Create an Ubuntu GNOME desktop

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This is an Azure template to create an Ubuntu Desktop VM. This is great as a jumpbox behind a NAT.

Bicep Version

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This template runs quickly, but the overall install takes about 1 hour to complete. You can SSH into the VM and tail -f /var/log/azure/firstinstall.log to see progress.

Once complete, you can create a compressed SSH tunnel to VNC port 5901, and then use VNC to see the desktop. You can edit ~azureuser/bin/startvnc to adjust the resolution of the desktop. Be sure to enable compression on the tunnel, otherwise performance will be sluggish. Instructions for accessing from Windows are below.

Accessing from Windows

These instructions walk through on how to setup a fast secure remote desktop session to your new Ubuntu Desktop machine.

  1. Prerequisites - install the following software

  2. Putty - enables SSH with a secure compressed tunneling for remote desktop -

  3. vncviewer (64 bit) - allows remote desktop -

  4. Setup compressed vnc tunneling in putty - this enables a secure and fast tunnel through SSH for your remote desktop experience

  5. Run putty

  6. Enable compression, this allows for a fast remote desktop experience Image of enabling compression in putty

  7. Add a tunnel - this enables a secure remote desktop over ssh. Image of creating a tunnel

  8. save your session: Image of saving putty settings

  9. Connect to your linux with VNC

  10. Open vnc

  11. Click "options" and ensure best quality is chosen (note that the SSH tunnel you setup previously will handle compression) Image of adjusting VNC settings

  12. since the ssh provides encryption and to get maximum speed from ssh compression, turn off encrytpion, and open your session to "localhost:1". ":1" represents port 5901, which you had previously setup with the ssh tunnel: Image of adjusting VNC connection

  13. Click "Connect", and enter "password" for the password: Image of VNC authentication dialog

  14. now you should be connected to your session.

Accessing From OS X

OS X is already setup with a VNC viewer, so all that needs to be done is to create the SSH tunnel:

ssh  -N -f -L 5000:localhost:5901 azureuser@<JUMPBOX_IP>

Go to Finder, and press Cmd + K. Then connect to the VNC tunnel, using password as the password:

OSX Connection Dialog

Enter the password and you'll be all setup.

Tags: Microsoft.Storage/storageAccounts, Microsoft.Compute/availabilitySets, Microsoft.Network/publicIPAddresses, Microsoft.Network/virtualNetworks, Microsoft.Network/networkSecurityGroups, Microsoft.Network/networkInterfaces, Microsoft.Network/loadBalancers, Microsoft.Compute/virtualMachines, Microsoft.Compute/virtualMachines/extensions, CustomScript