[winswitch] server only?

Antoine Martin antoine at nagafix.co.uk
Fri May 22 03:32:15 BST 2020

On 22/05/2020 04:02, Thomas Esposito via shifter-users wrote:
> I have been using using my Windows 10 laptop as a client to connect to an
> xpra server running on a virtual desktop instance (VDI) of RHEL6 at work. I
> don't have root access on my VDI (company security policy) in order to
> install the xpra packages, but I was able to work around this by extracting
> ALL of the required rpms manually and updating my ENV accordingly to point
> to my "installation".
You may want to look into these projects that make it easier to manage
prefixed installations:

Whatever you do, make sure to set this environment variable to tell xpra
to only use paths within your prefixed installation:

> The company is very slow to upgrade to new versions of RHEL/CentOS because
> of EDA tool compatibility issues and a conservative "if it isn't broke,
> don't fix it" philosophy.
And rightly so. (though there are also security considerations with
running systems that don't receive updates..)

> Therefore, I anticipate being stuck on xpra
> version 1.x for a while. In the meantime, I imagine that there have been
> performance improvements and bug fixes in 2.x and beyond that are not being
> back-ported to 1.x.
Correct. There are many.

> It is possible that we MIGHT move to CentOS 7.3
> relatively soon, but even that has been YEARS in the making, and the latest
> version of xpra isn't supported on CentOS 7.3 anyway.
Even the 3.0.x branch requires 7.4 or later now.
Something broke on 7.3 builds a while back and I never bothered to fix
it, it should be fixable but you may not get all the features (IIRC: no

> As another workaround, I've been playing around with the idea of compiling
> xpra from the source. I do have a recent version of python installed
> (3.7.1), and have been able to install many of the dependencies by creating
> a virtual environment and installing packages with pip. However, the fact
> that RHEL3 does not support gtk3 is kind of a show stopper. I haven't yet
> attempted to build gtk3 from source.
That's very hard to do and maintain (we do that for MacOS). See:

> This has got me thinking about the fact that xpra is monolithic package
> with both client and server together,
That's not true: in v3, you get split RPM packages that allow you to
install the client and server separately, and even mix versions for
python2 and python3 on the same system.
The Debian packaging is still mostly monolithic: only the html5 client
is split up in the DEBs.

> and I suspect that the gtk3
> dependencies relate mostly (or maybe only) to the client.
Unfortunately that's not the case: GTK3 is also used on the server.
(though we would like to get rid of it eventually)

> In my use case
> however, I'll NEVER be running the client directly on the VDI, but only
> from my remote Windows 10 laptop, on which I can install the latest xpra
> client version. Is there some way to build xpra with ONLY server support?
> I'm guessing not, but its something to think about.
./setup.py --without-client
There are many other optional components, for more information:
./setup.py --help


> I'm sure there are other use cases out there like mine.

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