel downgrade before using the subsystem.

To do this, first install the appropriate kernel:

sudo apt-get install linux-image-3.2.0-60-virtual \

Then show all the installed kernels

dpkg -l grep linux-image

and delete any kernels with a version number higher than; for example:

sudo apt-get remove --purge linux-image-3.8.0*

After a final reboot, the new kernel is enabled.

Installing the Subsystem

The Ulteo subsystem contains a Linux application server and a file server, which are fine for testing purposes. For a production system, you would instead load the ulteo-ovd-slaveserver-role-aps package from the Ulteo repository for use on a dedicated Linux server. Install the subsystem, using the command

sudo apt-get install ulteo-ovd-subsystem

on the Session Manager host. To configure the subsystem, you only need the Session Manager's IP address. Because I am installing the subsystem on the same host, I again use After completing the configuration, restart the subsystem. The following command does the trick:

sudo /etc/init.d/ulteo-ovd-subsystem restart

Log in again as admin in the Session Manager and access the Servers | Unregistered servers page. Clicking on the Register button adds the subsystem to your pool of application and file servers. Now access the Subsystem settings for the server by clicking on its name. In Display name, enter a name for the server (e.g., Ulteo subsystem).

The subsystem is running on the same host as the session manager, so you again need 127. 0.0.1 as the Internal name (fqdn). The next field, Redirection name for this server, identifies the application server on the network. It is therefore important that the redirection name can be resolved on the network.

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