Manage your Amazon Linux WorkSpaces - Amazon WorkSpaces

Manage your Amazon Linux WorkSpaces

As with Windows WorkSpaces, Amazon Linux WorkSpaces are domain joined, so you can use Active Directory Users and Groups to:

  • Administer your Amazon Linux WorkSpaces

  • Provide access to those WorkSpaces for users

Because Linux instances do not adhere to Group Policy, we recommend that you use a configuration management solution to distribute and enforce policy. For example, you can use AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate, AWS OpsWorks for Puppet Enterprise, or Ansible.

Note

Local printer redirection is not available for Amazon Linux WorkSpaces.

Control WorkSpaces Streaming Protocol (WSP) behavior on Amazon Linux WorkSpaces

The behavior of WSP is controlled by configuration settings in the wsp.conf file, which is located in the /etc/wsp/ directory. To deploy and enforce changes to the policy, use a configuration management solution that supports Amazon Linux. Any changes take effect when the agent starts up.

Note
  • If you make incorrect or unsupported changes to the wsp.conf file, policy changes may not be applied to the newly established connections on your WorkSpace.

  • Amazon Linux WorkSpaces on WSP bundles currently have the following limitations:

    • Currently only available in the AWS GovCloud (US-West) and AWS GovCloud (US-East).

    • Video-in is not supported.

    • Disconnect session on screen lock is not supported.

The following sections describe how to enable or disable certain features.

Configure clipboard redirection for WSP Amazon Linux WorkSpaces

By default, WorkSpaces supports clipboard redirection. Use the WSP configuration file to configure this feature, if needed. This setting takes effect when you disconnect and reconnect the WorkSpace.

To configure clipboard redirection for WSP Amazon Linux WorkSpaces
  1. Open the wsp.conf file in an editor with elevated rights by using the following command.

    [domain\username@workspace-id ~]$ sudo vi /etc/wsp/wsp.conf
  2. clipboard = X

    Where the possible values for X are:

    enabled — Clipboard redirection is enabled in both directions (default)

    disabled — Clipboard redirection is disabled in both directions

    paste-only — Clipboard redirection is enabled but only allows you to copy contents from the local client device and paste it to the remote host desktop

    copy-only — Clipboard redirection is enabled but only allows you to copy contents from the remote host desktop and paste it to the local client device

Enable or disable audio-in redirection for WSP Amazon Linux WorkSpaces

By default, WorkSpaces supports audio-in redirection. Use the WSP configuration file to disable this feature, if needed. This setting takes effect when you disconnect and reconnect to the WorkSpace.

To enable or disable audio-in redirection for WSP Amazon Linux WorkSpaces
  1. Open the wsp.conf file in an editor with elevated rights by using the following command.

    [domain\username@workspace-id ~]$ sudo vi /etc/wsp/wsp.conf
  2. Add the following line to the end of the file.

    audio-in = X

    Where the possible values for X are:

    enabled — Audio-in redirection is enabled (default)

    disabled — Audio-in redirection is disabled

Enable or disable time zone redirection for WSP Amazon Linux WorkSpaces

By default, the time within a Workspace is set to mirror the time zone of the client that is being used to connect to the WorkSpace. This behavior is controlled through time zone redirection. You might want to turn off time zone direction for reasons such as the following:

  • Your company wants all employees to work in a certain time zone (even if some employees are in other time zones).

  • You have scheduled tasks in a WorkSpace that are meant to run at a certain time in a specific time zone.

  • Your users who travel a lot want to keep their WorkSpaces in one time zone for consistency and personal preference.

Use the WSP configuration file to configure this feature, if needed. This setting takes effect after you disconnect and reconnect to the WorkSpace.

To enable or disable time zone redirection for WSP Amazon Linux WorkSpaces
  1. Open the wsp.conf file in an editor with elevated rights by using the following command.

    [domain\username@workspace-id ~]$ sudo vi /etc/wsp-agent/wsp.conf
  2. Add the following line to the end of the file.

    timezone_redirect= X

    Where the possible values for X are:

    enabled — Time zone redirection is enabled (default)

    disabled — Time zone redirection is disabled

Control PCoIP Agent behavior on Amazon Linux WorkSpaces

The behavior of the PCoIP Agent is controlled by configuration settings in the pcoip-agent.conf file, which is located in the /etc/pcoip-agent/ directory. To deploy and enforce changes to the policy, use a configuration management solution that supports Amazon Linux. Any changes take effect when the agent starts up. Restarting the agent ends any open connections and restarts the window manager. To apply any changes, we recommend rebooting the WorkSpace.

Note

If you make incorrect or unsupported changes to the pcoip-agent.conf file, you might cause your WorkSpace to stop working. If your WorkSpace stops working, you might need to either connect to your WorkSpace using SSH to roll back the changes, or you might have to rebuild the WorkSpace.

The following sections describe how to enable or disable certain features. For a full listing of the available settings, run man pcoip-agent.conf from the terminal on any Amazon Linux WorkSpace.

Configure clipboard redirection for PCoIP Amazon Linux WorkSpaces

By default, WorkSpaces supports clipboard redirection. Use the PCoIP Agent conf to disable this feature, if needed. This setting takes effect when you reboot the WorkSpace.

To configure clipboard redirection for PCoIP Amazon Linux WorkSpaces
  1. Open the pcoip-agent.conf file in an editor with elevated rights by using the following command.

    [domain\username@workspace-id ~]$ sudo vi /etc/pcoip-agent/pcoip-agent.conf
  2. Add the following line to the end of the file.

    pcoip.server_clipboard_state = X

    Where the possible values for X are:

    0 — Clipboard redirection is disabled in both directions

    1 — Clipboard redirection is enabled in both directions

    2 — Clipboard redirection is enabled client to agent only (allow copy and paste only from local client device to the remote host desktop)

    3 — Clipboard redirection is enabled agent to client only (allow copy and paste only from the remote host desktop to the local client device)

Note

Clipboard redirection is implemented as a virtual channel. If virtual channels are disabled, clipboard redirection doesn't work. To enable virtual channels, see PCoIP Virtual Channels in the Teradici documentation.

Enable or disable audio-in redirection for PCoIP Amazon Linux WorkSpaces

By default, WorkSpaces supports audio-in redirection. Use the PCoIP Agent conf to disable this feature, if needed. This setting takes effect when you reboot the WorkSpace.

To enable or disable audio-in redirection for PCoIP Amazon Linux WorkSpaces
  1. Open the pcoip-agent.conf file in an editor with elevated rights by using the following command.

    [domain\username@workspace-id ~]$ sudo vi /etc/pcoip-agent/pcoip-agent.conf
  2. Add the following line to the end of the file.

    pcoip.enable_audio = X

    Where the possible values for X are:

    0 — Audio-in redirection is disabled

    1 — Audio-in redirection is enabled

Enable or disable time zone redirection for PCoIP Amazon Linux WorkSpaces

By default, the time within a Workspace is set to mirror the time zone of the client that is being used to connect to the WorkSpace. This behavior is controlled through time zone redirection. You might want to turn off time zone direction for reasons such as the following:

  • Your company wants all employees to work in a certain time zone (even if some employees are in other time zones).

  • You have scheduled tasks in a WorkSpace that are meant to run at a certain time in a specific time zone.

  • Your users who travel a lot want to keep their WorkSpaces in one time zone for consistency and personal preference.

If needed for Linux WorkSpaces, you can use the PCoIP Agent conf to disable this feature. This setting takes effect when you reboot the WorkSpace.

To enable or disable time zone redirection for PCoIP Amazon Linux WorkSpaces
  1. Open the pcoip-agent.conf file in an editor with elevated rights by using the following command.

    [domain\username@workspace-id ~]$ sudo vi /etc/pcoip-agent/pcoip-agent.conf
  2. Add the following line to the end of the file.

    pcoip.enable_timezone_redirect= X

    Where the possible values for X are:

    0 — Time zone redirection is disabled

    1 — Time zone redirection is enabled

Grant SSH access to Amazon Linux WorkSpaces administrators

By default, only assigned users and accounts in the Domain Admins group can connect to Amazon Linux WorkSpaces by using SSH.

We recommend that you create a dedicated administrators group for your Amazon Linux WorkSpaces administrators in Active Directory.

To enable sudo access for members of the Linux_Workspaces_Admins Active Directory group
  1. Edit the sudoers file by using visudo, as shown in the following example.

    [example\username@workspace-id ~]$ sudo visudo
  2. Add the following line.

    %example.com\\Linux_WorkSpaces_Admins ALL=(ALL) ALL

After you create the dedicated administrators group, follow these steps to enable login for members of the group.

To enable login for members of the Linux_WorkSpaces_Admins Active Directory group
  1. Edit /etc/security/access.conf with elevated rights.

    [example\username@workspace-id ~]$ sudo vi /etc/security/access.conf
  2. Add the following line.

    +:(example\Linux_WorkSpaces_Admins):ALL

For more information about enabling SSH connections, see Enable SSH connections for your Linux WorkSpaces.

Override the default shell for Amazon Linux WorkSpaces

To override the default shell for Linux WorkSpaces, we recommend that you edit the user's ~/.bashrc file. For example, to use Z shell instead of Bash shell, add the following lines to /home/username/.bashrc.

export SHELL=$(which zsh) [ -n "$SSH_TTY" ] && exec $SHELL
Note

After making this change, you must either reboot the WorkSpace or log out of the WorkSpace (not just disconnect) and then log back in for the change to take effect.

Protect custom repositories from unauthorized access

To control access to your custom repositories, we recommend using the security features built into Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) rather than using passwords. For example, use network access control lists (ACLs) and security groups. For more information about these features, see Security in the Amazon VPC User Guide.

If you must use passwords to protect your repositories, be sure to create your yum repository definition files as shown in Repository Definition Files in the Fedora documentation.

Use the Amazon Linux Extras Library repository

With Amazon Linux, you can use the Extras Library to install application and software updates on your instances. For information about using the Extras Library, see Extras Library (Amazon Linux) in the Amazon EC2 User Guide for Linux Instances.

Note

If you are using the Amazon Linux repository, your Amazon Linux WorkSpaces must have internet access, or you must configure virtual private cloud (VPC) endpoints to this repository and to the main Amazon Linux repository. For more information, see Provide internet access from your WorkSpace.

Use smart cards for authentication on Linux WorkSpaces

Linux WorkSpaces on WorkSpaces Streaming Protocol (WSP) bundles allow the use of Common Access Card (CAC) and Personal Identity Verification (PIV) smart cards for authentication. For more information, see Use smart cards for authentication.

Configure device proxy server settings for internet access

By default, the WorkSpaces client applications use the proxy server that’s specified in the device operating system settings for HTTPS (port 443) traffic. The Amazon WorkSpaces client applications use the HTTPS port for updates, registration, and authentication.

Note

Proxy servers that require authentication with sign-in credentials are not supported.

You can configure the device proxy server settings for your Linux WorkSpaces through Group Policy by following the steps in Configure device proxy and internet connectivity settings in the Microsoft documentation.

For more information about configuring the proxy settings in the WorkSpaces Windows client application, see Proxy Server in the Amazon WorkSpaces User Guide.

For more information about configuring the proxy settings in the WorkSpaces macOS client application, see Proxy Server in the Amazon WorkSpaces User Guide.

For more information about configuring the proxy settings in the WorkSpaces Web Access client application, see Proxy Server in the Amazon WorkSpaces User Guide.

Proxying desktop traffic

For PCoIP WorkSpaces, the desktop client applications do not support the use of a proxy server nor TLS decryption and inspection for port 4172 traffic in UDP (for desktop traffic). They require a direct connection to ports 4172.

For WSP WorkSpaces, the WorkSpaces Windows client application (version 5.1 and above) and macOS client application (version 5.4 and above) support the use of HTTP proxy servers for port 4195 TCP traffic. TLS decryption and inspection are not supported.

WSP does not support the use of proxy for desktop traffic over UDP. Only WorkSpaces Windows and macOS desktop client applications and WSP web access support the use of proxy, for TCP traffic.

Note

If you choose to use a proxy server, the API calls that the client application makes to the WorkSpaces services are also proxied. Both API calls and desktop traffic should pass through the same proxy server.

Recommendation on the use of proxy servers

We do not recommend the use of a proxy server with your WorkSpaces desktop traffic.

Amazon WorkSpaces desktop traffic is already encrypted, so proxies do not improve security. A proxy represents an additional hop in the network path that could impact streaming quality by introducing latency. Proxies could also potentially reduce throughput if a proxy is not properly sized to handle desktop streaming traffic. Furthermore, most proxies are not designed for supporting long running WebSocket (TCP) connections and may affect streaming quality and stability.

If you must use a proxy, please locate your proxy server as close to the WorkSpace client as possible, preferably in the same network, to avoid adding network latency, which could negatively impact streaming quality and responsiveness.