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remote access to desktops

Hello,
I am looking for a solution to offering a tech support service where
MS laptops and linux boxes are intermingled.
Already sorted out that openvpn is great to bring the boxes together
onto the same LAN.
I want customers to share their desktops with me, so I can dink round
on their machines fixing things and I want to share my desktop with
customers to demonstrate stuff.

Anything opensource spring to mind?

TIA
Syd
0
1/14/2010 10:22:29 PM
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On Thu, 2010-01-14 at 14:22 -0800, syd_p wrote:
> Hello,
> I am looking for a solution to offering a tech support service where
> MS laptops and linux boxes are intermingled.
> Already sorted out that openvpn is great to bring the boxes together
> onto the same LAN.
> I want customers to share their desktops with me, so I can dink round
> on their machines fixing things and I want to share my desktop with
> customers to demonstrate stuff.
> 
> Anything opensource spring to mind?

VNC? (lots of variants)

It's not the fastest thing out there, but will get the
job done.

KDE's desktop sharing option in openSUSE essentially does this
(when all works correctly).


0
Chris
1/14/2010 11:09:25 PM
syd_p <sydneypuente@yahoo.com> wrote:
> I am looking for a solution to offering a tech support service where
> MS laptops and linux boxes are intermingled.

Intermingled?

Ah, a Tech Support service that handles systems running either MS Windows
or a Linux distribution?


> Already sorted out that openvpn is great to bring the boxes together
> onto the same LAN.

Um, not entirely sure why this is relevant for a Tech Support service. Or
are you planning to offer network services or maybe provide
(semi)-automated remote administration?

If you have OpenVPN connecting the systems back to your LAN, give serious
consideration to ensuring that none of the customer systems can in any
way reach any of the other customer systems. (Can you say "worm"?)


> I want customers to share their desktops with me, so I can dink round
> on their machines fixing things and I want to share my desktop with
> customers to demonstrate stuff.

Sounds fair enough.

> Anything opensource spring to mind?

VNC and Remote Desktop would be two of the selection to consider.

Chris
0
Chris
1/15/2010 12:01:43 AM
syd_p took to the world wide interwebs to proclaim:
> Anything opensource spring to mind?

Google springs to mind. Have you tried that?
0
shine
1/15/2010 4:28:48 AM
On Thu, 14 Jan 2010 14:22:29 -0800, syd_p wrote:

> Hello,
> I am looking for a solution to offering a tech support service where MS
> laptops and linux boxes are intermingled. Already sorted out that
> openvpn is great to bring the boxes together onto the same LAN.
> I want customers to share their desktops with me, so I can dink round on
> their machines fixing things and I want to share my desktop with
> customers to demonstrate stuff.
> 
> Anything opensource spring to mind?
> 
> TIA
> Syd

You can remotely access Windows desktops with rdesktop. Unfortunately 
rdesktop respects the Windows client limit of one user at a time which 
means that it's fine if you want to use it to remotely configure a 
Windows system but it's not useful if you want someone else to view what 
you are doing. VNC works for both Linux and Windows and it has no client 
limit so both you and your clients can both view the same desktop. 
Unfortunately the performance of VNC sucks. I ssh into my Linux boxes and 
run Xemacs over the tunnel and then invoke other programs from an Emacs 
shell, I don't have any reason to run a remote desktop. If you need to 
trouble shoot or administer a Linux system the right way to do it is to 
ssh into the box and run a shell. If you want to demonstrate something to 
someone then you will have to use VNC.
0
General
1/15/2010 5:44:44 PM
General Schvantzkoph wrote:
> On Thu, 14 Jan 2010 14:22:29 -0800, syd_p wrote:
> 
>> Hello,
>> I am looking for a solution to offering a tech support service where MS
>> laptops and linux boxes are intermingled. Already sorted out that
>> openvpn is great to bring the boxes together onto the same LAN.
>> I want customers to share their desktops with me, so I can dink round on
>> their machines fixing things and I want to share my desktop with
>> customers to demonstrate stuff.
>>
>> Anything opensource spring to mind?
>>
>> TIA
>> Syd
> 
> You can remotely access Windows desktops with rdesktop. Unfortunately 
> rdesktop respects the Windows client limit of one user at a time which 
> means that it's fine if you want to use it to remotely configure a 
> Windows system but it's not useful if you want someone else to view what 
> you are doing. VNC works for both Linux and Windows and it has no client 
> limit so both you and your clients can both view the same desktop. 
> Unfortunately the performance of VNC sucks. I ssh into my Linux boxes and 
> run Xemacs over the tunnel and then invoke other programs from an Emacs 
> shell, I don't have any reason to run a remote desktop. If you need to 
> trouble shoot or administer a Linux system the right way to do it is to 
> ssh into the box and run a shell. If you want to demonstrate something to 
> someone then you will have to use VNC.

Performance of VNC can be okay, depending on the variant of VNC (for 
example, tightvnc can compress better than the original version), the 
options used (type of compression, turning off background wallpaper, 
etc.), and of course the bandwidth available.  It also helps on windows 
VNC servers to have the "mirage" mirror driver installed.

An alternative would be to use nomachine nx on a common server, and have 
people access that.

Is there any way to do rdesktop serving in Linux?  The only RDP clients 
I know of are Windows, Windows Terminal Server, and Virtual Box - I 
would be interested to know of a (preferably open source) Linux RDP server.
0
David
1/16/2010 3:35:12 PM
Chris Davies wrote:

> syd_p <sydneypuente@yahoo.com> wrote:
>> I am looking for a solution to offering a tech support service where
>> MS laptops and linux boxes are intermingled.
> 
> Intermingled?
> 
> Ah, a Tech Support service that handles systems running either MS
> Windows or a Linux distribution?
> 
> 
>> Already sorted out that openvpn is great to bring the boxes together
>> onto the same LAN.
> 
> Um, not entirely sure why this is relevant for a Tech Support service.
> Or are you planning to offer network services or maybe provide
> (semi)-automated remote administration?
> 
> If you have OpenVPN connecting the systems back to your LAN, give
> serious consideration to ensuring that none of the customer systems
> can in any way reach any of the other customer systems. (Can you say
> "worm"?)

        I believe this is the default for OpenVPN.  At least, when I set up a
client / server tunnel over TUN, I went to set up the firewall on the
client so it could not reach any machines on the server's local LANs,
and iptables was already set up to only allow packets to and from the
server itself.  I certainly had never set it up that way, although of
course I would have had it not already been done.  I also have
forwarding shut down on the OpenVPN server, but for some
implementations this may not be practical.


>> I want customers to share their desktops with me, so I can dink round
>> on their machines fixing things and I want to share my desktop with
>> customers to demonstrate stuff.
> 
> Sounds fair enough.
> 
>> Anything opensource spring to mind?
> 
> VNC and Remote Desktop would be two of the selection to consider.

        I agree.
0
lrhorer
1/17/2010 1:25:12 AM
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