How to get console full screen inside droplet

Posted November 2, 2015 7.5k views

I am trying to get my console full screen inside my droplet. I would love to have a working vnc but I have followed several walk through and still get no connection through tight vnc and vnc4 all. I have been using the console inside my droplet but I really need a larger screen to work on in the server. I am using Ubuntu 14.04 and the console works perfectly.

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The console is not really intended for everyday use but rather for recovery should you lose the ability to connect to your droplet.

One alternative to VNC would be x2go. We have a few pre-built user-data scripts that can be used to launch a droplet ready to use remotely with a desktop environment.

You can find the scripts at the links below and when creating a new droplet, select the default “Ubuntu 14.04”, check the “user-data” box and then paste in the script.

  • I think my biggest problem is that the guide I used to install Ubuntu on the server had me create a user with root access then block root access for everyone or something like that. My user can install etc but I can’t gain original root I think. Can I still use this system?

    • This method is really only intended and tested for use on a new droplet but running the script should install the required things and get x2go set up for most systems. As long as you have a user able to connect via ssh that user should be able to start a desktop session with x2go.

      • I can connect via ssh using putty but I can never get a virtual desktop up and running. They always say the connection has been closed. But using putty and setting up a ssh session always connects.

      • What are the differences in the 3 versions from the earliest post?

        • These are three different desktop environments. The exact environment installed is the one that ships with the flavor of Ubuntu that is mentioned. LXDE is the lightest weight of the three and XFCE is also pretty light. KDE is a much more robust desktop environment. You can learn more about these Ubuntu flavors at the links below:

          • I am trying kubuntu is it possible to install in current droplet and remove the current Ubuntu 14.04 or do I even need to do that?

          • I get error unable to execute nosnd.
            I am so far over my head. I got everything installed via ssh but even following the walk through on the wiki I am not sure how to set up the client correctly.
            Not sure what to put under path.
            not sure what to put under rsa/dsa key
            not sure about all the boxes below key
            not sure on session type.

          • The scripts have not been tested on an already deployed droplet but should work unless something is conflicting with what it installs. I would recommend using this by creating a new droplet. Select Ubuntu 14.04 as your OS, check the “User Data” box and paste in the script.

            As for the client, if you are using ssh keys for authentication you just need to enter your IP address and root as the username and then check the box to attempt to automatically connect.

            The session type will be the desktop environment you chose: KDE, LXDE or XFCE.

          • you are amazing and wow this thing is fast. Holy Cow!!! much appreciated and any reviews etc I can do please let me know. I couldn’t use auto start since I didn’t use a passphrase for the ssh key but I am in and working

          • Ryan, have been up and running and learning more about this. Amazed for sure. I need to add a user or something to access only one application/program and that’s it. How do I give them access and not give them a whole desktop etc. Really just a dashboard built in html5 is all they need to see. Not sure if it’s a DO or x2go thing or Neither. Thanks so much.

          • Restricting a user to a single application inside the desktop environment would be difficult. You should be able to launch a fullscreen browser on startup fairly easily though.

            Different desktop environments use different methods to autorun applications. In XFCE for example you can set an application to auto-run when the desktop starts by adding a .desktop file to ~/.config/autostart

            Create a file in that directory and add the following:

            [Desktop Entry]
            Name=My App
            Comment=My App
            Exec=google-chrome --kiosk

            The Exec line tells the desktop environment what to run. In this case it is opening Google Chrome in Kiosk (fullscreen) mode and loading

            The same command line argument will also work for Chromium by replacing google-chrome with chromium-browser

          • Will the same work for kubuntu

          • For Kubuntu you will need to make a couple minor changes. You will still create the same file in the autostart folder but remove the line:


            and add this line:


            (Changing this to a 2 will have the application start after the session manager does any restore, so try both options to ensure you have the functionality you want)

          • okay I have a new user created but am lost on how to add the auto start application. Do I do that under the new user name? if so I am doing something incorrect as it is telling me that there is no such file or directory. Or do I do it under my root user name?
            Or is it under terminal for that users desktop?

            So sorry

          • No worries.

            The path: ~/.config/autostart indicates a folder inside the user’s home directory.

            .config most likely already exists but autostart might not so we’ll create it.

            mkdir /home/username/.config/autostart

            Then create the new file and paste in your contents. (I use vi here but nano or another text editor can be used instead).

            vi /home/username/.config/autostart/myapp.desktop
          • sorry i have more questions…but i am learning..
            If i want to deploy a dashboard i have built in my server droplet. Do i have to have the client download the x2go client before they can log in? or is there a way to just pass them a url/ip address that will log them in? all i want them to see and have access to is the dashboard i created.
            Second. I need to load the dashboard on a mobile device, same question as above? I have an Ip address for the dashbaord as well as a static IP for my droplet but i have no idea how to deploy something to them without going through x2go.