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Old 10-01-2017, 07:39 AM   #1
fishkake
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Registered: Dec 2006
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Debian Gnome Screen Sharing


Hi everyone.

This feels like such a simple question that Google should know, but I've had trouble finding it. If that's because I'm an idiot, and I've missed a simple answer, forgive me.

I'm just trying to get a simple equivalent of RDP, VNC, Teamviewer etc on to a Debian 8 server. I've played with Debian a bit before, but always terminal, I'm totally new to GUI.

I've turned on "Screen Sharing" in Settings, but I don't know what that is - is it VNC? If so, I've tried connecting from a Windows box using UltraVNC viewer but I just get "No supported authentication methods!" I don't think I'm running iptables or anything, but I'm not sure how to tell, maybe I just need to open a port?

My aim here is to get a simple, default-ish Debian box set up on my network for someone else to configure and use remotely, so I just need a default setup and remote desktop. I know how to make SSH work but I want the GUI.

I am open to installing VNC manually, or using xrdp, or teamviewer, or Debian 9, whatever is the simple way to achieve my fairly unambitious goal. I've done various things with Linux over the years, but I'm having one of those days where I feel like I want to accomplish something very simple and I must be an idiot for not being able to do so!
 
Old 10-01-2017, 09:42 AM   #2
jens
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Using RDP:

**Install xrdp on your debian system
#apt install xrdp

***Start it (as root):
#service xrdp start
#service xrdp-sesman start
(post back if this gives an error)

****Use your normal Windows RDP GUI

Last edited by jens; 10-01-2017 at 09:44 AM.
 
Old 10-01-2017, 02:03 PM   #3
IsaacKuo
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I have found VNC to be the most efficient and smooth experience in Linux. I haven't tried xrdp yet, though, so I don't know how well it compares.

For screensharing with VNC, I'd use xtightvncviewer for the viewer/controller and x11vnc for the server (which serves up an existing X session, so you're sharing your existing desktop rather than an independent X session).

Code:
apt-get install xtightvncviewer x11vnc
To serve up your desktop, use the command:

Code:
x11vnc -nowf
You can also use the clip option to only serve up part of the screen. This is particularly useful for only sharing one monitor out of a multi-monitor setup.

On the client, use the command:

Code:
vncviewer server
The big thing to know is that you use the "F8" key to access the menu of xtightvncviewer.

The default will not just view the screen, it will also control it. You can use different options to only view.
 
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Old 10-03-2017, 04:56 AM   #4
fishkake
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Thanks guys. Sorry for going AWOL for a couple of days, I promise I'm not one of those people who swoop in, ask a question and then disappear without feedback or thanks. Hate those guys...

TightVNC appears to work with Isaac's method. But this means I have to be logged in locally. So the remote user could not, for example, reboot the machine.

What is x11vnf -nowf actually doing? And is there a way to do this in the background, without logging in, and on boot?
 
Old 10-03-2017, 06:52 AM   #5
IsaacKuo
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Sorry, I may have been thrown off by the subject line, "...Screen Sharing"

I assumed you wanted to share a screen on an existing desktop - already logged in and possibly running applications or whatever (for doing a demo, or remote support, or something). This is what the x11vnc VNC server does. It shares an existing X session.

You can certainly automate it by setting up auto-login and set a looping script to automatically run (and re-run) "x11vnc -nowf". But this will tie up the local login (as well as expose that session to whoever may physically be in front of the computer).

I take it that is NOT what you want?

If you want to remote into an independent session, that has nothing to do with the local X session, then you want tightvncserver or tigervnc. I haven't used this type of VNC server in years, so I can't say much specifically about setting them up or what "gotchas" to look out for.
 
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Old 10-03-2017, 07:13 AM   #6
fishkake
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I was a little unclear in my explanation. Basically I want the equivalent of Remote Desktop, something as close as possible to being in the same room. So you can reboot, log in as different users, etc etc.

Actually, other than those two things, I don't know what "etc, etc" could mean...

Yeah, I think the built in one is Tiger, I had a bit of trouble with that. I'm experimenting now, so if I figure it out, I'll post back.
 
Old 10-03-2017, 09:26 AM   #7
IsaacKuo
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In the past, when I have done this, I used gdm and it's ability to use xdmcp to remotely log in to another computer. This was dead easy to set up (just set up gdm to allow remote xdmcp on the "server", and use gdm on the client to choose to remotely log in to the "server" instead of a local login).

Unfortunately, xdmcp is really inefficient and sluggish for a lot of applications. Including web browser, especially with any sort of video...really hopeless. Which is why I switched to using VNC for various things. I prefer using VNC to share an existing local X session because it fits my use cases and also because it allows the use of the local graphics card for graphics acceleration.

So basically, the way x11vnc works is...the remote X session will happily use the remote graphics card for efficient graphics acceleration and video playback and such...while the VNC server/client do their best to kind of keep up. Even with gigabit ethernet, they just can't. So it'll look choppy. But everything will run at full speed on the remote system.

In contrast, xdmcp will try to use the local X to render everything. It has no notion of dropping frames or anything like that. So when it can't keep up, the whole affair grinds to a slow motion crawl until it catches up...if ever.

I'm not sure how TigerVNC works. I don't think it uses the graphics card for hardware acceleration, but maybe I'm completely wrong about that.
 
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