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From Nick Couchman <vn...@apache.org>
Subject Re: guacamole admin utility
Date Sun, 31 Dec 2017 15:28:14 GMT
On Sun, Dec 31, 2017 at 9:39 AM, Jonathan Hunter <jmhunter1@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Hi Both,
>
> For what it's worth, I would also find this kind of functionality
> extremely helpful.
>
>
Good to know.  Sounds like there are a few folks :-).


> I am not a skilled Java or web developer, but am using Guacamole in
> conjunction with HTTP authentication and an LDAP authentication back-end to
> allow users to connect to VMs. In my use case, one of the VM connections
> has its logon credentials stored in guacamole, such that any user with
> sufficient permission to access this connection will be logged into the VM
> with a specific username/password, as the application being accessed needs
> to be run in a specific way.
>

The good news is that REST APIs are pretty usable by people even not
skilled Java/web developers - if you can do a little scripting, you can
write something in Python or JavaScript that will interact with the REST
endpoints and accomplish what you need.  That said, I'm thinking there may
be a larger calling here for a more official CLI tool, but we'll see if the
other developers have any input on that.


>
> But, if user A connects and starts to use the application, and then later
> on user B uses the same connection, this new 'user B' connection will
> disconnect the 'user A' session. So, I would like to make a status page
> available so that people can see if there is an active connection at the
> moment. Given my web coding skills, something like this proposed CLI would
> be much more within my reach, than having to create something in HTML/JS.
> Yes, this information is available in the Guacamole settings screen, but
> that is only available for administrators and isn't obvious for a user who
> is unfamiliar with Guacamole concepts.
>

I would say that, in your scenario, "it depends" on whether this would
actually happen or not.  For example, if your "application" is an SSH
session, then presumably you can have multiple users connect to the same
connection without one disconnecting the other, or being blocking by the
other.  If your "application" is a Windows Terminal Server, again, multiple
users can connect.  If it is a VNC session or a Windows Workstation (VDI)
session, then, yes, either the second user disconnects the first or gets
blocked.


>
> I would also dearly love to be able to use something like nagios or cacti
> to monitor active connections, etc.
>

Using the REST API should make this possible, as well.  I use Cacti to
monitor via SNMP, but Cacti is very extensible and should be able to ingest
data from REST endpoints, and I believe that NAGIOS, Zabbix, etc., also
make provisions for pulling data from REST interfaces.  I definitely see
the desire, here, but I think it's all doable using the REST interface
already provided in the Guacamole Client.

On the monitoring note, though, this does highlight the difference between
the Guacamole Client and guacd, so this does depend on what you're looking
to monitor.  I would venture a guess that most Guacamole users are using
the Guacamole Client on the same system as guacd, and just using it in a
1-to-1 relationship - that is, a single guacd instance for the Guacamole
Client interface.  Guacamole is designed to be scalable, though, such that
you could use multiple guacd back-ends for a single Guacamole Client, or
point multiple Guacamole Clients as a single guacd backend.  So, in more
complex setups, while the REST API provides easy ways to monitor the
Guacamole Client side, there is not much on the gaucd side that would allow
for monitoring of the backend.


>
> (Not on this exact same topic.. but if there was a way of having a shared
> connection by default, so that user A and user B could both view the same
> RDP/VNC/etc. display at the same time.. then that would be even better for
> me. But, that is another topic of conversation, I think)
>
>
I believe this is possible, although you might want to start a separate
discussion thread on this and build out a little more what you're trying to
accomplish.  Guacamole does allow for shared connections, such that a user
can connect to one and then someone else can connect in either a R/W or R/O
fashion and view/control the same session.  I just don't know what you mean
when you say "by default" and how that would work out.  But, definitely
something to open on a separate thread.

-Nick

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