Guest's picture

'cos the Turnkey Dev system rocks!

It's called philnix and is available on github at

I based it off the fileserver appliance, but that may change in the future. Note that is using the 13.0 RC: my main reason for doing this is that it enables mouse integration in Hyper-V. Very handy.

The highlight is that it includes RDP support, though this does entail downloading and compiling an entire new X distribution, which may take a while :-) The created ISO is about 1Gb and expands to about 4Gb. Memory usage is tiny: about 180Mb with a bare remote X RDP session running.

There is a large list of TODOs: see github. In particular, if anybody knows how to get Windows network browsing/drive mapping working in user-land Thunar I'd really appreciate it!


I also have these two comments about the tkldev build system

  • It would be nice if tkldev supported smb so we could map a drive in Windows Explorer rather than having to use SFTP in FileZilla to get the product.iso file out. A workaround is to use Swish-FTP from
  • It is not clear of the difference/reason for the "plan" and "conf" folders in the build system. In particular, conf appears to be run before plan, which makes it impossible to tweak configurations of packages if you install them via plan.

Maybe I don't understand the reason for plan and conf.d.

This is very much a first draft and may undergo further tweaking, but is now usable for my needs. Comments welcome!



From the readme:


A minimalist but usable X-Windows box. The philosophy of philnix is

  • Provide a minimimalist but usable X Windows environment both on the console and via RDP.
  • Interoperate with Windows via Samba: philnix home drives are shared, and Windows shares can be mapped in philnox.
  • Include a core "web development" environment: this means monospaced fonts, compilers, Emacs, Chromium and The GIMP.
  • Eschew eye candy: there is no cairo-dock or conky.
  • Eschew office suites: everybody has their own idea of what they need and they are massive.

This first cut is intended for use as a VM, and lacks many of the niceties which would make it usable on bare metal: there is no (tested) wifi, network management, sound or graphical login manager.

It includes:

  • XFCE desktop environment, with Mousepad, Thunar and XFCE-terminal
  • X11RDP, so that you can connect via RDP from MS Windows
  • Some monospaced fonts for programming
  • Emacs 24.3, lightly tweaked
  • Standard GNU compiler chain (gcc, g++, automake etc.)
  • Chromium web browser
  • GIMP image editor
  • Evince PDF viewer
  • GThumb image browser
  • sudo
  • Creates one sudo-capable user called "admin" with password "turnkey"
  • Does not disable the root account, though that is easily done: see conf.d/main



Either connect via RDP or login to the console as "admin" and type "startxfce4" to bring up the window environment.

Also includes all the features of the File Server appliance as stated below....

Jeremy Davis's picture

Some time ago I worked on a TKL Desktop system which was coined 'TKL Client'. I chose LXDE though as it is super lightweight but quite attractive too... Anyway good on you.

I'm yet to have a proper look at TKLDev so can't really comment on your question in regards tp plan vs conf.d...

As for your request for Samba built into TKLDev... I can't talk for the devs but I find it unlikely that it'll happen... IME most TKL hacker/builders use Linux (which will happily map a remote SFTP server in the local file manager) or do enough of it that they don't think twice about firing up their FTP client (something like Filezilla or whatever).

FWIW when I use Win7 on my laptop (it dual boots Debian Wheezy which I generally prefer, but Win7 is easier for my Win/MS centric work...) I use Win-SSHFS. I find it works well and is really reliable. The only bug I have found is that it will crash after Win goes into standby (it's a bit annoying, but not too bad). Another app that seems popular is Swish (although I haven't tried it). There also seem to be a number of non FOSS but free apps that sound like they'd acheive the same ends...

Or if you plan on doing a bit of dev work then you could always set up your own local TKLDev setup with Samba configured... 

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