#February2020 #Linux #Horizon #VDI #Tools

A Linux Development Desktop with VMware Horizon - Part II: Applications

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In this section I´m going to list a couple of applications which I´m using for my desktop and how you can easily install them from your shell. Of course, it´s not a must and it´s up to you which of them you´d like to install.

Google Chrome - https://www.google.com/chrome/

Firefox is pre-installed on Ubuntu as well as on CentOS but I´m for years now with Chrome and I´m still satisfied.


wget https://dl.google.com/linux/direct/google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb -P ~/Downloads
sudo dpkg -i ~/Downloads/google-chrome-stable_current_amd64.deb


wget https://dl.google.com/linux/direct/google-chrome-stable_current_x86_64.rpm -P ~/Downloads
sudo yum install ~/Downloads/google-chrome-stable_current_x86_64.rpm

Snap (package manager) for application installation - https://snapcraft.io/docs

This package manager is pre-installed and ready for use on Ubuntu but not on CentOS. Nevertheless, we can install it subsequently via the Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux.

Add the EPEL repository:

sudo dnf install epel-release

Install and enable snapd:

sudo yum install snapd
sudo systemctl enable --now snapd.socket
sudo ln -s /var/lib/snapd/snap /snap

The command line interface snap is ready for use:

snap --help

The snap command lets you install, configure, refresh and remove snaps.
Snaps are packages that work across many different Linux distributions,
enabling secure delivery and operation of the latest apps and utilities.

Commands can be classified as follows:

 Basics: find, info, install, list, remove
...more: refresh, revert, switch, disable, enable
History: changes, tasks, abort, watch
Daemons: services, start, stop, restart, logs
Commands: alias, aliases, unalias, prefer
Configuration: get, set, unset, wait
Account: login, logout, whoami
Permissions: connections, interface, connect, disconnect
Snapshots: saved, save, check-snapshot, restore, forget
Other: version, warnings, okay, ack, known, model, create-cohort
Development: run, pack, try, download, prepare-image

Visual Studio Code (VSCode) - https://code.visualstudio.com/

VSCode is a powerful open source cross-platform editor and definetely one of my absolute favorite tools so far and indispensable for our desktop.

Option 1: Installation via snap

sudo snap install code --classic

Option 2: Step by Step


Repository and key:

curl https://packages.microsoft.com/keys/microsoft.asc | gpg --dearmor > packages.microsoft.gpg
sudo install -o root -g root -m 644 packages.microsoft.gpg /usr/share/keyrings/
sudo sh -c 'echo "deb [arch=amd64 signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/packages.microsoft.gpg] https://packages.microsoft.com/repos/vscode stable main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/vscode.list'


sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install code


Repository and key:

sudo rpm --import https://packages.microsoft.com/keys/microsoft.asc
sudo sh -c 'echo -e "[code]\nname=Visual Studio Code\nbaseurl=https://packages.microsoft.com/yumrepos/vscode\nenabled=1\ngpgcheck=1\ngpgkey=https://packages.microsoft.com/keys/microsoft.asc" > /etc/yum.repos.d/vscode.repo'


sudo dnf check-update
sudo dnf install code

[Extension] VSCode Settings sync - https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=Shan.code-settings-sync

VSCode has a REALLY rich extensibility model which gives you everything you need to work even more efficiently and faster. It´ll not be possible to avoid that more and more extensions and other niceties are added to your installation and as of today it´s not possible to have everything consistent across different systems or platforms through an Online-Account like you have e.g. for Google Chrome.

Thus I´d like to recommend using the VSCode Settings sync extension for it. It uses your GitHub account (required) token and Gist, to give you the ability to upload as well as download your settings, snippets, themes and so forth.

Just search for the extension at the marketplace, install it, select LOGIN WITH GITHUB (get redirected) and follow the instructions. Since you´ve created your Gist-ID you´re ready to go to upload as well as to download your settings.


  1. Upload Key : Shift + Alt + U
  2. Download Key : Shift + Alt + D

(on macOS: Shift + Option + U / Shift + Option + D)

Set VSCode as default editor for Git

Open your terminal and execut: git config --global core.editor “code --wait”

Source: https://git-scm.com/book/en/v2/Customizing-Git-Git-Configuration

Remmina - https://remmina.org/

Remmina is a Remote Desktop Client which supports multiple network protocols like e.g. RDP, VNC, SPICE, NX, XDMCP and SSH.

sudo snap install remmina

Figure I: Remmina - Remote Desktop Client

Content sharing

I was looking for a workspace where I can share content, mainly files like scripts or specification-files (.yml, .json) across platforms. It´s possible by default to activate Online Accounts (Figure II) like e.g. Google or Nextcloud in both distributions through the System Settings.

Figure II: Activate Online Accounts


Dropbox for Linux - https://www.dropbox.com/en/install-linux

I decided to try Dropbox due to the availability of an already existing account.


Dropbox Headless:

cd ~ && wget -O - "https://www.dropbox.com/download?plat=lnx.x86_64" | tar xzf -

Installing the Dropbox CLI:

sudo wget -O /usr/local/bin/dropbox "https://www.dropbox.com/download?dl=packages/dropbox.py"
sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/dropbox
dropbox --help

Dropbox command-line interface


autostart    automatically start Dropbox at login
exclude      ignores/excludes a directory from syncing
filestatus   get current sync status of one or more files
help         provide help
lansync      enables or disables LAN sync
ls           list directory contents with current sync status
proxy        set proxy settings for Dropbox
puburl       get public url of a file in your Dropbox's public folder
running      return whether Dropbox is running
sharelink    get a shared link for a file in your Dropbox
start        start dropboxd
status       get current status of the dropboxd
stop         stop dropboxd
throttle     set bandwidth limits for Dropbox
update       download latest version of Dropbox
version      print version information for Dropbox

Enable Dropbox to start automatically after every reboot:

sudo vim /etc/systemd/system/dropbox.service

Description=Dropbox Service

ExecStart=/bin/sh -c '/usr/local/bin/dropbox start'
ExecStop=/bin/sh -c '/usr/local/bin/dropbox stop'


Reload system daemon:

sudo systemctl daemon-reload

Enable the new Dropbox service:

sudo systemctl enable dropbox

Start the service:

sudo systemctl start dropbox


Dropbox Headless:

cd ~ && wget -O - "https://www.dropbox.com/download?plat=lnx.x86_64" | tar xzf -
sudo mkdir -p /opt/dropbox
sudo cp -r .dropbox-dist/* /opt/dropbox

By executing /opt/dropbox/dropboxd you should be forwarded to the Dropbox homepage where you have to login to authenticate the connection request. After this, quite the running Dropbox on your terminal with ctrl + c.

Creating the init.d file:

sudo curl -o /etc/init.d/dropbox https://gist.githubusercontent.com/thisismitch/6293d3f7f5fa37ca6eab/raw/2b326bf77368cbe5d01af21c623cd4dd75528c3d/dropbox

Creating the systemd unit file:

sudo curl -o /etc/systemd/system/dropbox.service https://gist.githubusercontent.com/thisismitch/6293d3f7f5fa37ca6eab/raw/99947e2ef986492fecbe1b7bfbaa303fefc42a62/dropbox.service

Set the appropriate permissions for the newly created files:

sudo chmod +x /etc/systemd/system/dropbox.service /etc/init.d/dropbox

Add users to be able to run Dropbox:

sudo vim /etc/sysconfig/dropbox

Reload system daemon:

sudo systemctl daemon-reload

Enable the new Dropbox service:

**sudo systemctl enable dropbox:**

Start the service:

sudo systemctl start dropbox

Installing the Dropbox CLI

sudo wget -O /usr/local/bin/dropbox "https://www.dropbox.com/download?dl=packages/dropbox.py"
sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/dropbox

Docker Engine - Community

Another must!

Option 1: Installation via snap

sudo snap install docker

Option 2: Step by Step


sudo apt-get install \
    apt-transport-https \
    ca-certificates \
    gnupg-agent \

curl -fsSL https://download.docker.com/linux/ubuntu/gpg | sudo apt-key add -

sudo apt-key fingerprint 0EBFCD88

sudo add-apt-repository \
   "deb [arch=amd64] https://download.docker.com/linux/ubuntu \
   $(lsb_release -cs) \

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install docker-ce docker-ce-cli containerd.io


sudo yum install -y yum-utils \
  device-mapper-persistent-data \

sudo dnf install https://download.docker.com/linux/centos/7/x86_64/stable/Packages/containerd.io-1.2.6-3.3.el7.x86_64.rpm

sudo yum-config-manager \
   --add-repo \

sudo yum install docker-ce docker-ce-cli

sudo systemctl enable --now docker

systemctl status docker.service

sudo usermod -aG docker $USER

After adding your user to the docker group, you have to logout and login first, so that your group membership is re-evaluated.

Docker Compose - https://docs.docker.com/compose/

A tool for deploying multi-container applications which services are specified in a YAML file.

sudo curl -L "https://github.com/docker/compose/releases/download/1.25.3/docker-compose-$(uname -s)-$(uname -m)" -o /usr/local/bin/docker-compose

sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/docker-compose

VMware Remote Console

Download: https://www.vmware.com/go/download-vmrc

VMware OVF Tool

Download: https://code.vmware.com/web/tool/4.3.0/ovf

These two binaries were downloaded locally (to my Notebook) first, then got packed into a zip archive and copied via scp to my desktop(s).

scp ~/Downloads/tools.zip jarvis@devdesk-centos:/home/jarvis/Downloads

Unpack afterwards:

unzip tools.zip

Note: Installing the OVF Tool for CentOS requires the installation of the ncurses-compat-libs package first.

sudo dnf install ncurses-compat-libs

Make them executable and start the installation:

chmod +x VMware-ovftool-4.3.0-14746126-lin.x86_64.bundle
sudo ./VMware-ovftool-4.3.0-14746126-lin.x86_64.bundle --console --required --eulas-agreed
chmod +x VMware-Remote-Console-11.0.0-15201582.x86_64.bundle
sudo ./VMware-Remote-Console-11.0.0-15201582.x86_64.bundle --console --required --eulas-agreed

Enpass - https://www.enpass.io/

A secure vault which is available for all mobile and desktop platforms.


sudo -i
echo "deb https://apt.enpass.io/ stable main" > \/etc/apt/sources.list.d/enpass.list
wget -O - https://apt.enpass.io/keys/enpass-linux.key | apt-key add -
sudo apt update && sudo apt install enpass


cd /etc/yum.repos.d/
sudo wget https://yum.enpass.io/enpass-yum.repo
sudo yum install enpass
cd ~

Continue with Part III: A Linux Development Desktop with VMware Horizon - Part III: Shell

Previous articles:

A Linux Development Desktop with VMware Horizon - Part I: Horizon

Change Log:

  • [2020-03-18]: Added Snap (package manager); Remmina (Remote Desktop Client); Section “Content sharing”; Dropbox client

Thanks for reading.

February2020 Linux Horizon VDI Tools