Deploy a Full VM and Run Apache Guacamole (RDP Connection, Remote Desktop)

Table of Contents


In this guide, we deploy a full virtual machine (Ubuntu 20.04) on the Threefold Grid with IPv4. We install and run Apache Guacamole and access the VM with remote desktop connection by using xrdp.

The Apache Guacamole instance has a two-factor authorization to give further security to the deployment.

With Apache Guacamole, a user can access different deployments and command servers remotely, with desktop access.

This guide can be done on a Windows, MAC, or Linux computer. For more information on deploying a full VM and using SSH remote connection, read this SSH guide.

If you are new to the Threefold ecosystem and you want to deploy workloads on the Threefold Grid, read the Get Started section of the Threefold Manual.

Deploy a Full VM and Create a Root-Access User

  • Go to the Threefold Dashboard
  • Deploy a full VM (Ubuntu 20.04) with at least the minimum specs for a desktop environment
    • IPv4 Address
    • Minimum vcores: 2vcores
    • Minimum Gb of RAM: 4Gb
    • Minimum storage: 15Gb
  • After deployment, note the VM IPv4 address
  • Connect to the VM via SSH
    • ssh root@VM_IPv4_address
  • Once connected, create a new user with root access (for this guide we use "newuser")
    • adduser newuser
    • You should now see the new user directory
      • ls /home
    • Give sudo capacity to the new user
      • usermod -aG sudo newuser
    • Make the new user accessible by SSH
      • su - newuser
      • mkdir ~/.ssh
      • Add authorized public key in the file and save it
        • nano ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
  • Exit the VM and reconnect with the new user

SSH with Root-Access User, Install Prerequisites and Apache Guacamole

  • SSH into the VM
    • ssh newuser@VM_IPv4_address
  • Update and upgrade Ubuntu
    • sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y && sudo apt-get install software-properties-common -y
  • Download and run Apache Guacamole
    • wget -O
    • chmod +x
    • sudo ./

Access Apache Guacamole and Create Admin-Access User

  • On your local computer, open a browser and write the following URL with the proper IPv4 address
    • https://VM_IPv4_address:8080/guacamole
    • On Guacamole, enter the following for both the username and the password
      • guacadmin
    • Download the TOTP app on your Android or iOS
      • Scan the QR Code
      • Enter the code
      • Next time you log in
        • go to the TOTP app and enter the given code
  • Go to the Guacamole Settings
    • Users
      • Create a new user with all admin privileges
  • Log out of the session
  • Enter with the new admin user
  • Go to Settings
    • Users
      • Delete the default user
  • Apache Guacamole is now installed

Download the Desktop Environment and Run xrdp

  • Download a Ubuntu desktop environment on the VM

    • sudo apt install tasksel -y && sudo apt install lightdm -y 
      • Choose lightdm
    • Run tasksel and choose ubuntu desktop
      • sudo tasksel
  • Download and run xrdp

    • wget
    • unzip
    • bash

Create an RDP Connection and Access the Server Remotely

  • Create an RDP connection on Guacamole
    • Open Guacamole
      • http://VM_IPv4_address:8080/guacamole/
    • Go to Settings
      • Click on Connections
      • Click on New Connection
      • Write the following parameters
        • Name: Choose a name for the connection
        • Location: ROOT
        • Protocol: RDP
        • Network
          • Hostname: VM_IPv4_Address
          • Port: 3389
        • Authentication
          • Username: your root-access username (newuser)
          • Password: your root-access username password (newuser)
        • Security mode: Any
        • Ignore server certificate: Yes
        • Click Save
      • Go to the Apache Guacamole Home menu (top right button)
      • Click on the new connection
      • The remote desktop access is done

Feedback and Questions

If you have any questions, let us know by writing a post on the Threefold Forum.


Apache Guacamole for Secure Remote Access to your Computers,

MysticRyuujin's guac-install,

Last change: 2024-02-27