Tag Archives: guacamole

Install Guacamole 0.9.9 on Ubuntu 15.10

Lately I’ve been trying to upgrade my installation of Guacamole 0.9.8 to 0.9.9. You’d think it would be simple. It is not. I ended up just blowing up my 0.9.8 VM and starting over, this time with Ubuntu 15.10. I found this excellent guide which got me most of the way there, with one small hiccup that took way more time than it should have to figure out.

I will paste the guide I got from the above site for convenience with my added notes for clarification on parts that I had trouble with.



#Update Everything
apt-get update && apt-get -y dist-upgrade

#Install Stuff
#You will be prompted for a mysql root password. Remember this for the configuration step; change MYSQLROOTPASSWORD to whatever you enter here.
apt-get -y install libcairo2-dev libpng12-dev libossp-uuid-dev libfreerdp-dev libpango1.0-dev libssh2-1-dev libtelnet-dev libvncserver-dev libpulse-dev libssl-dev libvorbis-dev libwebp-dev mysql-server mysql-client mysql-common mysql-utilities tomcat8

# Install libjpeg-turbo-dev
wget -O libjpeg-turbo-official_1.4.2_amd64.deb http://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/libjpeg-turbo/1.4.2/libjpeg-turbo-official_1.4.2_amd64.deb
dpkg -i libjpeg-turbo-official_1.4.2_amd64.deb

echo "" >> /etc/default/tomcat8
echo "# GUACAMOLE EVN VARIABLE" >> /etc/default/tomcat8
echo "GUACAMOLE_HOME=/etc/guacamole" >> /etc/default/tomcat8

#Download Guacamole Files
wget -O guacamole-0.9.9.war http://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/guacamole/current/binary/guacamole-0.9.9.war
wget -O guacamole-server-0.9.9.tar.gz http://sourceforge.net/projects/guacamole/files/current/source/guacamole-server-0.9.9.tar.gz
wget -O guacamole-auth-jdbc-0.9.9.tar.gz http://sourceforge.net/projects/guacamole/files/current/extensions/guacamole-auth-jdbc-0.9.9.tar.gz
wget -O mysql-connector-java-5.1.38.tar.gz http://dev.mysql.com/get/Downloads/Connector/j/mysql-connector-java-5.1.38.tar.gz

#Extract Guac
tar -xzf guacamole-server-0.9.9.tar.gz
tar -xzf guacamole-auth-jdbc-0.9.9.tar.gz
tar -xzf mysql-connector-java-5.1.38.tar.gz

mkdir /etc/guacamole
mkdir /etc/guacamole/lib
mkdir /etc/guacamole/extensions

# Install GUACD
cd guacamole-server-0.9.9
./configure --with-init-dir=/etc/init.d
make install
systemctl enable guacd
cd ..

# Move files to correct locations
mv guacamole-0.9.9.war /etc/guacamole/guacamole.war
ln -s /etc/guacamole/guacamole.war /var/lib/tomcat8/webapps/
cp mysql-connector-java-5.1.38/mysql-connector-java-5.1.38-bin.jar /etc/guacamole/lib/
cp guacamole-auth-jdbc-0.9.9/mysql/guacamole-auth-jdbc-mysql-0.9.9.jar /etc/guacamole/extensions/


# Configure guacamole.properties 
echo "mysql-hostname: localhost" >> /etc/guacamole/guacamole.properties 
echo "mysql-port: 3306" >> /etc/guacamole/guacamole.properties 
echo "mysql-database: guacamole_db" >> /etc/guacamole/guacamole.properties 
echo "mysql-username: guacamole_user" >> /etc/guacamole/guacamole.properties
# This is where you will want to change "PASSWORD" 
echo "mysql-password: PASSWORD" >> /etc/guacamole/guacamole.properties 
rm -rf /usr/share/tomcat8/.guacamole 
ln -s /etc/guacamole /usr/share/tomcat8/.guacamole 

# Restart Tomcat Service 
service tomcat8 restart

#Configure the MySQL database
#Make sure you change MYSQLROOTPASSWORD and PASSWORD
create database guacamole_db;
create user 'guacamole_user'@'localhost' identified by 'PASSWORD';
GRANT SELECT,INSERT,UPDATE,DELETE ON guacamole_db.* TO 'guacamole_user'@'localhost';
flush privileges;

#Populate the database
#Make sure you change MYSQLROOTPASSWORD
cat guacamole-auth-jdbc-0.9.9/mysql/schema/*.sql | mysql -u root -pMYSQLROOTPASSWORD guacamole_db

After that it should be as simple as logging into your shiny guacamale server as guacadmin/guacadmin.

It wasn’t that simple for me. When I tried to log in all I got was a blank page. Reading the log file /var/log/tomcat8/localhost.<date>.log revealed the following:

Error querying database. Cause: java.sql.SQLException: Access denied for user 'guacamole_user '@'localhost' (using password: YES)

I kept changing and double checking the password for guacamole and couldn’t figure out why it was getting access denied. I even manually logged into mysql with that username and password and it worked, yet guacamole would not load in the browser.

After staring at the log long enough I realized that there is a space before the closing tick on the username. Aha! There were pesky trailing spaces in my guacamole.properties. Removing those spaces did the trick. Always some mundane detail!

Finally I have guacamole 0.9.9 working.

Install Guacamole 0.9.8 in CentOS 7

Lately I’ve embarked in installing the latest version of Guacamole, 0.9.8, in a fresh installation of CentOS 7. Kudos go to the excellent guide I found from here.  Derek’s guide is for 0.9.7 but it also works for 0.9.8. I ran into a few hangups but after I figured them out it worked beautifully.

First, fetch the needed binaries:

rpm -Uvh http://mirror.metrocast.net/fedora/epel/7/x86_64/e/epel-release-7-5.noarch.rpm   # EPEL Repo
yum -y install wget   # wget
wget http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/felfert/Fedora_19/home:felfert.repo && mv home\:felfert.repo /etc/yum.repos.d/   # Felfert Repo
yum -y install tomcat libvncserver freerdp libvorbis libguac libguac-client-vnc libguac-client-rdp libguac-client-ssh
yum -y install cairo-devel pango-devel libvorbis-devel openssl-devel gcc pulseaudio-libs-devel libvncserver-devel terminus-fonts \
freerdp-devel uuid-devel libssh2-devel libtelnet libtelnet-devel tomcat-webapps tomcat-admin-webapps java-1.7.0-openjdk.x86_64

Next, install guac server (the latest as of this writing is 0.9.8)

mkdir ~/guacamole && cd ~/
wget http://sourceforge.net/projects/guacamole/files/current/source/guacamole-server-0.9.8.tar.gz
tar -xzf guacamole-server-0.9.8.tar.gz && cd guacamole-server-0.9.8
./configure --with-init-dir=/etc/init.d
make install

I received an error while running ./configure :

checking for jpeg_start_compress in -ljpeg... no
configure: error: "libjpeg is required for writing jpeg messages"

It means I didn’t have libjpeg dev libraries installed. Easily fixed:

yum install libjpeg-turbo-devel

Next, install the guacamole war files

mkdir -p /var/lib/guacamole && cd /var/lib/guacamole/
 wget http://sourceforge.net/projects/guacamole/files/current/binary/guacamole-0.9.8.war -O guacamole.war
 ln -s /var/lib/guacamole/guacamole.war /var/lib/tomcat/webapps/
 rm -rf /usr/lib64/freerdp/guacdr.so
 ln -s /usr/local/lib/freerdp/guacdr.so /usr/lib64/freerdp/

Next comes configuring the database

#Install database and connector
yum -y install mariadb mariadb-server
 mkdir -p ~/guacamole/sqlauth && cd ~/guacamole/sqlauth
 wget http://sourceforge.net/projects/guacamole/files/current/extensions/guacamole-auth-jdbc-0.9.8.tar.gz
 tar -zxf guacamole-auth-jdbc-0.9.8.tar.gz
 wget http://dev.mysql.com/get/Downloads/Connector/j/mysql-connector-java-5.1.32.tar.gz
 tar -zxf mysql-connector-java-5.1.32.tar.gz
 mkdir -p /usr/share/tomcat/.guacamole/{extensions,lib}
 mv guacamole-auth-jdbc-0.9.8/mysql/guacamole-auth-jdbc-mysql-0.9.8.jar /usr/share/tomcat/.guacamole/extensions/
 mv mysql-connector-java-5.1.32/mysql-connector-java-5.1.32-bin.jar /usr/share/tomcat/.guacamole/lib/
 systemctl restart mariadb.service

#Configure database
mysqladmin -u root password MySQLRootPass
mysql -u root -p   # Enter above password
create database guacdb;
create user 'guacuser'@'localhost' identified by 'guacDBpass';
grant select,insert,update,delete on guacdb.* to 'guacuser'@'localhost';
flush privileges;
cd ~/guacamole/sqlauth/guacamole-auth-jdbc-0.9.8/mysql/schema/
cat ./*.sql | mysql -u root -p guacdb   # Enter SQL root password set above

Now we need to configure guacamole to use our new database.

mkdir -p /etc/guacamole/ && vi /etc/guacamole/guacamole.properties
# MySQL properties
mysql-hostname: localhost
mysql-port: 3306
mysql-database: guacdb
mysql-username: guacuser
mysql-password: guacDBpass

# Additional settings
mysql-disallow-duplicate-connections: false

Link the file you just made to the tomcat configuration directory

ln -s /etc/guacamole/guacamole.properties /usr/share/tomcat/.guacamole/

Cleanup temporary files and enable necessary services on boot

cd ~ && rm -rf guacamole*
systemctl enable tomcat.service && systemctl enable mariadb.service && chkconfig guacd on
systemctl reboot

Lastly, open the firewall up for port 8080 (thanks stack overflow)

firewall-cmd --permanent --add-port=8080/tcp
firewall-cmd --reload

Navigate to guacamole in your browser: http://<IP address>/guacamole:8080. You should see the guacamole login screen.

Additional hiccup

This new version of guacamole has a different user interface. It took me longer than I’d like to admit to realize how to get out of a guacamole session once it’s started. Sessions are now full screen with no obvious way to exit.

The way to exit the full screen guacamole session is to press the magic key combination of ctrl, alt, and shift. It will reveal a menu from the side. This is all clearly defined in the user documentation, but my lack of willingness to read it caused me to waste much time. Lesson learned!

Disable access logging in Tomcat 7

Guacamole is a great HTML5 VPN gateway. It allows me to access internal applications without having to install any software. I wrote about it briefly in this article.  It wasn’t until I noticed that my Splunk indexer reported warnings that I had exceeded my 500MB quota (the free license maximum amount) that I realized that guacamole has a verbosity problem.

In examining the logs it appears that Guacamole passes about 6 HTTP requests per second while you’re using it. This problem is magnified if you have guacamole sitting behind an apache server, as each request is logged twice – once in Apache access logs, and again in Tomcat access logs.

Since I already have that same information in apache access logs and I don’t allow access directly to Tomcat, I set out to disable Tomcat logging completely. Things have changed between versions so it got a little confusing.

To disable logging in Tomcat 7, you have to edit /etc/tomcat7/server.xml (that’s where it lives in Ubuntu Server 14.04 anyway) and comment out a section (thanks to Stack Overflow for helping me figure this out.)

vim /etc/tomcat7/server.xml

Find this line:

    <Valve className="org.apache.catalina.valves.AccessLogValve" directory="logs"  
           prefix="localhost_access_log." suffix=".txt"
           pattern="%h %l %u %t &quot;%r&quot; %s %b" resolveHosts="false"/>

Comment out the line like this:

    <!-- <Valve className="org.apache.catalina.valves.AccessLogValve" directory="logs"  
           prefix="localhost_access_log." suffix=".txt"
           pattern="%h %l %u %t &quot;%r&quot; %s %b" resolveHosts="false"/> -->

Save the file and restart Tomcat.

service tomcat7 restart

No more duplicate logging.

Use Sophos User portal and WAF on same port

The Sophos UTM firewall is a great piece of security software. It is designed with businesses in mind but is also free for home use. It has many features, two of which (User Portal and Web Application Firewall) compete for the same port – TCP 443 (https.) This is a shame if you want to run both services simultaneously but only have one IP address.

For some reason the folks at Astaro (Sophos) have not engineered a way to allow the WAF and User Portal to play nicely, saying on their forums to just configure them to use different ports. What if you have people who are behind firewalls that only allow ports 80 and 443? You are stuck.

I didn’t like that answer so I set out to research a way around this. The solution to this problem lies with Apache and its reverse proxy feature. A reverse proxy is a webserver that receives HTTP requests and forwards them to some other location, then returns the response.

My solution to the “I want both WAF and User Portal to use the same port” problem is to put the user portal on a different, internal-only port, spin up a small apache server, configure it to forward all requests to the user portal address:port combination, and add it as a real server in the sophos WAF.

Change user portal port

Easy enough: Go to Management / User Portal / Advanced tab, scroll down to the “Network Settings” section and pick a different port, then click apply.

Spin up a reverse proxy web server

I went with Ubuntu Server 14.04 so I could have newer software packages.

  1. Install apache
    sudo apt-get install apache2
  2. Enable needed modules
    sudo a2enmod ssl
    sudo a2enmod proxy
    sudo a2enmod proxy_http
  3. Configure apache to proxy all requests to your user portal
    #Add the following to default-ssl.conf
    sudo vim /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/default-ssl.conf
    SSLProxyEngine On
    #Enable the next 3 lines if you want to ignore certificate errors
    #SSLProxyVerify none
    #SSLProxyCheckPeerCN off
    #SSLProxyCheckPeerName off
    #Configure the reverse proxy to forward all requests
    ProxyPass / https://<your firewall IP>:<port you chose earlier>/
    ProxyPassReverse / https://<your firewall IP>:<port you chose earlier>/
    #Make sure slashes are at the end (important)
  4. Restart apache
    sudo service apache2 reload

 Add your reverse proxy to Sophos UTM

  1. Add your proxy server as a real webserver. Go to Webserver protection / Web Application Firewall / Real Webservers and add your proxy server address. Make sure the type is “Encrypted HTTPS” (important.)
  2. Add your desired URL as a virtual server and point to your proxy real server (Virtual Webservers tab.) You’ll have to have an SSL certificate generated, which is beyond the scope of this post.


The above configuration will work with every function of the User Portal.. except for the HTML5 VPN gateway. For some inexplicable reason it has scripts hard coded to use the root directory, which Apache won’t proxy properly even if you have rewrite rules in place. I fiddled with this for hours before I finally gave up and looked elsewhere for an HTML5 VPN solution.


It’s more than just dip, it’s an excellent open source HTML5 RDP/VNC/SSH gateway. Unlinke Sophos’s option, guacamole properly handles being in a subdirectory. Unfortunately it is very frustrating and user un-friendly to configure. I decided just to use a pre-configured VM appliance from Green Reed Technology. It’s an excellent appliance and “just works” – a much better experience than wrestling with archaic configuration files. You can get it from here.