Using Desktop Linux


The objective of this lab is to provide a complete Linux Desktop Experience through different means - from methods that are easy to ones that are advanced.

What to do

IMPORTANT: BEFORE you begin ANY method described below, ensure you installed and are running Student Virtual Private Network (VPN)

There are 3 ways to connect to from a Linux Desktop:

  1. easy :: this method runs Desktop Linux from computers located on Seneca's campus
  2. intermediate :: uses a Live Desktop Linux (Knoppix) located on your laptop
  3. advanced :: uses Desktop Linux (Debian virtual machine) located on your laptop

All three require the use of Student Virtual Private Network (VPN) so be sure you have Student VPN installed and running before you start any of the methods described below.


Desktop Linux through Seneca's VirtualCommons

This method of running desktop Linux is, relatively speaking, the easiest of the three options and possibly the only one you need if you find the other two too difficult or you have hardware that does not support virtualization.

STEP 1 - Remote Desktop to Seneca's VirtualCommons

First install and run Student Virtual Private Network (VPN) (a reboot may be required if you cannot authenticate successfully the first time). Next, follow the instructions to reserve a remote desktop that lets you connect to Seneca's VirtualCommons. The videos linked to below walk through the steps needed to connect to Seneca VirtualCommons from macOS or Windows:

STEP 2 - Open Knoppix from MyApps

[VIDEO] HOWTO Run Knoppix from MyApps on VirtualCommons.

In brief, the steps involved are:

  1. From the remote desktop session you are connected to, open a browser and connect to
  2. After you have MyApps open in your browser, select Knoppix and run it.

STEP 3 - Connect to matrix from Knoppix

You are in Knoppix running on VirtualCommons for this step. On the Knoppix taskbar click on Terminal, when the Terminal opens run the following to connect to by replacing <MySeneca> with your MySeneca username (username and password used when checking Seneca email).

ssh <MySeneca>

Desktop Linux on your local computer

The instructions for connecting to will be updated and posted here later this semester.

Last Updated: 2021-Oct-19 Tue 16:24