How to: Add a preconfigured setting to the guest account on Ubuntu

How to: Add a preconfigured setting to the guest account on Ubuntu (In this case a preconfigured RDP setting for Remmina Remote Desktop)

As you could imagine, one of the main appeals of using a Linux system, particularly Ubuntu in our case is the ability to freely use software that allow us to use low end machines as terminal clients for RDP sessions. Given that context we wanted to be able to create an environment where our users could easily access the client machine and connect to our RDP server. We explored the possibility of using the guest account although the new feature from Ubuntu called Universal Client Configuration Service (UCCS) definitively seemed like the right fit. We tried UCCS but encountered some issues with the initial configuration that would not allow us to add a local RDP host (seems like it is looking for a URL and it involves a sign on process which we would prefer to avoid). Canonical's Universal Client Configuration Service

So the solution for us now was to use the guest account in Ubuntu. The next step is understanding how the guest account works. It creates an account just like if you had created a new user and populates with the default settings found on the “skeleton” directory: ” /etc/skel “. The other important thing to consider is that all storage for the guest account is stored on volatile memory, for which reason it will not persist. So the key here is that settings do not persist, but, if you store settings in the skel directory every new account provisioned, including the guest account and accounts created in the future. So in my case as all the users who will be using this computer need the preconfigured RDP settings it does not affect me. If you have a particular requirement in which new accounts need different settings that the guest account then this will probably won’t work for you.

Another important thing to note is that in order to copy the settings file from an existing session into the skel folder you need administrator rights. If like me you are not a big fan of the terminal but rather the GUI you can run the following command to launch a file explorer session with admin rights to copy the information you need:

sudo nautilus

I hope this helps anyone trying to get the guest account default to certain settings!

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