Setup HP Proliant Microserver with Lubuntu & Remote Desktop (RDP)

I had had a few goes at installing Linux on my HP Proliant Microserver N40L fairly recently and thanks to a recent cockup involving an OS corruption, I’ve been presented with an opportunity to start from scratch again and document exactly what I want to do and why.

First, my rationale for purchasing the server.  Well aside from the fact that it only cost me in the region of £130 after cashback, I did actually believe I had uses for a low-powered, energy-efficient server, namely:

  • Sharing files across the home network (2-3 Windows laptops, 1 Windows PC and a couple of android mobile phones and an Android tablet)
  • Remote access to said files via SFTP
  • Streaming media to a PlayStation 3
  • Potential future ventures such as coding, developing/hosting websites, running a DNS server and other assorted geekery.

First thing’s first – get the OS installed!

After some experimenting I eventually settled on Lubuntu as my Linux distribution.  Fedora had refused to work with Wake on LAN and Lubuntu is a cut-down, light-weight variant of the Linux distribution I know best, Ubuntu, which replaces the rather ‘heavy’ GUI with something more light-weight – LXDE.
Installing Lubuntu itself is pretty straightforward, just download it from Lubuntu.net, use Live USB Creator to create a bootable SD (since the N40L has no optical drive) and run the installer.

Remote Working

Now since I don’t have a dedicated monitor for the server, the first thing I want to do is get it set up for Remote Desktop.  You obviously need some sort of RDP server like xrdp to do this.  Easy, either install it from the Synaptic Package Manager or hit up the terminal with:

sudo apt-get install xrdp

Now, this allowed me to connect to the server but when I try to login I get a message that just said “Error – problem connecting”.  Eventually I tried to connect from PuTTy and realised that I hadn’t installed an SSH (secure shell) server this time.

Connection Log <br />connecting to sesman ip 127.0.0.1 port 3350 <br />sesman connect ok <br />sending login info to sesman <br />xrdp_mm_process_login_resposne: login successful for displa[truncated] <br />started connecting <br />connecting to 127.0.0.1 5910 <br />tcp connected <br />error - problem connecting

Error received trying to connect to Lubuntu server from Remote Desktop Connection in Windows 7

At this point I wish I could tell you how I fixed the problem, but the  sad truth is I’ve no idea. I installed an SSH server (sudo apt-get install openssh-server) and this seemed to allow me to connect, but displayed a blank screen with an X-shaped cursor.  I resolved this by some editing the configuration XRDP uses to kick off a new session, but then when I uninstalled the SSH server everything still worked.

The answer to the desktop was to edit the file /etc/xrdp/startwm.sh – replacing the last line (a call to /etc/X11/Xsession) with:

exec /usr/bin/lxsession -s Lubuntu -e LXDE

Et viola le desktop.

Lubuntu Desktop through Remote Desktop Connection

Lubuntu’s LXDE window manager showing through Remote Desktop Connect.

Massive thanks to celem at UbuntuForums.

6 Responses to “Setup HP Proliant Microserver with Lubuntu & Remote Desktop (RDP)”

  1. » Adding DNS Server to Lubuntu 12.04 @ nerd. says:

    [...] Setup HP Proliant Microserver with Lubuntu & Remote Desktop (RDP) [...]

  2. » Lubuntu Update Manager Won’t Install Updates – Doesn’t Ask For Password @ nerd. says:

    [...] Setup HP Proliant Microserver with Lubuntu & Remote Desktop (RDP) [...]

  3. Ian says:

    Hello Steve,

    How would I open the startwm.sh file so that I can add the edited line you posted. When I open it through the File Manager, I keep getting a message saying “Cant open file to write”.. Any ideas?

    Thanks.

    Ian

  4. Ian says:

    Hi again,

    I got it, I couldn’t figure out how to open the file as the Root user, or however its said, but realized finally there is an option in the File Manager under tools, to open it as root. Thanks for putting this page up, I now have everything working, and all off of a 16GB thumb drive, that I can take to any PC, and have a server up and running in minutes.

    Cheers.

    Ian

  5. Ian says:

    Hey again, any idea as to why Synaptic Package manager would not work with this setup you have described. It wont open from the remote desktop for me.

  6. serveurs hp says:

    Great article. I will be dealing with some of these issues as well..

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