About

When having CentOS linux server, one can turn it into remote desktop PC, access it via VNC client from Windows, Mac, Linux and work on Fluxbox server desktop like at any other PC. Fluxbox eats very low memory/RAM, though it is not easy to use it. Much more user friendly & feature rich desktop is LXDE.

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My default CentOS 5.x 64 linux before installation.
Used RAM: 15MB
Used HDD: 548M

After installation (incluing firefox):
Used RAM: 24
Used HDD: 909M

When using Firefox, 300MB RAM+ is used so you should get a VPS with at least 512MB burstable RAM when needed to browse internet. (InstantCpanelHosting.com has this for $6/mo. with CentOS+FluxBox+VNC already installed)

How to install Fluxbox on CentOS


First, you need to install appropriate RPMForge repository:

Code:
CentOS 5x32bit
wget http://packages.sw.be/rpmforge-release/rpmforge-release-0.5.2-2.el5.rf.i386.rpm;rpm -Uvh rpmforge-release-0.5.2-2.el5.rf.i386.rpm

CentOS 5x64bit
wget http://packages.sw.be/rpmforge-release/rpmforge-release-0.5.2-2.el5.rf.x86_64.rpm;rpm -Uvh rpmforge-release-0.5.2-2.el5.rf.x86_64.rpm

CentOS 6x32bit
wget http://packages.sw.be/rpmforge-release/rpmforge-release-0.5.2-2.el6.rf.i686.rpm;rpm -Uvh rpmforge-release-0.5.2-2.el6.rf.i686.rpm

CentOS 6x64bit
wget http://packages.sw.be/rpmforge-release/rpmforge-release-0.5.2-2.el6.rf.x86_64.rpm;rpm -Uvh rpmforge-release-0.5.2-2.el6.rf.x86_64.rpm

CentOS 7x64bit
wget  http://pkgs.repoforge.org/rpmforge-release/rpmforge-release-0.5.3-1.el7.rf.x86_64.rpm;rpm  -Uvh rpmforge-release-0.5.3-1.el7.rf.x86_64.rpm
Other architecture/version: https://www.google.cz/search?q=centos+7+rpm+forge+yum

(to know what is your linux distro, do command: uname -a
example output: Linux zzz 2.6.18-348.3.1.el5.028stab106.2 #1 SMP Wed Mar 27 16:56:40 MSK 2013 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux - means we using Linux 5.x (el5), 64bit (x86_64)

Download and install vnc-server, vnc, xorg, fluxbox and firefox(optional, 120MB) The data download and installation can take some time.
Code:
yum install vnc-server vnc xorg-x11-xinit fluxbox xterm xarchiver firefox -y;
Edit configuration file of a VNC server
Code:
vi /etc/sysconfig/vncservers
If file is empty/do not exist, then instal tigervnc: "yum install tigervnc tigervnc-server -y" and try again editting that file. And insert:

VNCSERVERS="1:root"
VNCSERVERARGS[1]="-geometry 1024x768"
it means you connect vnc at port 1 as user "root" ...

To get into edditing mode, do "a" key, to stop editing, do Ctrl+C, to save changes do :wq to quit without saving :q!

Then make vncserver start at boot:

Code:
chkconfig vncserver on
Then run vncserver:

Code:
vncserver
You will be asked for the password for vnc sessions and it will create startup script also.


After this im able to connect VNC at port 1, username root. If not able, continue this manual:


Then edit vnc startup script created in /root/.vnc/

Code:
vi /root/.vnc/xstartup
Add these two lines to the end of the file:

amule &
fluxbox &
to make fluxbox running into vncserver at its start

To get into edditing mode, do "a" key, to stop editing, do Ctrl+C, to save changes do :wq to quit without saving :q!

Restart vnc server:

Code:
service vncserver restart
you may want to make vncserver start at boot automatically. Create new script containing "service vncserver start" command:

Code:
touch /root/.vnc/vncstart;chmod +x /root/.vnc/vncstart;echo "service vncserver start" > /root/.vnc/vncstart
Then append the command to start above created script into /etc/rc.local file which is launched in server start

Code:
echo "sh /root/.vnc/vncstart" >> /etc/rc.local
Then use VNC client to connect your new CentOS Fluxbox remote desktop.
address: yourserverIP:1
username: root
password: yourpassword

if not work, u can also try port 5901,5902.. instead 1

After you reboot your server next time, vncserver should autostart on boot, but if not, you should use command "vncserver" to start it manually.

Please report how this guide worked for you.

If you failed to install it or dont have time or need a turn key solution, please contact http://instantcpanelhosting.com to buy your Fluxbox remote desktop VPS (starting at around $6 monthly).

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Launching Applications at Fluxbox and Installing new ones
Right click the desktop for the menu, launch apps etc. If you need more apps, do command: yum install appname
app names you can find here: http://community.linuxmint.com/software/browse
you can then run an app by typing command or adding the app into menu by editting file /yourusername(root?)/.fluxbox/menu
for example i added xarchiver (zip utility) by pasting this line into that file: "[exec] (Xarchiver) {xarchiver} </usr/share/pixmaps/xarchiver.xpm>". Then rebuild fluxbox menu by: "Right click on desktop, fluxbox menu, Tools, Regen Menu" or restart fluxbox/vnc server.

Torrent client:
I tried to install transmission, deluge, azureus and ktorrent. ktorrent was able to start, but its not that lightweight. Install ktorrent, do command: yum install ktorrent
Or install transmission (more simple, lightweight): yum install transmission*
launch transmission doing command in fluxbox: transmission-gtk