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How Remote Access Is Supported in Abiquo

VNC connections allow remote access to virtual machines on hypervisors (as a remote desktop in Windows). In Abiquo, to connect to a virtual machine using VNC, click the eye button on the virtual machine control panel. 

By default these connections go directly from the Abiquo client to the hypervisor's remote access server over the Abiquo management network as shown in the following diagram.  

Default Configuration Without Proxy Server

If you do not wish to expose IP addresses and ports on your hypervisor network directly to the Internet (or to the environment where your cloud users connect from), configure a proxy server for VNC. See DEVOPS:Configuring Remote Access with VNC

Remote Access to Captured Virtual Machines

When you retrieve and import a virtual machine, the machine's remote access configuration is loaded into Abiquo. If remote access is enabled on the virtual machine before you capture it, you will be able to access the virtual machine through the eye icon without any further action. 

If remote access is not enabled on the virtual machine before you capture it, you can enable it when you reconfigure the virtual machine. See #Enable and Disable Remote Access to a Virtual Machine

Supported Hypervisors

The following table shows VNC and RDP support in hypervisors. Abiquo includes TightVNC, which is integrated into the platform.

Access Support?
Eye Icon provides
Remote Access Support?
Amazon(tick) RDP(error) Connection details popup

MindTerm, SSH, PuTTY, RDP


(tick) VNC


TightVNC(default), NoVNC 


(tick) RDP

(error) Connection details popup

xfreerdpHyper-V Cloud Node Configuration#VCloudNodeConfiguration-RemoteAccess


(tick) VNC


TightVNC(default), NoVNC 
Oracle VM(tick)(error) Connection details popup No remote access support because of Oracle security policy


(error) VNC

(error) XenServer only allows
VNC in localhost mode



Disable or Enable Remote Access Capabilities for the Abiquo Platform

By default, remote access is enabled for the whole Abiquo platform. If your user role has permission to modify the system properties (by default, CLOUD_ADMIN), you can disable or enable remote access capabilities for the whole platform.

To disable remote access, do these steps:

  • Access Abiquo GUI and go to the Configuration view
  • Go to the System Properties tab, then the Infrastructure tab.
  • Set the Virtual machine remote access parameter to reflect your access policy.


Changes to Remote Access for the Platform Do Not Affect Deployed VM Configurations

If there are virtual appliances deployed before you change remote access they will keep their original state. After you disable remote access for the platform, you cannot access previously deployed VMs by clicking the eye icon but the port is still enabled on the hypervisor.

Enable or Disable Remote Access to a Virtual Machine

New feature

This feature was introduced in version 2.6.

If remote access is enabled for the Abiquo platform, users can enable or disable remote access on their virtual machines during reconfiguration. This feature will configure remote access in the hypervisor and when the user starts the virtual machine, a connection to a remote access port will be opened.

Configuration of TightVNC

The default Abiquo remote access configuration uses TightVNC. See also DEVOPS: VNC Configuration

Enable or Disable VNC Control Menu in the Browser

To display the VNC menu at the top of a VNC window, you should edit the site's tightvnc.html:

  1. Open /var/www/html/ui/lib/remoteaccess/tightvnc/tightvnc.html
  2. Search for the parameter Show controls and type NO or YES depending on your needs.
  3. Go back to Abiquo and click on the 'eye' icon.

Remote Access Passwords on Virtual Machines

For information about remote access passwords for virtual machines, please see the User's Guide section on Configure Virtual Machines.

Configure VNC Connection Port Range with Abiquo Configuration Properties

In general, VNC connections should use ports 5900 to 6000. Each VNC connection to a virtual machine on the hypervisor will require a port. Review the remote access documentation for your hypervisor. Set the properties abiquo.vncport.min (the default is 5900) and abiquo.vncport.max (the default is 65534) in the Abiquo Configuration Properties. Remember that VMware only recommends ports 5900 to 5964 (See VMware Documentation).

Configure VNC Key Map for ESX and ESXi

Key Map Selection

The VNC Key Map property and keymap selector features are only available in VMware ESX and ESXi hypervisors

You can configure different keymaps for VNC connections to ESX/ESXi hypervisors. Changes to this configuration will only affect machines that are not yet deployed.

Default Property Configuration

To configure a default keyboard map for users of your datacenter, set the RemoteDisplay.vnc.keyMap property in the Abiquo Configuration Properties for Remote Services.

Then follow the instructions in #GUI Configuration to set the default as the first entry in webapps/ui/config/client-config.json so that the global property will also be seen in the GUI.

To give an example, if you set the keyMap to 'de' in but do not set the client-config.json, then VNC will use the German keyboard but the virtual machines will all display that they are using the first value in the client-config.json, by default US101.

If you do not set the default property, the hypervisor's default keyboard map is the first value in the configuration file: client-config.json in webapps/ui/config.

By default this is the US101 keyboard map (US English). See VMware Keyboard Map Documentation

GUI Configuration

Users can select a keyboard from the pull-down list when they configure their virtual machine. Check the keyboard support for your hypervisors.

To configure the list of available keyboards in the Abiquo GUI, edit the client-config.json in /var/www/html/ ui /config. The default list is given here and it contains the list of keymaps available by default. You can enter any names and values for which you have keymaps configured in VMWare.

default keymap values from client-config.xml.jsp
    "config.keymaps" : [
        {"value":"us", "name":"US English", "isDefault":true},
        {"value":"uk", "name":"UK English"},
        {"value":"es", "name":"Español"}

The hypervisor's default keyboard map is the US101 keyboard map (US English). See VMware Keyboard Map Documentation

See also Configuring Remote Access with VNC