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Setting up Gitso on Ubuntu to provide remote support

Posted 12-23-2012 at 10:28 PM by trevorparsons
Updated 12-23-2012 at 10:33 PM by trevorparsons

I have quite a few Ubuntu installations in the wild, set up for friends and clients. I support them all -- well, those of them that require support -- using Gitso, which is a nice little front end to x11vnc and vncviewer, with connections tunnelled over ssh.

The only work that needs doing at the support end is to set one's router to forward port 5500 to the machine on which you'll be doing the remote support. Then it's just a case of running Gitso, switching the radio button to 'Give support', and clicking the Start button.

At the other end, the person needing help has to run Gitso and put your IP address (or equivalent) into the 'Enter/select support address' space before clicking start. Some people find this difficult to do. So I like to set Gitso up on their machine such that it automatically connects to my machine as soon as they run it.

To do this, having installed Gitso (using the latest .deb package from the downloads page, fire up a terminal and edit /usr/share/applications/gitso.desktop, which is Gitso's launcher configuration file.

I'd tend to fire up a terminal and do

sudo vim /usr/share/applications/gitso.desktop
but if you prefer to use a graphical text editor you could click the Dash Home icon (or hit the Windows, sorry Super key) and type

gksudo gedit /usr/share/applications/gitso.desktop
Go ahead and change


Exec=gitso --connect
where is your external IP address or, more likely, a dynamic DNS hostname which points to whatever your IP address is currently. I use the services of DynDNS. Other providers are available.

For aesthetic reasons I also change


in order to make the Gitso launcher show the correct icon (a purple box with an eye on it).

Save the file. That's it. You might like to launch Gitso once on your friend's/client's machine to check that your support address is entered correctly (it'll come up in the 'Enter/select support address' space), and also maybe to lock the Gitso icon to the Unity launcher, so they can find it easily.

Happy supporting. And thanks to the developers of Gitso for a great bit of software.
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