Citrix XenApp – Present Linux Applications
Why stop at virtualising your Microsoft applications and expand it to Linux?
That’s what I asked myself before working out how to present Linux applications (in particular Kali Linux tools), I couldn’t find any guidance on the interwebz about it and certainly didn’t see any write ups from Citrix themselves so I thought I’d just give it a go and see how far I’d get.
- Working Citrix XenApp farm (mine is 6.5 and I’d assume newer versions would work)
- A working Linux server with a desktop installed, the application you wish to publish installed and OpenSSH installed, listening on port 22 and allowing users to log in.
- Putty.exe placed on the Citrix XenApp App server in a publicly accessible place
XMing is a free X window server for Microsoft Windows. It allows one to use Linux graphical applications remotely. We will utilise this application in the Citrix XenApp environment to open applications on the remote Linux server.
1. Install Xming on Citrix XenApp application server from https://sourceforge.net/projects/xming/
2. Publish Xming as any usual application and assign it to all users that will require running Linux apps on Citrix XenApp
3. Create a plain text file in a publicly accessible place, name it the application name with a .txt format and in the file put the command to run that application.
3. Create a new published application in Citrix and name it the name of the Linux application
4. Type is “Application” and “Accessed From Server”
5. Point to your putty.exe and add the following: “-l %username% -pw %password% -X -m %pathtotextfile%”
D:\Programs\Putty\putty.exe -l root -pw changeme! 10.65.10.43 -X -m d:\Programs\Putty\iceweasel.txt
So what Putty does is log into the Linux server with the credentials specified and allows X Windows passthrough and runs the command based in the text file – super simple 🙂
The rest of the application settings are how you would normally publish applications.
1. Run Xming, select “Multiple Windows”, “Start No Client”, don’t change additional settings, Finish (or next, next, next, finish) AKA don’t touch anything and do defaults!!
When that is running there will be a Xming icon that appears in your taskbar
2. Launch the published application (a Putty window will appear, do not close this until you have finished with the application).
This is an excellent way to bridge the gap between users running Microsoft Windows and running open source applications.
As always, happy to answer questions and comments below.