I remember the time when I received my first computer in the 1980’s. It was an IBM 30/286 computer with a 20 MB HDD, and a 3.5” Floppy drive. The OS was DOS, and my first game was Space Quest. It was a beginning of an incredible journey, and I still remember the learning process I went through using the command line. I believe learning from a CLI first helped me greatly in my computer skills and not being afraid to dig deeper. My introduction to DOS is more than likely why I enjoy working with Linux and Cisco using the CLI on both platforms. Now I do like using the GUI for certain things, however if I can use the CLI for a task, I always lean that way.

This brings me to the end of 2015, when I decided it was time to get my son who will be seven very soon, a computer in which he could experiment with. Instead of going with DOS or Windows I wanted him to use Linux for his first computer experience. I’m also teaching him how to use the CLI so he won’t be dependent on a GUI as many these days are.

What I had available was a WYSE thin client, which in itself didn’t have the specs to just install Linux on as the memory available was pretty low. It did however have a RDP client built in and I could tell the client to auto connect to an IP and remote into a virtual Linux box. As I am working with CentOS recently I decided to build him a Virtual machine on CentOS that he could use himself. There was one thing I needed to resolve first, and that was getting CentOS to be able to accept Windows RDP sessions.

Not knowing exactly how to go about this task I turned to Google and came across an article describing the steps needed to download, install, and configure xRDP on CentOS 7. Once this is completed the WYSE terminal was able to remote into the VM of CentOS and he was able to begin using his new computer. Following are the required steps to install xRDP on CentOS and like Linux distros.

As you would expect, you’ll need to first issue the su command to elevate your privileges during the process. The prompt will change from the $ sign to the # sign to show you are ready to go ahead.

  1. Install EPEL and nux Desktop repository rpms.

  1. Issue the  following command to install xrdp

  1. Once it is installed, let us start the xrdp service.

  1. xRDP will listen on 3389, let us confirm this by issuing following command.

  1. By default, services will not auto start after a system reboot. Issue the following command to enable the service at system start-up.

  1. Next is to create an iptables rule to allow RDP connection from the external machines, the following command will add the exception for RDP port (3389)

  1. Configure SELinux

  1. Now take RDP from any windows machine using Remote Desktop Connection, enter the IP address of Linux server in computer field and click on connect.

RDP into CentOS Session

  1. You will be asked to enter the username and password, you can either use root or any other user that you have on the system. Make sure you use module “sesman-Xvnc”.

Login to CentOS

  1. If you click ok, you will see the processing. In short period of time you will get a desktop.

My son's desktop

  1. That’s all, you have successfully configured xRDP on CentOS 7 / RHEL 7.

He’s very happy with his computer, and has his own email account setup so he can send email’s to various family members. He explores the system, and is starting to learn how to use Linux. I hope that this will give him a head start in a life with Computers and have a leg up on others that only have experience with Windows and a GUI environment.

Seeing I am not an expert on Linux myself I would welcome any suggestions on this journey that both of us will be taking. I have learned a bit by just setting up various software packages for him to use, and I’m sure this will continue as we move forward.

4 Responses to “Linux for my son – How to install xRDP on CentOS”

  1. Abdelrahman Rashed says:

    I really doubt that you will reply to me however please take a look at this : http://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/274360/chcon-cant-apply-partial-context-to-unlabeled-file-usr-sbin-xrdp

  2. TriMontana says:

    Very helpful article. I had four accounts on my EC2 instance and one didn’t work but the others did. Thanks much.

  3. WHat do you do when you get a file neot found on the URL
    rpm -Uvh https://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/7/x86_64/e/epel-release-7-5.noarch.rpm


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