OS/2, eCS & ArcaOS - Technical > Virtualization

AToF - 02 - Platform Build - serving up x64 apps to ArcaOS

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From what I am reading it appears that you assume that we all have windows on our computers - I don't.  The only version of windows in my house is the very cut down version in my Data Logger.  I also have Linux Mint on a couple of my computers that I operate via a hdmi usb kvm switch which has served me very well over the years.
The fact I build all my computers from components means that I don't pay the win tax.

Alfredo Fernández Díaz:

--- Quote from: JTA on December 07, 2023, 06:22:46 am ---When I dig into the FreeRDP docs, it's tough to pick out that functionality, whereas everything else in there speaks volumes about entire desktops. I couldn't determine for myself from that single pic[...]
--- End quote ---
Yes, the OS/2 FreeRDP documentation is a bit poor in the sense that it assumes you already know what the whole FreeRDP thing is about, and just goes on about the OS/2 port specifics, which OTOH look very OS/2-like (and in turn that is obviously a good thing).

The www.freerdp.com site itself is also poor in documentation at first sight, and again you need to rely on a single "RemoteApp" screenshot  to infer that running single remote applications windowed is indeed possible:

Wikipedia helps us out here, though, and this kind of explains why such an obviously useful feature (windowed remote applications) is not overly emphasized in the documentation:

--- Quote from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remote_Desktop_Protocol ---Features
    Audio Redirection allows users to process audio on a remote desktop and have the sound redirected to their local computer.
    File System Redirection allows users to use their local files on a remote desktop within the terminal session.
    Printer Redirection allows users to use their local printer within the terminal session as they would with a locally- or network-shared printer.
    The remote computer and the local computer can share the clipboard.[...]

Microsoft introduced the following features with the release of RDP 6.0 in 2006:

    Seamless Windows: remote applications can run on a client machine that is served by a Remote Desktop connection. It is available since RDP 6.[30]
--- End quote ---
--it would all apparently date back to 2006, so hardly something new.

Don't get me wrong, though -- I only learned all of this last week when trying to help out a fellow warper -- for me VNC has been sufficient so far.

--- Quote from: JTA on December 07, 2023, 06:22:46 am ---Winflector explicitly shows in their docs how to point the server at a single app, and then pick that app out at the other end, and get the single app running in a single window.
--- End quote ---
Well, this is clearly a commercial application so it is only natural that they are more focused on --and push-- obvious selling points. : )

Perhaps it would be most helpful for us here to be able to pick a best fitting application of this kind if informed folks could help build a prerequisites and features comparison table.

At a first glance, I would mention that VNC has native servers available for (many?) non-Windows platforms too (which allows to remotely run non-Windows programs too), that RDP allows for windowed applications and seemingly transmits audio as well (which is great for multimedia stuff), and that Winflector apparently serves to any HTML5 capable browser (which potentially widens a lot where you can run stuff from), but I am not really informed and something more systematic would be preferable.

Nice write-up, Alfredo ... your pic does a better job of displaying the "remoteapp" part of things.

I've installed FreeRDP, sorted out dependencies, and can display a desktop from a Win VM. What I expected, and works well. When I try to fiddle with the remoteapp tab of FreeRDP, there are apparently some additional cfg steps (tweaks?) required ... from what I can find on the 'net so far, we might need some registry settings, and some .rdp cfg file rework. There might also be some github utilities that do the heavy lifting for us.

You have it running, so do you recall or have noted exactly what those steps are?

In the meantime, I can report that Winflector is easy, uses their own protocol instead of RDP, and it is indeed mere minutes to download their free version and immediately serve up apps; all without other RDP oddities imposed by Microsoft. For Winflector, it's: 1.) install the server 2.) add a user 3.) add an app. At the other end, launch the client, point it at the Winflector IP address, login, and pick the app ... done.

So, more digging and testing, to get FreeRDP to the point where it displays the apps seamlessly in a window, unless someone else has the cycles to document it (or point me at an old thread).

Thanks again!


--- Quote from: ivan on December 07, 2023, 10:23:10 am ---From what I am reading it appears that you assume that we all have windows on our computers - I don't.  ... The fact I build all my computers from components means that I don't pay the win tax.

--- End quote ---

Actually, I don't assume Windows-only, as the AToF build (the bottom thread in this Virtualization category) clearly states either Windows or Linux as a HostOS, and other paths to getting things done fall out of that initial choice.

Clearly, one can have an all Linux (or non-Windows) solution ... I hope I threw enough wording in all my threads to point that out.

It's good to see how everyone does something in these and other forums, so one has more options to pick from ...

Using the "tools in a toolbox" analogy, you can have both of these tools (Winflector and FreeRDP) in your toolbox, ready to grab to do whatever.

Assuming you have an AToF build (you do, right?), your HostOS shows virtualbox running, and these vm's loaded:
  - wp10o1 (windows 10 pro, ameloriated): has standard complement of win stuff
  - aos510o1 (ArcaOS 5.1.0): has standard complement of os/2 stuff
Both have been bridged to the HostOS network, and everything can ping everything else, and the outside world.

On aos510o1, we don't have access to x64 apps, and we want them. So, open your toolbox, and grab:
  - winflector:
    - install server on wp10o1, add user, add app(s)
    - on aos510o1, point firefox browser at wp10o1, login, and use the x64 app
    - wp10o1 desktop still available in the VM
  - FreeRDP:
    - install FreeRDP on aos510o1, drag copy to desktop, configure (point it at wp10o1)
    - launch the configured copy, and you'll see the entire wp10o1 desktop (navigate to your x64 app)
    - it (RDP on Win side) logged me out of the wp10o1 desktop, but perhaps there's a tweak

So, out of the box, both Winflector and FreeRDP can be used fairly quickly and easily to get at x64 apps. As expected, an RDP client (FreeRDP in this case, native for OS/2) will display your remote Windows desktop. Both "tools" work just fine, and we didn't need a room full of networking gear and physical boxes ... this is all happening on your dt/lt via AToF.

What if you want just an x64 app in a single window, using the FreeRDP client? Well, apparently this too will work, but you'll get off into the weeds, so ... some assembly required:
  - The FreeRDP docs are not "polished", so you'll do lots of digging to try and figure out how to set up a single connection to a single app. I couldn't find it in the docs, and the "user guide" doesn't have a straightforward "do these 2 things and done". It's google time ...
  - google does indeed report lots of folks doing lots of things to get this setup. I found registry edits, .rdp config files, and in some cases, helpful utilities that will push the buttons for me.
  - lots of testing in my future, some slight chance of death (of the vm's)

OK, so that's not a problem ... we can probably get to a set of steps. In the tool analogy, it'll be a case of pulling out the FreeRDP hammer, or the FreeRDP router. If you pull out the FreeRDP router from your toolbox, and you are anything at all like me, you'll spend the next few hours configuring all the router attachments to get it to route a shape you want. Not the same as pulling out the winflector saw, and cutting away. But, still possible ...

In the meantime, I recommend either Winflector, or FreeRDP (desktop mode). It's your choice as to what tools you grab, and what you do with them ...


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