I've known since shortly after starting with various flavors of *nix circa '04 that the OS is multi-user server environment. There remains a nagging issue that I just can't seem wrap my head around, and I'd like to solve it. Given that on effectively any virtual infrastructure (whether I own it or not) I can spin up this multi-user environment with relative ease and connect to it securely (as I can), and given that I can install and securely deliver applications at no additional cost per application via ssh command line, why is complete, open delivery of a desktop environment such a pain?
VDI solutions exist, but are nearly all geared towards Windows; this makes sense given that the Windows environment wasn't designed with multiple users in mind. Such tools that support linux exist, but are far less prevalent.
Furthermore, solutions seem to exist within the current scope of *nix OSs and Ubuntu specifically via LTSP, but when put into a public space (remote server), LTSP (to my knowledge) breaks down.
Getting to the question (this isn't a rant thread; I'm just frustrated because I haven't yet found a solution to this issue), is there a way to deliver a full desktop experience (sound, video, something skype-ish) via remote Ubuntu Server to a local Ubuntu client (I'll worry about other platforms later) that doesn't involve software costs?
Here's what I've tried so far:
Ubuntu 12.04 and Ubuntu 14.04 (desktop and server) using LXDE delivered via xrdp -> everything works wonderfully, except for sound. Ubuntu 12.04 and Ubuntu 14.04 (desktop and server) gnome-session-fallback via freenx -> mixed results: 12.04 worked fairly well and I'm still working on that [video only, so far], 14.04 was a total bust: the only that works is an ssh prompt. Ubuntu 12.04 and Ubuntu 14.04 (desktop) applications deliverd ssh + x -> works, except for sound Ubuntu 12.04 and Ubuntu 14.04 (desktop) desktop delivered via xephyr -> remote screens blank
Any help is appreciated.