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Old 04-25-2014, 01:08 AM   #1
Pedulla
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Remote Login - Not what you think


I've used linux mint 13 for a few of years now, still feel like a newbie, so I hope this is the right place...

Here's the scenario. From Computer1, I want to be able to log a given user in on Computer2. The result is that said given user can use Computer2 without knowing the login credentials or even how to log in.

Both computers are on the same network.

As far as I have seen all the remote desktop solutions (VNC like) require the desktop session to be started. Am I missing a cool feature in the VNC-type solutions or is there a different solution I need to learn?

Thanks in advance.
 
Old 04-25-2014, 01:17 AM   #2
jdkaye
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It all depends on what you want to do on the remote computer. If it's only to access files (copy them or move them from one machine to another) then you can use ssh to do that. When you say you "want to be able o log a given user in on Computer2 without knowing the login credentials or even how to log in.", do you mean that Computer2 has no security at all? I'm having trouble trying to understand what you want and why you want it. A few more details would not go amiss.
jdk
 
Old 04-25-2014, 01:42 AM   #3
Pedulla
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Thanks JDK for the quick response.

Quote:
It all depends on what you want to do on the remote computer.
I want only to log a user into Computer2 so THEY can use Computer2. I want to be at/using Computer1 to do this.

I have two situation where I would like to use this, all-be-it odd, method.

Situation 1: Administrator on Computer1 in a library wants to "fire up" Computer2 for a patron. Patron does not have/know credentials to Computer2. The administrator has several sets of credentials based on type of user the Patron is. The administrator, from Computer1, uses one of these sets of credentials to get past the login screen on Computer2. Computer1 and Computer2 are on the same network, but several floors apart. The administrator is not able to walk to Computer2 to login the Patron with some set of credentials.

Situation 2: Father on Computer1, after securely gaining access to home network, wants to log son onto Computer2 from Computer1. Father is able to gain secure access to the same network as Computer2 from "the office", but wants to do the login for son.



In both cases, Computer1 only needs to behave as though its operator was in front of Computer2 at the linux login screen. Remote desktop control is not necessary after the login.

Thanks again
 
Old 04-25-2014, 02:02 AM   #4
jdkaye
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If I'm understanding you correctly, then you want ssh. Is that correct?
Quote:
I have two situation where I would like to use this, all-be-it odd, method.
Not very important but just for your information, it's "albeit".
jdk
 
Old 04-25-2014, 02:23 AM   #5
Pedulla
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I use ssh regularly, but am certain I do not understand how to use it to accomplish the scenarios above.

For example, how does ssh allow son to use Computer2 after Father logs son into Computer2 from Computer1.

Is Father, on Computer1, using ssh to execute some command on Computer2 that logs son into Computer2?
 
Old 04-25-2014, 03:04 AM   #6
jdkaye
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Sorry but I'm having trouble understanding what you want. You do know that more than one user can be logged onto the same computer at the same time. I work with someone in Ljubljana who has an account on my machine. He logs in whenever he has something to do (he has his own account on my machine) whether I'm logged in or not? But maybe you are talking about something else...?
jdk
 
Old 04-25-2014, 03:22 AM   #7
Pedulla
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Yes, I absolutely understand the multi-user nature of linux, and am afraid that very robust functionality is confusing the issue.

Put another way, I want to be able to log someone else into their desktop for them.

In Mint13, I believe it uses MDM. MDM presents a user login screen. With a VNC-like utility or some command line (via SSH), I want to be able to log the user sitting in front of the computer into their desktop whilst I'm somewhere o'er yonder hill, as it were.

Thank for trying to understand.
As I tried to suggest in the subject of the thread this is not the typical remote log in question.
 
Old 04-25-2014, 03:46 AM   #8
astrogeek
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In the father/son example, is the son sitting at computer 1 or computer 2?

If I am getting your question, it would be like this:

1. Father, in office at computer 1 "logs in" son onto computer 2 in den
2. Son sitting at computer 2 in den proceeds to use computer 2 without further login

So son is not remote logged in - he is local to computer 2

If that is your use case... I can't think of any easy way to do that...

Last edited by astrogeek; 04-25-2014 at 03:47 AM.
 
Old 04-25-2014, 05:12 AM   #9
allend
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If Father at computer 1 connects via ssh without X11 forwarding as Son to computer 2 and issues the command startx, then a GUI session for Son is started on computer 2. Console output from computer 2 is sent to computer 1, which slows down the session startup. If there is an existing GUI session on computer 2, then the new session will be in another tty. You can use Ctl+Alt+F[7-12] to switch to the preexisting session.
Code:
ssh Son@Computer2 startx
If Son then logs out from computer 2, the command prompt reappears in the terminal used to issue the ssh command on computer 1.

At least, that is how it is working for me :-)
 
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Old 04-25-2014, 10:44 AM   #10
Pedulla
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allend View Post
If Father at computer 1 connects via ssh without X11 forwarding as Son to computer 2 and issues the command startx, then a GUI session for Son is started on computer 2. Console output from computer 2 is sent to computer 1, which slows down the session startup. If there is an existing GUI session on computer 2, then the new session will be in another tty. You can use Ctl+Alt+F[7-12] to switch to the preexisting session.
Code:
ssh Son@Computer2 startx
If Son then logs out from computer 2, the command prompt reappears in the terminal used to issue the ssh command on computer 1.

At least, that is how it is working for me :-)
Ding Ding Ding Ding....
We have a winner; Thanks @allend

I've got a couple of home theaters to build this weekend. I'm going to give this a shot Sunday night and report back.
I assume the "library" situation would simply use:

Code:
ssh PatronX@Computer2 startx
where X is the various types of users the library deems necessary.

How it works question:
By virtue of specifying the user account in the ssh line, is it that startx does not need "credentials" because it know who it is, or is it that startx is what runs after the MDM login screen I see normally when I log into a workstation?

Thank you everyone for sticking with me on this.
 
Old 04-25-2014, 12:49 PM   #11
allend
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I expect the "library" situation to work as you suggest.

Using ssh you get an authenticated shell on the remote computer. So you can run startx without going through the greeter login.
 
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Old 05-06-2014, 03:30 AM   #12
Pedulla
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Okay, I'm back. The theaters took a little longer than expected. But they look good

Sticking with the Father - Son scenario...

First things first; to get the Son's computer to boot to the command line I did the following:

Edited /etc/default/grub
Changed
Code:
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash"
to
Code:
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="text"
and ran
Code:
sudo update-grub
.
Now the Son's machine boots in text mode to a text login.

From Father's machine (Computer1), I ssh into Son's machine with
Code:
ssh Son@Computer2 startx
On Computer2, the screen switches to tty8, and gui dialog pops up titled "Failed to load session "gnome".
No mouse or kb on Computer2 so I can't click the "Log Out" button. SSH session on Computer 1 hung with console output from X I presume. ^C or ^Z end the SSH session.

I can still ssh back in and do a restart...

Only one EE in the /var/log/Xorg.0.log
Code:
(EE) Failed to load module "fglrx" (module does not exist, 0
This EE also comes up when Computer2 boots normally to the GUI, so not sure this has anything to do with it.

Seems like we're close. Any additional clues?
Maybe Display exporting...???
 
Old 05-06-2014, 07:18 AM   #13
pan64
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I think
Quote:
(EE) Failed to load module "fglrx" (module does not exist, 0
means you need to install amd driver.
 
  


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