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Running multiple fullscreen desktops/applications

Solution

At present, TLXOS is designed to run a single fullscreen application (or desktop) only.  While it is in most cases technically possible to escape from fullscreen mode and launch another session (e.g. using <Ctrl><F2> in HDX mode, <Ctrl><Alt><Enter> in RDP mode, <Shift><F11> in Spice mode, <Ctrl><Alt><Shift>f in VNC mode, or <Ctrl><Shift> in X11 mode), TLXOS has no taskbar and will therefore not display "iconified" applications - you must use <Ctrl><Tab> to shift between applications.  TLXOS only has a window manager (xfwm4), it does not have anything like a full XFCE desktop environment, let alone anything resembling GNOME or KDE.

N.B. The nature of the Raspberry Pi's H.264 hardware acceleration overlay is such that the usual drop down toolbar / menu bar in Citrix Workspace App (HDX mode) and VMware Horizon Client (Horizon Mode) cannot be used. While Workspace App still has the <Ctrl><F2> hotkey, Horizon Client has no equivalent, so there is currently no way to break out of a fullscreen Horizon session on the Raspberry Pi.  This is beyond ThinLinX's control.

Currently, if you want to launch an application of a different type than TLXOS' current mode, or launch a second instance of a client that doesn't have a built-in application browser, e.g. a second RDP session, the only way to do it is to start a local terminal window using the <Ctrl><Alt>t shortcut and then run one of the shell scripts in /usr/local/bin: dsi (Digital Signage), hdx, mplayer, nx, perf, rdp, spice, ssh, telnet, tn3270, userdef, vmview (Horizon), vnc, web, and x11.

In a future release, we will consider adding a "desktop" mode with a very limited menu, side panel and taskbar, to allow the TLXOS user to interactively launch client applications of their choice, including multiple concurrent sessions.  We do not intend to implement any kind of multi-protocol manager (e.g. Remmina or Virt-Viewer).

We are concerned that introducing any kind of interactive local desktop on TLXOS will result in user expectations that we cannot meet, and if we were to bow to user pressure to implement "missing" functionality, there would be a cascade effect that would rapidly erode TLXOS' principles of statelessness and simplicitly, and make it functionally indistinguishable from a conventional mainstream Linux desktop installation.  For example, if there is a local desktop, then users will want to customize icons; if users can customize icons, then they will want to know why their custom icons are missing when they log on to a different thin client; in order to add the shared NFS or CIFS home directory required to resolve that, the device has to know the operator's username and implement a logon of some sort; if there is a logon, administrators will want to use Kerberos to integrate this into their local Active Directory; this would require that each thin client be domain joined and change its machine account password every 30 days; and so forth.

Any "desktop mode" that we add in future would therefore need to remain extremely limited.

 

Related articles Missing drop-down toolbar in fullscreen desktop on Raspberry Pi
TLXOS keyboard shortcuts (when not in a fullscreen app)
How to auto-launch a Citrix/Horizon app/desktop only (no app browser)
How secure is TLXOS? / TLXOS design overview
Does TLXOS include a VNC server?
Article details
Article ID: 30
Category: Knowledgebase
Date added: 2019-06-01 22:32:14
Views: 75

 
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