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Old 06-22-2007, 03:26 AM   #1
kevinfishburne
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need remote support software for Linux and Windows


I'm starting a small tech support business. Primarily my clients will be using Windows, but some will be using Linux since installing it will be one of my services. I need a program that I can run server-side that will allow users, as painlessly as possible, to connect to it to allow me to control their PC for support issues.

So basically I'm running the app at home on a server with port forwarding set up. The client who needs help goes to my web site (not hosted by me), runs some Java stuff from the site that connects to my server and lets me control their PC from the server.

GoToAssist works this way but it is commercial software and they probably charge something insane for an account. Is there something free that works similarly to what I'm describing? The main requirements are that I can use it in Linux (that's all I use unless someone pays me), that the users can use it in Linux or Windows, and that for the users it be painless to initiate. Thanks all.
 
Old 06-22-2007, 03:28 AM   #2
acid_kewpie
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not aware of any direct method available via the web, but try this... http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...d.php?t=534235

i daresay if you google for "ssl reverse tunnel applet" you could find something servable centrally too.
 
Old 06-22-2007, 04:13 AM   #3
kstan
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using vnc can full fill your requirement, it support linux and windows. For further security, make a secure tunnel using ssh.
at begining, try using vnc 1st for testing purpose.
 
Old 06-22-2007, 04:31 AM   #4
acid_kewpie
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well vnc can be the end method of viewing, but is not going to fit in with the call out architecture requested.
 
Old 06-22-2007, 05:02 AM   #5
kstan
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what u mean?
 
Old 06-22-2007, 05:07 AM   #6
acid_kewpie
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if you read the op's thread they want to customer to make contact out to allow support to get in.
 
Old 06-22-2007, 05:35 AM   #7
chrism01
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Must admit, all the cases I've heard of remote suppt software, the suppt team connects to the client, not the other way around....
 
Old 06-22-2007, 06:31 AM   #8
acid_kewpie
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well it certainly does happen, and allows a potentially much simpler scenarior for mass support. all users have the same link to the same website, distribution of which is dead easy and maintenence free. user clikcs link and has a standard account name or whatever. helpdesk bod then just picks from the few incoming connections to accept it and in they go, rather than having to either remotely manage however many number of remote connections on dynamic ip addresses, or getting this sort of detail from the users, and then have to possibly deal with port forwarding and such. more complex to start with, but the benefits are massive.
 
Old 06-22-2007, 06:14 PM   #9
kevinfishburne
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You're right acid_kewpie, GoToAssist, which uses the Citrix web client, works that way. I followed your link and it contains another link that you posted with a pretty detailed description of how to do it: http://www.vbforums.com/showthread.php?t=399880 I'm reading it now and it looks promising.

On a side note, I've been subjecting myself to Linux total immersion therapy for the last few months, and it's been my hobby for about the last year. It seems like there are the tools to do just about everything Windows software can do, but they either need to be discovered and assembled or require a Linux guru to get working after installation. Generally comments like these get responses like, "It works fine, you're just an idiot, go back to Windows." I've been obsessed with computers since I was 13 (I'm now 31), from games to programming, to art and music, and though rewarding the transition to Linux has been unusually difficult. In the IT department I'm considered a nerd among nerds, so it can't be all my fault.

There is a reason Linux isn't kicking Microsoft's ass yet with the exception of Apache. Is there a Linux body out there that is the "political conscience" of Linux developers? Something to keep an eye on the various apps and say, "You know this app is great, let's tie it together with these other two apps, give it a few initial settings templates, a pretty GUI, n00b-proof documentation, and a bit of marketing"? I know to Linux geeks all of that sounds superficial, and in a way it is, but that is the primary difference between why Windows apps are successful and Linux apps stay hidden in a dark closet filled with geeks and hackers. Don't flame me, I love Linux and no longer use Windows unless someone pays me, this is just my opinion from my experiences over the last year. I think a group like I described that works directly with the Linux dev community could do a lot for OSS. Think of the vision of Microsoft, except with a halo instead of horns. Linux and OSS could dominate.
 
Old 06-23-2007, 09:54 AM   #10
IsaacKuo
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My general experience with Windows apps is that they're at least as hard and usually harder to learn/use than Linux apps. There's no consistency between applications, and applications are rarely integrated with each other unless they're products made by the same company. The GUI interfaces get in the way more than they help. You have to know the magical hidden locations of everything you want to configure--if it's configurable at all. And the GUI more or less never includes any inline comments and examples, or anything more than the most superficial description of what the buttons/settings actually do.

The only reason why Windows seems "easier" is familiarity. But go from Windows XP to Windows Vista, or Office 2003 to Office 2007, and everything's moved around!
 
Old 06-23-2007, 10:06 AM   #11
acid_kewpie
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interesting as the points may be, please keep this thread on track with the original question. if it ends up as a rambling linux vs microsoft thread then it'll just be merged and lost...

and btw apache is not a linux product. it runs on any variant of unix, or unix clones like linux, and also windows. they are very very seperate projects.
 
Old 06-24-2007, 01:41 AM   #12
kevinfishburne
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Word, good points from the last two posters. Well I think I got some sound advise regarding the original question so my work here is done. Thanks all and see you around the forums.
 
  


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