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Saffsd 01-20-2004 12:41 AM

Accessing linux server from windows machine
 
Hello everybody. I have a linux box that i would like to convert into a headless server without losing the ability to go in and make alternations to it.

I would like to be able to access the machine as root from another machine, preferably with the ability to use X in full. Is this possible? And how could I go about it?

As I understand it, what I want is to basically use my windows machine as a linux thin client. In order to do this, what do I need to set up on the two sides?

Any pointers are appreciated! Thanks!

Buchan 01-20-2004 01:27 AM

Well that depends on how much you have set up on the machine.
If you have a complete install of fedora for instance you should have VNC.
VNC stands for Virtual Network Computing and basicly it means that you can take over the use of the machine without having to be near it.

Its basicly as simple as setting up the service by enabling it and setting up a password by typing vncpasswd. To set up the server edit /etc/sysconfig/vncservers and add your user name ... root in your case add this line to the file
Code:

VNCSERVERS="1:root"
this means that you will connect to VNC server 1 on port 5901

In Fedora you can enable the VNC server using the services program in redhat. Or if you just want to test it out type "service vncserver start" and as long as its configured properly you'll get an OK message back.

adz 01-20-2004 01:43 AM

You can just set up a telnet server on you linux box. Then install xwin32 on you windows box and make sure you've put an appropriate xhost config into the linux box.

usernamenumber 01-20-2004 09:08 AM

Please, for the love of all that is holy, don't use telnet! =:)

SSH will give you the same ability to connect, but will not send everything (including passwords) unencrypted across the network. SSH will even forward all X connections over an encrypted tunnel if you turn on the "X11 Forwarding" option.

You can also use SSH to secure VNC which, like telnet, sends authentication information in the clear. Instructions are here: http://freesco.no-ip.org/VNC/

There is an excellent, free, ssh client for Windows called PuTTY. It's available here: http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~s.../download.html

Saffsd 01-20-2004 07:56 PM

Thanks everyone! I guess I'll be trying out the various options soon. Still got a few questions: (Linux bos is a gentoo running "gentoo-stable" version of 2.4.23_pre8)

I take it that telnet/ssh are either/or, both performing the same functions?
What about VNC/X? Does X run on top of VNC?

Thanks all.

DavidPhillips 01-20-2004 08:20 PM

Two options that I use that are secure are vnc over ssh, and vnc over https.

Don't use anything unsecure if your network is accessable.

Saffsd 01-20-2004 10:38 PM

Thank you so much everyone! I have ssh/VNC set up now and working great! Just what I needed!

statmobile 01-20-2004 11:25 PM

I installed cygwin (http://www.cygwin.com/), making sure to install the ssh package and X windows package. This is all you need to login to your server securely, and also forward X packets to your local terminal.

I live with this thing. I login to my machine from home, and run all my research on the linux machine. I have had no need for setting up VNC, although I am very interested in doing it at some point in time. If only to see what it's all about, and how hard it is to do so.

Saffsd 01-21-2004 12:47 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by statmobile
I installed cygwin (http://www.cygwin.com/), making sure to install the ssh package and X windows package. This is all you need to login to your server securely, and also forward X packets to your local terminal.

I live with this thing. I login to my machine from home, and run all my research on the linux machine. I have had no need for setting up VNC, although I am very interested in doing it at some point in time. If only to see what it's all about, and how hard it is to do so.

Installing it and using it on gentoo has proven to be headnumbingly simple:
Code:

emerge openssh
emerge vnc

Download VNC client for win32 and PuTTy as recommended above, type in
Code:

rc-update add ssh default
vncserver

Login, viola! If only everything were this simple....

Still have some technical questions though: As i understand vncserver is a script that starts up a Xvnc server, which is what VNC clients connect to. My question is, how is this Xvnc server different from an ordinary X server?

usernamenumber 01-21-2004 10:37 AM

Both X servers and vnc servers allow remote applications to be displayed on your screen. The big difference has to do with flexability and how the client/server roles are handled.

VNC works like you would expect most services to work: The server sits on the remote machine and you connect to it with a client. The VNC server does indeed start a fresh X server on the remote machine and in that sense does "run on top of" X. When a client connects to the VNC server, the server transmits a description of what is on the remote X server's display across the network to the VNC client, which renders it.

A regular X server, which is capable of doing network stuff all by itself, actually works the other way around. You run the X server on your machine, ssh into the remote machine and run X clients (any X application is considered an X client), which send their display information across the network to your X server instead of to a local X server. X is completely network-transparent in this way.

The advantage of VNC is that it tends to be faster for displaying an entire desktop environment. The advantage of just running an X server on your local machine is that it allows you to display individual apps if you don't need an entire desktop environment. For example, once upon a time I had a system that ran Windows with an X server also installed. I could set if up so that I had the windows taskbar at the bottom of the screen and my Linux box's gnome-panel, displaying via the X server, at the top of the screen. Anything I ran via the gnome-panel knew to display to the remote machine instead of a local X server and so showed up on my Windows box's screen. Best of both worlds.

So in short, VNC and X both have different approaches with different advantages and disadvantages. Remember that they both have one very big drawback -- neither sends data unencrypted by themselves. However, both can work in conjunction with SSH to send data securely (see earlier post).

Hope this helps!


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