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How do you do....it? Thread, Remote Desktop Win->Linux, different countries in Technical; I have a sister living in Jersey who's using an old Dell laptop of mine with Ubuntu 8.04. She knows ...
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    Gerry's Avatar
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    Remote Desktop Win->Linux, different countries

    I have a sister living in Jersey who's using an old Dell laptop of mine with Ubuntu 8.04. She knows how to switch it on, log-in and use Firefox, but I'd like to be able to remotely access the laptop to perhaps fix a few things and show her how to update/install/use software etc...

    I use XP at home (Linux still doesn't have drivers for some of my hardware yet), so am looking at remote desktopping between OS's somehow. At the moment VNC appears to be the best free offering, but I think I'll still have to get some ports open on her ADSL router to use it.

    Ideally, I'd like something that is free, works on both XP and Linux, and is easy for a noob to set-up on Linux and through routers.

    Any ideas?

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Im not sure if logmein works with linux, if it does i would use that.

    z

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    Logmein won't work on linux no.

    Your best bet I think would be VNC or depending upon what you want to fix, SSH with X11Forwarding might be enough.

    Sorry.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Ah right well VNC will most probably be best.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    I assume your sister's router isn't blessed with a static IP? If not, then this link may be useful...

    DynDNS.com: DNS Hosting, E-mail Delivery, VPS Hosting and Other Services

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    Gerry (10th February 2009)

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    I assume your sister's router isn't blessed with a static IP? If not, then this link may be useful...

    DynDNS.com: DNS Hosting, E-mail Delivery, VPS Hosting and Other Services
    Good call didn't think of that one.

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    Good advice, but that will only help once you've got the ports forwarded through the router in the first place.

    Some SOHO routers allow an end user to configure a DynDNS/Noip account therein to keep the record up to date as the apps to be run on a PC internal to the network aren't the most robust.

    Best bet is going to be talking on the phone to her to talk her through installing OpenSSH-Server (Synaptic/Apt) and then through the configuration of the router as there's likely a 'named' rule for SSHd available on the router (same argument with VNC I suppose, just preference).

    Even better would be if the router supports a Telnet login you could do the port forwarding in the future yourself once SSH is on, but then again, you could do that with VNC + a web browser.

    Horses for courses.

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    Gerry (10th February 2009)

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    krisd32's Avatar
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    Would Team viewer not work?
    Link

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    Gerry's Avatar
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    I'm an SSH noob - anyone got any good sites I can read up about it and/or remoting into Linux in general? I've also been meaning to look into it with my hosting account... Isn't SSH a command line tool though? I'd prefer something GUI orientated to be able to demonstrate stuff to my sis.

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    Gerry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krisd32 View Post
    Would Team viewer not work?
    Link
    Windows or Mac OSX only I'm afraid although it sounds like just the sort of thing I want.

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    Gerry,

    I'll spent a little time today trying to get Teamviewer going on Linux via Wine or something.

    I implied using SSH would be easier (for me I imagine moreso than you) as it would mean from there you could install VNC amongst anything else you wanted and make the necessary router changes via Telnet.

    With hindsight and reading your reply, I'd suggest following my thought process but using VNC instead.

    Roughly speaking (VERY!) she could literally apt-get install x11vnc and run x11vnc (it won't have a password or anything at this point) and make the relevant router configuration change with you talking her through it and then once you're on you can secure it to your liking.

    Alternatively, been a while since I used Ubuntu but I imagine it has a "desktop sharing" feature (really it's just vnc) that can be enabled via the GUI along with the router port changes.

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    Gerry (10th February 2009)

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    Gerry's Avatar
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    I've got Ubuntu 8.04 running in VirtualBox here at work (I'm working on getting Synaptic to access the repo's, but so far I have only managed to get Firefox to work - ISA Firewall... Also got Ubuntu running virtually at home).

    Ubuntu does have a desktop sharing function which uses VNC.

    How would this whole VNC process work? It's not an easy thing to set something up to experiment... I've only ever used VNC on a private network.

    I'm guessing that one of us will need to find out the external IP using something like What Is My IP Address? being easiest, and then the other tells VNC to listen/connect to that IP?

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    Gatt's Avatar
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    VNC would be best option I reckon
    SSH/X11 Forwarding works but I find it really slow via anything other than a LAN and not sure it shadows a user like VNC will

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    Forwarding X11 over the internet is probably not a good idea.

    Get ssh to port forward on the router.

    Then tunnel through ssh to get VNC/X11/RDP whatever.

    See this document for how to tunnel using putty.

    Remote Desktop and SSH for the home user

    Smoothwall - Tunnelling VNC over SSH with PuTTY

    Or type ssh tunnel vnc rdp into google.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
    Ubuntu does have a desktop sharing function which uses VNC.

    How would this whole VNC process work? It's not an easy thing to set something up to experiment... I've only ever used VNC on a private network.
    Yeah, enable it, give it a password and then ensure port 5900 (default) is forwarded from her router to the internal IP of the laptop and then initially ask her to visit What Is My IP Address? - IP Address Lookup, Internet Speed Test, IP Info, plus more as you say and connect to it.

    Once in, you'll want to look at a dyndns name (unless she has a static IP ofc) and get that sorted either using an updater app or via the router itself, and then possibly as budgester has suggested looking at securing the set up by turning the VNC off and replacing it with SSH so you can SSH in (secure/encrypted/etc) and then tunnel the VNC connection through it. - Either that, or for ease, have your sister turn VNC on and off as she needs help as long as the router rule stays in place the hard works done.

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