Guacamole – HTML5 Remote Desktop Sweetness

Guacamole is a gateway application described for HTML5 Clientless Remote Desktop, and I absolutely fell in love with it recently. Working in the field, you constantly come across networks where you get limited access to the outside world, where the life's goal of the firewall outgoing policies is to make your life a living hell when you need to get something from your own network. </rant>

I've tried RDP Gateways (not really platform portable), SSL VPNs, Secure VNC, and a bunch more, but none seemed to stuck. None was really usable on all platforms I want access from (Mac, Windows, Tablets, foreign computers).

Guacamole run ons Linux and uses a java applet (hosted inside a tomcat instance) which in turn talks to guacd. Guacd is the service that connects to the configured device. This connection can be a RDP, VNC or SSH connection. That means you can use Guacamole as a complete portal into your own network.

Because your connections go over HTTP(s), it's corporate-network-proof and can be used on every device with a browser. Note: I've tested Windows, OS X, Android and iOS so far and all is good in the world!

The user experience is very damn smooth and graphics and sound are damn good (I found myself watching streaming video and audio through a session a few days ago). Check out this demo video:

Next up; how to install Guacamole.

Share the wealth!


  1. Hi, could I ask which browser you are using on iOS? I’ve installed this for a client with a lot of users with iPads. I can’t find a browser that supports keyboard and with my iPad running version plus 6.0 I don’t get to even the login screen.


    • Martijn

      January 25, 2014 at 18:47

      Chrome on iOS 7, haven’t tried iOS 6 or Safari. The lack of onscreen keyboard is true, the text boxes inside the RDP sessions are not recognised by iOS. I solved that by using a bluetooth keyboard attached to the device. Got a very nice folded keyboard for that. 🙂

  2. Wow, this is awesome. When it matures, this could be an internet consortium standard, akin to webrtc/voip.

  3. Hi,
    Any recommendations on best Linux version for guacamole. I read that Fedora had best package for automatic config and setup. Is this still true? Any ideas and input for install procedures would be great. Thanks.

    • Martijn

      May 17, 2014 at 14:48

      The Linux distribution doesn’t really matter. Guacamole is a java/tomcat application, so it will run on basically everything. My advice: take the distribution on which you’re most comfortable.

      I haven’t been able to publish the installation guide yet due to other stuff which has kept me pretty busy, but I plan to do some more posts (including a installation of Guacamole) soon!

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