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Docker Desktop enables you to create virtual desktops that can be accessed remotely. It comes with Firefox and Libreoffice already installed!
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config Unpack config.tar Jan 11, 2014
image Dockerfile, config files and documention added Jun 29, 2013 Update Aug 19, 2014
MAINTAINER Add Paim Pozhil as Maintainer Sep 26, 2014



This Dockerfile creates a docker image and once it's executed it creates a container that runs X11 and SSH services. The ssh is used to forward X11 and provide you encrypted data communication between the docker container and your local machine.

Xpra + Xephyr allows to display the applications running inside of the container such as Firefox, LibreOffice, xterm, etc. with recovery connection capabilities. Xpra also uses a custom protocol that is self-tuning and relatively latency-insensitive, and thus is usable over worse links than standard X.

The applications can be rootless, so the client machine manages the windows that are displayed.

Fluxbox and ROX-Filer creates a very minimalist way to manage windows and files.

Docker L

OBS: The client machine needs to have a X11 server installed (Xpra). See the "Notes" below.

Docker Installation

On Ubuntu:

Docker is available as a Ubuntu PPA (Personal Package Archive), hosted on launchpad which makes installing Docker on Ubuntu very easy.

#Add the PPA sources to your apt sources list.
sudo apt-get install python-software-properties && sudo add-apt-repository ppa:dotcloud/lxc-docker
# Update your sources
sudo apt-get update
# Install, you will see another warning that the package cannot be authenticated. Confirm install.
sudo apt-get install lxc-docker

On Windows:


On Mac OS X:



Building the docker image

$ docker build -t rogaha/docker-desktop git://


$ git clone
$ cd docker-desktop
$ docker build -t [username]/docker-desktop .

Running the docker image created (-d: detached mode, -P: expose the port 22 on the host machine)

$ CONTAINER_ID=$(docker run -d -P [username]/docker-desktop)

Getting the password generated during runtime

$ echo $(docker logs $CONTAINER_ID | sed -n 1p)
User: docker Password: xxxxxxxxxxxx
# where xxxxxxxxxxxx is the password created by PWGen that contains at least one capital letter and one number


Getting the container's external ssh port

$ docker port $CONTAINER_ID 22
49153 # This is the external port that forwards to the ssh service running inside of the container as port 22

Connecting to the container

Starting the a new session

$ ifconfig | grep "inet addr:" 
inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask: # This is the LAN's IP for this machine

$ ssh docker@ -p 49153 "sh -c './docker-desktop -s 800x600 -d 10 > /dev/null 2>&1 &'" # Here is where we use the external port
docker@'s password: xxxxxxxxxxxx 

$ ./docker-desktop -h

Usage: docker-desktop [-s screen_size] [-d session_number]
-s : screen resolution (Default = 800x600
-d : session number (Default = 10)
-h : help

Attaching to the session started

$ xpra --ssh="ssh -p 49153" attach ssh:docker@ # user@ip_address:session_number
docker@'s password: xxxxxxxxxxxx 

If you want to execute rootless programs, you just need to connect to the container via ssh and type: DISPLAY=:[session_number] [program_name] &

Eg. DISPLAY=:10 firefox &


On Windows:


On OS X:


On Linux:


  • Xpra: You can use apt-get to install it -> apt-get install xpra
  • Path: /usr/bin/xpra
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