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back to article Citrix: Stream Office from Windows Server, not Windows 7

Citrix Systems is tweaking a bunch of tools that it has tailored for its XenDesktop desktop virtualization and XenApp application virtualization tools, and is using the opportunity to remind everyone that there is a perfectly legal – in the Microsoft-licensing sense of that word – way to stream Office applications down to end …

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Facepalm

VDI makes sense win8 makes sense win servers make sense. win7 makes no sense altho it is less chitty than its predecessors going back to win95.

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I thought adding 'Desktop Experience' made server sessions pretty much like Windows 7 desktops? It certainly enables Aero. Not that much of a trauma.

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Remains of the Gray

I'm rooting for OnLive, but have a vague undifferentiated sense that they will be forced into narrower legal channels. This will definitely happen once the T&Cs have been revised with them in mind.

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Linux

Use a proprietary desktop, expect proprietary solutions. I can run Open/Libre Office any place I please without consulting an attorney for nothing. All of this legal machinations just blows my mind. Why any one would put up with it, and make one of the world's richest white guys richer by doing so, is beyond me. You all must be barking mad.

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Linux

That's what I was thinking...

Having set up a system recently where multi-platform clients need remote access to a community-based digital archive. It's running X2Go, so windows, mac or linux clients get either a full virtual Free desktop - itself running as a VM under KVM - or can run individual applications remotely. This would not have been possible in the context had lawyer-compliance been the deciding issue, was pretty straight forward to do and secure enough as it uses ssh as the transport, which has plenty of tools, like fail2ban, to wrap some additional security if you feel the need.

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Re: That's what I was thinking...

Much as we'd like to try Linux, there are a number of products (roughly 200) that we use which are not supported on Linux. Has anyone any experience of getting Engineering and CAD packages working within a Linux VDM?

MicroStation, AutoCAD, Revit, ETABs, Fastrak, PDS, Oasys, etc.

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Re: That's what I was thinking...

"Has anyone any experience of getting Engineering and CAD packages working within a Linux VDM?"

Some, but probably very few, will run with wine.

However, as far as I know (and use) there is nothing in that old XP license you have that stops you turning it in to a VM to run such CAD stuff on a Linux desktop. I use some CAD software that way.

Keep web & email on the Linux host, and block (or at least seriously restrict) the XP VM from Internet access, and turn off USB autorun, etc. Then you don't have much to worry about for malware so can drop AV (or use Klam etc on the Linux host for sanitisation of stuff).

Then as the PC is replaced down the line, no re-install and driver issues for XP to keep it running on new hardware, just copy the VM. And as it drops from MS support in 2 years time you don't have much to worry about the lack of patches for malware (assuming its kept in a network sandbox).

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CAD VMs

Oh, but make sure you configure all software in the VM to use a "network drive" (at least not C: locations) for all of the important files. Then your VM's virtual disk is not storing your data, so that can be kept on the Linux host, or better still some RAID-based NAS that is backed up properly, etc.

VMware has an option to mount host folders as 'network drives' but it sucks (becomes disabled for no obvious reason, unable to cope with case sensitivity/unsensitivity), so if you can use a NAS with CIFS export, or run samba on the Linux host to do network drives properly.

Not sure about VirtualBox, etc, but they are probably similar.

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