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My host machine is using Remote Desktop Connection Manager (RDCM) on Windows10. Using RDCM to connect to several remote machines running CentOS7 (and connecting via xrdp (used https://www.itzgeek.com/how-tos/linux/centos-how-tos/install-xrdp-on-centos-7-rhel-7.html to set up)) with their default Gnome desktop GUIs. One of the sessions in RDCM appears unresponsive to any cursor clicking.

Some info on the problem:

  • The session on this problem machine appears to be frozen after several days of remaining connected and working fine (while all of the other are OK).
  • When I move the cursor over this remote GUI session, the cursor changes to look like how it should in that OS, but I cannot click on anything or interact with anything in the remote desktop in any way
  • (and I am unable to use the remote OS's hotkeys to try anything because they only register with my local Windows OS).
  • Sometimes mouse clicks will work, but when able to click, in say a text document, the key-presses seem to go unregistered.
  • However, I can still ssh into this machine via terminal, but would like to avoid a hard KILL of the session in the interest of saving data that is not saved in that session.
  • Firewalld is inactive.

This appears to happen when connected to the remote server desktop over a period of many days where the remote server is a linux (CentOS7) box (does not appear to happen when connecting to a Windows server). I am able to log back into the linux session (after, say, the session screen goes to sleep) without problems, but once logged in can only move the cursor and clicking appears to do nothing.

Has anyone had this problem before? Any more debugging into that I should collect to make problem clearer (never used remote desktop stuff or centOS7 before)? What can be done to fix this?

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This seems to be a common issue with gnome (https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=675345 and https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=767173). What seems to help is using another terminal on local machine to ssh into the remote and restarting the gnome desktop manager via systemctl restart gdm.service. After a minute or two, going back to the frozen remote desktop session, it again appears to register mouse clicks.

Other people seeming to have this same issue have also had success connecting to the remote desktop via VNC (as opposed to RDP) (https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=767173#90):

The entire image freezes (also the video playback in VLC which was going on). I can move the mouse around, but cannot get any interaction. If i try to drag a window for instance, nothing seems to happen. However... When I take over the computer with VNC (Vino), the desktop is running perfectly fine! The video is still playing and the window I tried to drag was actually moved.

Worst case scenario, can use a separate terminal to run pkill -KILL -u <username> to kill all of that frozen user's sessions (note this will cause loss of unsaved data for all sessions). Can see what users are running on the server via pstree -ua.

UPDATE:

Found more info on this problem here: https://www.fmtconsultants.com/how-to-prevent-frozen-sessions-in-remote-desktop-services-with-automatic-logout/ From the article:

Occasionally, we receive support requests from our clients to assist with “frozen screens” while using a Remote Desktop Services (RDS) environment. What we usually find when we look into these problems are active running sessions with a disconnected status that continue to consume system resources. This occurs because users are able to disconnect from RDS by clicking on the close window icon, instead of properly logging off from the RDS server.

Will update as I debug for better solutions

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