Graphical Console (beta)

Avatar caker 3 years, 6 months ago Linode Staff

Graphical Console (beta)

What is the Graphical Console?

Glish, the graphical console, allows you to view and interact with your virtual machine's graphical output.

We expose the output to you through the Glish service. Glish is out of band, meaning it doesn't go through your Linode's networking. It runs completely outside of your Linode. It's similar to Lish, except instead of connecting to your Linode's serial port and being text, Glish connects to your Linode's graphics port and displays, you guessed it, raster graphics.

What is it good for?

It gives a "computer monitor" to your Linode.

Under Linux, it behaves just like any other Linux box would that has a monitor attached. Your virtual terminals can be displayed on Glish (tty1, for example). Or, a graphical environment can be configured to use the on-board graphics, and you'd have a remote desktop.

When using weird OSs: you'll see inside of Glish what you would see on a real computer's monitor. So, that glorious Windows 3.1 installation screen awaits you…

How do I use it?

The "Launch Graphical Web Console" link on the bottom of your Linode's "Remote Access" subtab. You'll need something inside of your Linode actually making graphical output for you to see anything.

How do I make my Linode generate graphical output?

We're now passing "console=tty1" (in addition to ttyS0) when booting our kernels, so you will see boot messages on both Lish and Glish on your next reboot. We've also changed the Distro Helper to enable a getty on tty1. You should see a getty login prompt on both Lish and Glish, after your next reboot.

Other than that, you're free to use the graphic device for whatever you see fit. Glish supports mode and size switching, too.

Are there any limitations?
* Glish works only with KVM Linodes. You can convert to KVM via the "Upgrade to KVM" button on the bottom right-hand side of your Linode's dashboard.

  • The bandwidth consumed by Glish is currently free, however it is rate-limited.

Beta feedback is always appreciated!

-Chris

16 Replies

How does this interact with StackScripts, where the script is running "on" the getty at boot? Will it run only on the ttyS0?

  • Les

@akerl:

How does this interact with StackScripts, where the script is running "on" the getty at boot? Will it run only on the ttyS0?

  • Les

StackScript code has been updated to ensure that it doesn't run multiple times across multiple TTYs

In my opinion, it should retain the existing behavior of ONLY ever running on ttyS0.

I'll let the guys chime in on its current implementation, but I believe right now it's "first one wins".

-Chris

@akerl:

How does this interact with StackScripts, where the script is running "on" the getty at boot? Will it run only on the ttyS0?

  • Les

The StackScripts should run, they should run only once. It usually runs on ttyS0 in our tests, but it can run on tty1 depending on how upstart/systemd/sysvinit runs.

To derail just slightly, GLish confirmed to work with FreeBSD, as well as Solaris, right out of the box! Go Glish! Go KVM! \o\ /o/ \o/

~~![](<URL url=)http://cloudsdale.ponix.space/~rainbow/glish.png" />

~~![](<URL url=)http://cloudsdale.ponix.space/~rainbow/ … .04.36.png">http://cloudsdale.ponix.space/~rainbow/Screen%20Shot%202015-08-26%20at%2015.04.36.png" />

Now back to your regularly scheduled AWESOME! \o/

  • Your friendly neighborhood Weird OSes On Linodes girl!~~~~

@abemassry:

The StackScripts should run, they should run only once. It usually runs on ttyS0 in our tests, but it can run on tty1 depending on how upstart/systemd/sysvinit runs.

Can that be tweaked such that it explicitly runs on ttyS0/hvc0? I can imagine this works like plugging in a USB cable, where inevitably I look in the wrong spot first, and the wrong spot second, and then get it on the 3rd try.

  • Les

@akerl:

@abemassry:

The StackScripts should run, they should run only once. It usually runs on ttyS0 in our tests, but it can run on tty1 depending on how upstart/systemd/sysvinit runs.

Can that be tweaked such that it explicitly runs on ttyS0/hvc0? I can imagine this works like plugging in a USB cable, where inevitably I look in the wrong spot first, and the wrong spot second, and then get it on the 3rd try.

  • Les

It can be tweaked such that it explicitly runs on ttyS0/hvc0 and it is something that we can look into in the future. There may be a few things you can try in your StackScript to ensure that they run on ttyS0, I'm going to try them out and let you know.

I just logged in and saw the native Ubuntu Unity Desktop and logged into it successfully! You guys rock!!

Edit: The post on HN says it's using something called noVNC but this is still pretty cool: Ref: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10136618

Have you considered using some of guacamole? https://github.com/glyptodon/

I've never seen a better web tty emulator.

~~![](<URL url=)https://cloud.githubusercontent.com/ass … 27596b.png">https://cloud.githubusercontent.com/assets/11197133/8215669/61b856a8-14e6-11e5-8e37-7874aa27596b.png" />

it does full screen, resizing, multiple ttys in tabs, copy and paste etc.~~

I am dying to get this working - I desperately need to utilize a graphical interface that isn't mine and runs on great hardware - because mine is about to be friend (lubuntu 32 bit) - I can't do anything I want on here - however with something a bit more powerful I could :-) - eg run docker to the moon. Anyway - I have attempted to get the glish console going via traditional means - deploying debian 8 - install a graphical desktop - reboot - add a non root user with sudo priveleges - adding ssh keys - with Debian installed xfce4 also tried lubuntu-desktop on ubuntu 14.04 - and every time I launch glish - I get the following - invalid session please launch from remote access tab - well I'm on the remote access tab or else I would not be clicking that link :-). So i try to backdoor it - connect to lish via my terminal and the startxfce4 from there - no go. when I saw this I was so happy - but atm - at a loss. anyone who has experienced similar issues, kindly let me know if you were able to work through them and exactly what you did to work through them. fyi - I've tried several vnc clients and rdp as well - nothing - on my mac i was able to accomplish this - but the mac died as this one will be doing shortly :-).

@cornbread:

Have you considered using some of guacamole? https://github.com/glyptodon/

I've never seen a better web tty emulator.

~~![](<URL url=)https://cloud.githubusercontent.com/ass … 27596b.png">https://cloud.githubusercontent.com/assets/11197133/8215669/61b856a8-14e6-11e5-8e37-7874aa27596b.png" />

it does full screen, resizing, multiple ttys in tabs, copy and paste etc. Linode's UI has had console TTY for a long time. What the announcement is about is the ability to run graphical applications and you don't have to install anything or mess with any special configuration to get it too work (IIRC, it's been a while since I tried it).~~

I just tried Glish, from my Remote Access tab as instructed. I got a popup window with one line:

Invalid Session. Please try again from remote access tab

When I ssh into my shell I do see the tty1 getty:

-getty,6981 -8 38400 tty1

-getty,6984 -8 38400 ttyS0

@ingber:

I just tried Glish, from my Remote Access tab as instructed. I got a popup window with one line:

Invalid Session. Please try again from remote access tab
Same problem here. The VM is running Ubuntu 14.04. It has GUI since I can run graphical apps remotely (eg ssh -X).

The "plain" Lish terminal works, and I do see the ttyS0 when I do who command. But I never see the ttySn for the Glish instance.

Since others have gotten this working, I'm presuming there's just some config setting missing?

It seems the console is coming up now. However, the userID is assumed and a password is required to login. Can this be changed to permit a different user to login, e.g., root?

Thanks.

Lester

@ingber:

It seems the console is coming up now. However, the userID is assumed and a password is required to login. Can this be changed to permit a different user to login, e.g., root?

Thanks.

Lester

The display is looking good! However, my mouse does not seem to work.

Lester

When the console comes up, my mouse has no effect at all? If I press CNTL-ALT-t I can get a terminal up to work on a command line – a waste for using a GUI.

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