Oracle Secure Global Desktop Review

I’ve spent around 40-50 hours working Oracle SGD. To summarize my experience, it is a difficult software to use. I am a student that had no previous experience with Oracle products other than Java and Virtualbox. Oracle SGD works well with Virtualbox. However, when you come across issues, it may be difficult to get it fixed without purchasing a license. That is because support documentation is behind a paywall.

Secure Global Desktop

Secure global desktop is a platform that allows clients to access certain applications through a web client. For example, you are on a Linux work machine but you want to access MS Paint, Secure Global Desktop will allow you to do that. You can go on the SGD client site using Firefox and run paint directly from your Linux machine.

Running Microsoft paint on the Oracle Secure Desktop web client
You can create users through SGD administration tools or through LDAP (Active Directory)

That sounds good on paper, but in reality, Secure Global Desktop is not a very good software. It rarely ever works for many applications and it also requires significant overhead. First SGD server needs to be installed on Oracle Linux. It will not work with CentOS or Ubuntu. SGD server is installed on Oracle Linux to manage the administration of SGD and acts a central hub for the application servers. Application servers are other machines like Windows, CentOS, and Ubuntu. The applications on SGD web clients run natively on these application servers.

CentOS, Ubuntu, and Windows machines will need to be created and then added as Application servers in SGD
Applications can then be created in Secure Global Desktop Administration

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Allows for Windows and Linux applications to run on a web client
  • Works with LDAP and Active Directory
  • The web client can be accessed anywhere
  • Very secure
  • User friendly for the web client user

Cons

  • Support is limited because no one uses Secure Global Desktop
  • It is entirely an enterprise tool
  • Oracle does not accommodate beginners trying to learn Oracle software
  • Technical support and documentation is behind a paywall where only system administrators with licenses can access it
  • Students that are looking to learn SGD will have to fix errors and problems with no guidance
  • Oracle is not committed to SGD

Overall, SGD in theory is a very useful tool when it works. But as a student that tried working with it for 40 hours, it was one big headache. This has also been my experience with Oracle Solaris, a competitor of Linux. Many of Oracle’s products are great, but not this one.

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