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Old 07-20-2014, 11:19 PM   #1
randdeveloper
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advice on remote access


I've got an old computer with no wifi so it must be physically connected to my router which is in a remote location. I want to set up games for the kids on that computer that can be accessed from my work laptop in other parts of the house. I understand there are several options including VNC, SSH, remote desktop, Teamviewer, etc. I'd like to set up the computer the unplug the keyboard/mouse/monitor and allow only remote access.
System is Dell Vostro 220s cor 2 duo 3 gb ram 250 gb hd running LxLe 32 bit. Connecting on Windows 8.1 with either TightVNC, XMing/Putty, windows remote desktop, Teamviewer, or whatever else you can recommend.
I'm looking for Advice and Opinions regarding the pros and cons of using VNC, SSH, remote desktop, etc. and value your opinion.
 
Old 07-21-2014, 12:44 PM   #2
michaelk
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IMHO I would not want my children playing on my work laptop even if it is monitored. It would be well worth the cost of a USB/PCI wireless adapter. Another option would be to configure internet connection sharing. Have not tried doing it with 8.1. All you need is a network cable between the two PCs.

Another choice in the remote desktop arena is nx.

Last edited by michaelk; 07-21-2014 at 12:47 PM.
 
Old 07-21-2014, 01:18 PM   #3
cepheus11
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Games will not work well through a remote management software anway, modern 3D games need direct gfx hardware access.
 
Old 07-21-2014, 05:14 PM   #4
randdeveloper
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It's just little kid games like flash games which work in Firefox under Linux. They're always supervised. I just don't want to add junk to my laptop and I just want to work on the computer remotely. However, doesn't X rely on local hardware for rendering therefore shouldn't it be able to play graphical games?
Is NX like other remote desktops in that you need to enable it locally before allowing remote connections? If that's the case I'm not sure how well that would work leaving the computer by the modem and not having any keyboard, mouse, or monitor.
Internet connection sharing under 8.1 is pretty easy.
Thanks
 
Old 07-21-2014, 06:00 PM   #5
haertig
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I'm not sure I understand your exact situation. I think you have an old computer running linux in a far corner of the house somewhere, that you want to turn into a "game sever", for lack of a better term to describe it. But you want nobody to actually sit in front of that old computer and use it ... you want remote access only. And that remote access will come from your work laptop, running Windows 8. YOU will use your work laptop to administer the old computer, and YOUR KIDS will also use your work laptop to play games on (while remotely connected to this old computer in another room). And it sounds like you don't even want to go to that old computer and sit in front of it for initial setup of all this - you want to do all the setup remotely too. Is that correct?

For one - you will have to have remote access to that old computer, in some fashion, before you can even begin. If you have no way to remotely access it currently, then you can't set up remote access except by physically sitting in front of it and setting things up.

If that old computer currently accepts incoming SSH connections,then you're good to move on. You can remotely login via SSH and then do setup for GUI remote access via that text-based SSH connection. I've done this many times. Starting with only a working SSH connection and then setting up NX. I like NX for speed, but since this is all on your home LAN apparently, speed is not as big an issue and you could probably get by with VNC, even though NX is faster than VNC. You may still have speed issues if you have rapid-fire higher resolution graphics pumping across your home LAN however. This is not just network speed (which should be adequate, even using WiFi), but it also involves the speed of the two computers at either end of the network connection.

Me? I'd just make the kids go sit up in front of the old computer and play their games locally. They wouldn't be touching my work laptop. Maybe I'm simply not understanding your situation. It appears you have a solution, and are now searching for a problem to use it on.

You should have everthing you need to manage a remote server using SSH alone (provided you know command line and aren't dependent on a GUI for administration). As far as playing games on that remotely-managed old computer, that's where I'm not understanding the need for remote GUI access. Why not have the kids play the games locally on the old computer? Then they wouldn't be tieing up your work laptop to play games when you needed to work (ignoring, for the moment, the havoc they could wreck on your work laptop in the process).
 
Old 07-21-2014, 10:41 PM   #6
randdeveloper
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Thanks for the input, haertig.
For now I have full access to the computer. I'm just using a borrowed keyboard/mouse/monitor and my wife doesn't like the idea of me cluttering up the desk any more. If it put it under the desk and allow remote access only it will work better.
The kids are just going to play educational games and I plan to use it to store music. Also, I'm learning Gnu/Linux and will probably eventually make it my router. I'm not comfortable enough with the command line to use that as my only access so I need GUI access as well as the kids.
From what you're saying it sounds like SSH is the best way for me to access it, is that correct? I can use Putty and Xming to remote in with an X server. Is that fast enough to play a flash game, watch a Youtube video, or listen to music?
Thanks, again.
 
Old 07-21-2014, 11:07 PM   #7
haertig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randdeveloper View Post
From what you're saying it sounds like SSH is the best way for me to access it, is that correct?
SSH is command line access. If you don't know command line well enough to be comfortable using it on your local computer, then using SSH to get to the command line on a remote computer won't help you a whole lot.

Quote:
I can use Putty and Xming to remote in with an X server.
I know Putty of course, that's been around for generations, but I'm not a Windows guy so I am not familiar with Xming. My recommendations would be to use NX. That supplies a free Linux server and a free Windows client. NX tunnels everything over SSH, so you don't have to worry about other network ports as you would with X, and probably most every other remote-GUI application out there. So for NX, you will need a working SSH first. The good thing about NX, is that if you are remote and something doesn't work, you can always SSH in remotely and fix NX (of course, we circle back to needing to know the command line to accomplish this). That is not the case with other remote-GUIs that don't tunnel over SSH.

Quote:
If it put it under the desk and allow remote access only it will work better.
Sounds like your idea of "remote" is physically pretty darn close ... "under the desk" to be exact. Have you thought about just buying a KVM ("Keyboard, Video, Mouse") switch and sharing one set of periphereals between the computer on your desk and the computer under the desk? Of course if your computer "on the desk" is a laptop which has all the periphereals integrated into it, a KVM switch wouldn't help.

Quote:
Is that fast enough to play a flash game, watch a Youtube video, or listen to music?
I can't say if Xming would be fast enough, or even if NX would be fast enough. It depends too much on your home environment and the power of the two computers involved. My guess is that you'd be fine. However, some YouTube high resolution videos might be a strain on just your old computer, not even considering the additional overhead of a remote GUI and network connection. I once had a dual-core CPU with 1Gb memory in a computer and that stuttered on some YouTube videos. I popped in a newer, faster six-core CPU and a couple more gigs of memory and all YouTube stuff played fine, even the high resolution stuff. YouTube can be pretty CPU intensive. I wouldn't expect the kids Flash games to be a problem though.

Last edited by haertig; 07-21-2014 at 11:09 PM.
 
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:46 PM   #8
randdeveloper
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thank you for your input
you've answered my questions well and I appreciate your time
 
  


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