Kasm Workspaces?

Last weekend a friend reminded me that I needed to look into an application called Kasm Workspaces https://www.kasmweb.com/ Jay from Learn Linux TV did a couple videos on this several months ago and I found his videos sitting in my “saved for later”.

Why can this be useful?

It can be used like Guacamole to RDP, VNC, etc. into your system from a web browser. You can also launch temporary (or persistant data) containers to do “stuff”.

I’ve just started to see how I might use this, install was only about half an hour from new VM to operational Kasm server. Still need to get more config done, but I can do “stuff” with it now.

Mostly just wondering how many other people might be using this and if they have any tips. I only saw 3 posts when I did a search here.

I only use this to run different browsers for troubleshooting.
This can be very handy to check if a service is available remotely when I am at work.

Wish I could get a static IP at home, that would be a good use case. I’m CGnat at home so not even a ddns as far as I know.

Set up a $5 a month linode and setup openVPN. Then route all traffic to whatever you want behind your CGNAT.

I use it and have my KASM server set to always use a VPN via my pfsense. Good for browser testing and testing out sketchy links.

Kasm Workspaces definitely is a interesting product. I have no use for it in a work environment and for personal use I do not want to agree to a EULA.

There also is the issue of use case and necessity. It is trivial to setup a simple Linux or Windows VM with remote desktop access. Sure having the temporary system might be nice but outside of a few limited use cases it feels like more of a novelty.

Additionally, I do not think it would be that hard to put something together that works in the same way. Kasm seems to be a bit over engineered and I think I might be able to do the same thing in a much simpler environment. All you would need is a container running xrdp and a GUI. You could spin up a container for you or anyone else that needs it without to much difficulty. Combine that with some python automation and your in business.

The beauty of this and Guacamole is that stupid user can just point a web browser at it and click on stuff. There are many ways I can manage things for myself, but my users will be a vastly different story. There is a reason that NASA uses/used Guacamole for access to their weather system, and this by supposed highly learned people doing high level weather research.

These are the same reasons why things like Barracuda devices for remote access through your browser are popular, the users don’t need to know more than just surfing the web.

But I will give you that I don’t fully understand the temporary containers. It’s really convenient to click on a container for web browser for dangerous links or just a simple way to get into something like XenOrchestra or Microsoft WAC. Same for SSH, and a list of servers saved in Remmina certainly make it easier to move around if you are not in the office and need to fix something. That said my SSH container will probably go away since I can SSH out of Remmina and store the connection for easy access.

As far as a EULA, I don’t remember clicking on anything while I was installing it on Debian. I’m going to need to do this again because I find out there is a switch that needs to be set, and really the best place to set this is during install. So mine will get destroyed and built again when I have time so that one more feature works properly. If I get a EULA, then I’ll make sure to look at it more closely. The only limitation that I see is that I can only have 5 concurrent sessions running on the free personal/non-profit self hosted version and none of the custom branding stuff.