[winswitch] Xpra session cloning

Mark Knittel MarkK at mjkservices.net
Wed Mar 11 16:32:16 GMT 2020

Antoine: I wanted to let you know that the URL parameters you sent me worked perfectly.  We are now able to dynamically open/close single application sessions with a single user ID from a web page link. 

For what it's worth - it might help a lot of folks to document this on the Xpra Tracker site - it could be very useful to a lot of users. We now have the same functionality as NoMachine Terminal Server - which is very expensive. 


Mark Knittel

-----Original Message-----
From: Antoine Martin <antoine at nagafix.co.uk> 
Sent: Monday, March 9, 2020 11:29 PM
To: Mark Knittel <MarkK at mjkservices.net>; Xpra and Winswitch ML <shifter-users at lists.devloop.org.uk>
Subject: Re: [winswitch] Xpra session cloning

Please keep the list CCed.

On 10/03/2020 12:47, Mark Knittel wrote:
> ***
> It is Office 365. I can preface/finish my comments  with *** going forward. 
> I appreciate the response. I think we can easily do what you are suggesting. However, it would help to know what format to use to pass the connect strings to the xpra proxy server in a URL?. Is there some general format rules that we can follow? We're probably missing something simple, but we've started looking at the code, logs, etc. but not there yet. If not, we'll try modifying connect.html. 
The parameters you can specify on the connection URI are not documented, unfortunately.
But you can easily figure out what parameters are allowed by looking at the "connect.html" form: almost all form fields are allowed as URL attributes.

So in your case, something like this should work:

Connecting to a proxy started with:
xpra proxy --bind-tcp= --tcp-auth=allow


> Thanks,
> Mark Knittel
> 360-441-2126
> ***
> -----Original Message-----
> From: shifter-users <shifter-users-bounces at lists.devloop.org.uk> On 
> Behalf Of Antoine Martin via shifter-users
> Sent: Monday, March 9, 2020 5:00 AM
> To: shifter-users at lists.devloop.org.uk
> Subject: Re: [winswitch] Xpra session cloning
> On 01/03/2020 04:18, Mark Knittel via shifter-users wrote:
>> Antoine: thanks for your response below. I'll answer the question in-line.
> Your MUA (office365?) is making it really hard to see who said what in this thread.
>> Mark Knittel
>> 360-441-2126
>> On 15/02/2020 08:35, Mark Knittel via shifter-users wrote:
>>> Greetings. I am trying to use Xpra on a (local) Apache server to access single desktop applications via browser links on a webpage.
>>> I need to have multiple users use the same web page link to open a 
>>> new
>> version of the application, and then close the session when the 
>> window is closed by the user.
>> Start your servers with: --exit-with-client=yes
>>> That means that I need to prevent one user from taking over the
>> session from an existing user, and I need to make sure I don't end up 
>> with an excess of open/unused sessions that will consume RAM.
>>> Is there a realistic way to accomplish this with either:
>>> -          Connection strings in the xpra start commands?
>>> -          A script that is launched when the URL is clicked?
>> I don't think there are enough details to give you a clear answer.
>> How are your users identified? Is this done by apache authentication?
>> Do you have a straightforward mapping between apache users and unix users?
>> etc..
>> **** Let me add a little more background. We're attempting to user XPRA on an Apache/Linux system that is being used to serve educational content to schools in remote villages in eastern Africa. The server preloaded with content and is entirely offline - no internet connection, and all users/students connect via wireless devices (notebooks, tablets, phones) using a browser interface. We do not require/need user login, as there is no built in tracking, etc. So we don't have an easy way to identify individual users. We now need to connect users to individual desktop applications, but would like to keep things as simple as possible by continueing to use a browser interface, avoiding an user side XPRA, VNC, etc. client. Hence the reason for XPRA and HTML access. We are testing with the proxy server as well. The challenge we're having is knowing how to format a generic URL/link that will:
>> -   Start a server to access a specific application when clicked from a browser, and then
> You could just tweak the standard "connect.html" page and remove all the options you don't need, then instead of a free text input field for the "start command" you could replace it with a drop down menu with your custom list of applications.
> If you don't care about authentication, you could run all your sessions as a single unprivileged user.
> Just start the proxy and let each new connection start a new instance as needed.
>> -   Stop the server when the user closes the application tab in the browser.
> That's the exit-with-client option.
> You probably want exit-with-children too.
>> Any help you can provide would be appreciated.
> Sorry for the slow reply.
> Cheers,
> Antoine
>> Mark K
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