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ThinLinc Demo Instance

This is a docker based instance of ThinLinc. Running under docker its default behavior is to suffer from complete amnesia after each restart. As such it requires some minimal configuration after startup to accept your logins.


First you have to install docker. If you are running ubuntu, docker will be available as a package for installation. If you are on windows or macos you can go to to download docker for your os. If you are on RedHat, install podman-docker to get a docker compatible cli for podman.

Normally a docker image will run a single application. Often only a single process. In order to demo ThinLinc we get docker to run an entire linux system for us. For this to work, docker needs to run in --privileged mode.

The ThinLinc client uses ssh to communicate with its server, with the --publish option you map the ssh port of the ThinLinc demo server to a port, accessible from the outside. Keep the docker attached to the terminal -t to see all the messages it outputs to the console.

docker run --privileged --pull=always --name my-tl-demo --publish 9922:22 -t oposs/tl-ubuntu

Pro Tip If you feel uneasy about giving the ThinLinc docker image full system access using the --privileged option you can also use the following commandline to start.

docker run -v /sys/fs/cgroup/:/sys/fs/cgroup:ro \
  --tmpfs /run --tmpfs /run/lock \
  --pull=always \
  --cap-add SYS_PTRACE --cap-add SYS_ADMIN \
  --name my-tl-demo --publish 9922:22 -t \


Before you can login, the ThinLinc server requires some minimal configuration

First add a user account. Either with a password

docker exec my-tl-demo tlcfg add-user myuser mypassword

or using an ssh public key

docker exec my-demo-docker tlcfg add-ssh-user myuser "public ssh key"

Second, let the ThinLinc server know under what hostname it is reachable from the client. This is a very important step, as ThinLinc uses a load-balancing system where it will tell your client to connect to the the ThinLinc server with the lowest load in your ThinLinc cluster.

In this example we tell the ThinLinc server that it can be reached from the local machine. But you can also set the public IP or the dns name of your machine to make your demo instance available on your network.

docker exec my-tl-demo tlcfg set-hostname

Now all is ready for accessing the ThinLinc server using the ThinLinc client. Make sure to configure the ThinLinc client to use the right port number.

If you have not yet downloaded a ThinLinc client, you can download it here.


When you are done testing, you can get rid of your ThinLinc demo server very easily:

docker kill my-tl-demo
docker rm my-tl-demo

Note that this will also get rid of anything you have done on the ThinLinc demo server while logged in with your demo user


If you want to have a peak inside the ThinLinc server while it is running, try this

docker exec -ti my-tl-demo bash


If you want to tinker with thinlinc, and modify it ... fork this repo and let me have a pull request. To get started, use the following command to rebuild the docker image locally.

docker build --tag tl-ubuntu:latest .