November 18, 2014

Accessing the GK Cloud Labs from Linux

Update: New posting here describing how to do it in 2016.

Last week I attended vSAN training in Stockholm. The requirements for attending this class was that you needed to bring your own laptop with RDP capabilities.
When attending the class I discovered that there were a few extra things into this requirement. According to the class manual it required you to install an ActiveX component in Internet Explorer in order to get this working.

As I'm a Linux user they did of course not provide any info on how to do it, but that's part of the game I guess. In case I couldn't figure things out I could always start a Windows VM from within VMware Workstation. They did however provide info for Apple Macintosh users. By reading through the Mac docs I found what was really going on behind the scenes. The RDP session required a proxy config and encryption.

The standard Ubuntu RDP client didn't provide support for an RDP proxy, but I found an alternate client, called FreeRDP that I installed by following this HowTo.

I could now the access the labs by using the info from the login info sheet we had been provided with the following command:
xfreerdp  / /d:gklabs /u:Wxxxx-Studentx-x /p:PassWord / /w:1920 /h:1080 -nego
The connection now worked perfectly, even though it spent some time setting up the initial connection. Looks like it was trying to verify the certificate, even with the -nego switch that is supposed to tell it to ignore the certificate. Well, it does in fact ignore it in the sense you're not warned about a self signed certificate, but it still waits for it to time out before starting the connection.

All in all the training was a great experience, giving a better insight into vSAN than the HOL lab.

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