X11 / XDMCP Keyboard mapping error AFTER remote Ubuntu login (!)

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by theheadguy, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. theheadguy macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2005
    Put on ur thinking cap for this one. :) Yes, much of this is with Ubuntu (Linux) but I am gathering from what I have read this is an OS X issue. I am not familiar with every single 'term' so please bear with me.

    MBP running 10.5.5 w/ newest version of X11
    Linux box running Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron)

    Keys not mapped correctly after successful remote XDMCP login from OS X to Ubuntu.

    When I open Terminal and remotely access Ubuntu, the Ubuntu login screen shows up as expected. I can successfully type my username and password from my Mac. However, once the login actually occurs, the keyboard no longer types the same letters that are pressed. Meaning, if I press "d" on the keyboard, a "y" will show up on Ubuntu, pressing "f" results in an apostrophe ('), etc. There are various forums on the Internet that reveal few people having the same issue, but I can't understand the solution (and I thought I was a techie). To make things even more bizarre, when I VNC in using a standard OS X VNC client and Ubuntu's native remote desktop feature, the keyboard mapping is perfect. There are NO issues with VNC.

    Q: Why don't you just VNC instead of XDMCP?
    A: I would love to, BUT, I want to be able to put my small Linux server box hidden in a ventilated cabinet with no monitor, keyboard or mouse. Out of the box, Ubuntu does not start the VNC service without someone already being logged in.

    Q: Why don't you find a way to start the VNC service before login?
    A: I'm trying to, but it is proving equally difficult.

    Q: Why don't you log in with XDMCP, start a VNC session, then close XDMCP and continue with your VNC session?
    A: Great idea. However, when I close out of XDMCP, Ubuntu immediately logs out for security purposes and, thus, closes my VNC session.

    Q: Why don't you log in with XDMCP, minimize it, and start a VNC session and keep both open?
    A: Great idea. However, with both sessions open, the VNC session is not viewable. So to use the Linux box, I have to seen windows within XDMCP and to type I have to use the black VNC screen while watching the XDMCP window. Thank goodness nobody is watching me type in a black window, I'm sure I look crazy.

    Q: Why are you doing this?
    A: I have Boxee on my AppleTV and have found the interface to be much better. But moreover, the ability to pull content off of several network resources (mainly my Linux box) is amazingly easy. My Linux box is dedicated solely to downloading movies (uh, free ones of course) and as soon as the download is complete, it instantly appears on Boxee, without any intervention from me. It's a great setup as long as I can ditch the need for a monitor, keyboard and mouse from Ubuntu.

    Thanks for your help. Hopefully, if this gets resolved, it can help someone else.
  2. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    You can use VNC. It has to be a service that is automatically started as a daemon. I've done this in the past and it should let you authenticate fine.

    Here's an article, and I quickly scanned it and it seems correct. No warranties though.


    Alternatively, you could setup your machine to auto-login and VNC should start automatically as well.
  3. theheadguy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2005
    Thanks, the weird part is I have done those exact instructions before, but it seems to not work. No matter what, the Mac VNC client says connection refused (61). However, I noticed in the comments that for Ubuntu 6.06 it requires the editing of "/etc/X11/gdm/gdm.conf-custom" (-custom being different from the original instructions). I have not seen this comment before, and I will try it tonight.

    Also, I've been at this for about 15+ hours total and never thought of having it auto-login!! Ugh-- talk about feeling stupid!! I have searched so many forums and nobody has thought of this!! ::bangs head against keyboard:: Thank you!! :p

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