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Old 7th July 2008
JMJ_coder JMJ_coder is offline
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Default Remote login into Windows

Hello,

I have a friend who runs Windows and is asking for some help. From either Slackware Linux or NetBSD, how could I login to his computer and check things out? This will be to do things such as defragging his hard drive, checking anti-virus software, cleaning up internet settings, etc. (general system maintenance).



-- Note: this is strictly legit - guest accounts can be added, virtualization software can be installed on my computer, etc.. Back alley shady solutions need not apply.
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Old 7th July 2008
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Easiest way is to use remote desktop if it is XP Pro or one of the server versions. There is a client application that is part of Gnome, and probably is available more generally. Otherwise, you can use VNC -- there is OSS software for both sides.
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Old 7th July 2008
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Google either "VNC" or "rdesktop".
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Old 7th July 2008
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ_coder View Post
From either Slackware Linux or NetBSD, how could I login to his computer and check things out?
If you want a graphical solution, try VNC, or one of its variants:

http://pkgsrc.se/search.php?so=vnc
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Old 7th July 2008
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Using VNC would probably be the most easy solution, it has the advantage of "sharing a screen" of sorts which can be handy.


I believe that windows remote desktop services 'lock' the users session while the remote connection is active but I could be wrong.



rdesktop is suitable for working with the windows end of it but remember, XP Home only has the MS client, Pro and MCE have the server for it -> but VNC is just an install away on any machine.





-- side note


I've had to help a friend via remote a few times before, we usually use VNC, voice and text chat and his webcam when necessary.
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Old 7th July 2008
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That's all correct, but be careful if you use VNC and have different screen resolutions on the two computers. None of mine match up that well (my two main ones are 2560x960 and 1900x1200 and it creates quite a mess) For me rdesktop works better (if on XP Pro or MCE) but it does lock the other person out.
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Old 7th July 2008
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Some VNC clients can rescale it to a smaller size, I believe KDE's utility can but have never used the button.


I often have to VNC into a windows server that causes the window to dip past my laptops widescreen monitors boundary because of the resolution differences + frame/titlebar.

My solution was, fvwm and scrolling around my workspace instead.
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Old 8th July 2008
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Hello,

Thanks for the replies. Yes, VNC sounds like what I am looking for (I actually had the 'screen sharing' idea in my head). rdesktop, from the replies - I don't know - I can't guarantee he has XP Pro (it's 50/50 on the side of being XP Home). It may A couple more questions:

1) Is it just the client end that is needed (no server)?
2) Must the VNC client be installed and run on both ends?
3) Is one OSS version better than the other (recommendations)? Is NetBSD's /net/vnc from pkgsrc enough?


Thank you for all your help.
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Old 8th July 2008
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VNC is client->server.

Thus, you'll need to install a server on the other persons computer... and use a client on your computer.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ_coder View Post
2) Must the VNC client be installed and run on both ends?
Yes. Of course you have to start the side you connect to (the Windows equivalent of a daemon).
Quote:
3) Is one OSS version better than the other
I've tried a couple of flavors (tightvnc, gnome-vnc and one other) and they were more the same than they were different. For your purposes speed probably does not matter much. The ability to scale the screen you should look at.
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Old 8th July 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ_coder View Post
3) Is one OSS version better than the other (recommendations)?
VNC & its family are wire pigs -- meaning that the protocol used is very chatty & chews up bandwidth. TightVNC is an attempt to curb the appetite & I have had acquaintances recommend it to me, but I have never used it myself.

http://www.tightvnc.com/

YMMV, but do your homework.
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Hello,

Quote:
Originally Posted by BSDfan666 View Post
VNC is client->server.

Thus, you'll need to install a server on the other persons computer... and use a client on your computer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJ View Post
Yes. Of course you have to start the side you connect to (the Windows equivalent of a daemon).
That's what I thought, but some of the previous replies confused me a bit (or did I confuse myself ).


One final question (I hope!) - does the client and server side have to run the same program? For instance, say the Windows server runs gnome-vnc and the BSD client runs tightvnc - will it work? Or do both need to run gnome-vnc or both need to run tightvnc?
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Old 8th July 2008
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Hello,

Quote:
Originally Posted by ocicat View Post
VNC & its family are wire pigs -- meaning that the protocol used is very chatty & chews up bandwidth. TightVNC is an attempt to curb the appetite & I have had acquaintances recommend it to me, but I have never used it myself.

http://www.tightvnc.com/

YMMV, but do your homework.
Thanks - I'll probably test drive /net/vnc and /net/tightvnc.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ_coder View Post
One final question (I hope!) - does the client and server side have to run the same program? For instance, say the Windows server runs gnome-vnc and the BSD client runs tightvnc - will it work? Or do both need to run gnome-vnc or both need to run tightvnc?
No, they don't have to be the same. But gnome is *nix, so please don't try it on Windows! FWIW, I just tried gnome-vnc (on Free) to TightVNC (on W2K) and it works fine, other than the screen size mismatch I have.
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Hello,

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJ View Post
No, they don't have to be the same. But gnome is *nix, so please don't try it on Windows! FWIW, I just tried gnome-vnc (on Free) to TightVNC (on W2K) and it works fine, other than the screen size mismatch I have.
What - no M$ binary?! That's odd. Well, I do see that tightvnc does have a M$ binary available - and I'm not the biggest fan of Gnome (though I prefer it over KDE - if those are my only two choices) - so I guess I'll try tightvnc on the Windows computer.

Thanks for the help.
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I just tried vnc again (that is realvnc) and it too is fine. Minor interface differences with gnome-vnc (vinage?) but it is more the same than different.
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Old 8th July 2008
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For the client side I would go with SSVNC.
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VNC is just a protocol, simple as that.


The person who needs to share the screen needs a server. *


The person who needs to connect to the screen via VNC needs to have a client.


Whether the program is both a client and a server, just a client, or just a server, is implementation dependent -- even RealVNC has/had a client only version.


*the usual ports and routing issues not to be forgotten of course.
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