How do I create a ThinLinc user?

Quite often we get asked how to create a ThinLinc user account.

Unlike some other remote desktop solutions, a ThinLinc user is a standard POSIX user. That means ThinLinc uses exactly the same user accounts as the underlying Linux system on which it is installed. So in order to create (or remove, or modify) a ThinLinc user, you simply use the same tools as you would for a Linux system user. When running ThinLinc in a cluster configuration, a centralised authentication mechanism such as LDAP or Active Directory is normally used.

If the configuration parameter /vsmagent/make_homedir is set, home directories for new users will be created automatically on first login, using the structure in /etc/skel.

Users can also be added to system groups, and these groups specified in various places in the ThinLinc configuration. For example:

  • Restricting ThinLinc usage to certain groups
  • Determining which groups have access to a subcluster
  • Determining which groups can shadow other users
  • Providing customised desktops (“profiles”) based on group membership

There are several other advantages of having ThinLinc users as system users too, such as being able to take advantage of standard Linux features like cgroups to limit resource usage per user.