Oct 31

Dual screen Chromebox as a remote terminal to SaaS Virtual Machines.

Tag: chromeos,devops,enterprise,open source,saas,vdiSven Dowideit @ 5:09 pm

My work desktop runs almost nothing: all my applications are served by an in-house ‘cloud’ of servers and virtual servers that live downstairs.

The GUI applications – email, irc, skype, development environments all get persistently and transparently pushed to which-ever ‘display’ i’m using – on the sofa, I use my x61 tablet, at my desk, I was using a dual screen mac-mini that i detested, and now, I’m beginning to set up a ChromeBox series 5 to do the same thing.

(yes, in developer mode, and with the root file system made read-write)

There are some developer type setup-tweaks I’ve had to make – most notably to edit the /etc/X11/xorg.conf to increase the Virtual desktop size to accommodate the second screen.

Section "Screen"
    Identifier "DefaultScreen"
    Monitor    "DefaultMonitor"
    Device     "DefaultDevice"
    #ADDED by Sven for three headed chromeos
    SubSection "Display"
        Virtual 6000 2000
    EndSubSection
EndSection

and then I have a simple script to use xrandr and then ssh to X-Forward my 4 main xpra sessions to it.

chronos@localhost ~ $ more setup.sh #!/bin/sh
#http://cr-48.wikispaces.com/Disable+Power+Management
sudo initctl stop powerm
xrandr --output HDMI2 --right-of HDMI1 --rotate left ssh -Y sven@quiet ./attach_dev.sh

where attach_dev.sh looks like:

sven@quiet:~$ more attach_dev.sh 
#!/bin/sh

xpra attach :10 &
xpra attach :11 &
xpra attach :12 &
xpra attach :13 &

xfwm4

yup, I run a second X11 Window manager to allow me to re-position the applications that are X-Forwarded.

using xfwm4 means that I can roll up and down the chromeos browser windows – which are separate from the other X apps, and I can move the mouse to the other screen via a tiny hole in the chromeos windowmanager – there’s a gap down where the chromeos toolbar is.

this is really after only a few hours playing, so I’m sure there are many improvements that can be made.

 

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