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Old 08-19-2005, 09:06 AM   #1
kadissie
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Multiple Windows login to Linux desktop (with VNC?)


I'm not sure that VNC is the right solution for this particular problem, but it is roughly what I'm looking for so I thought I'd start looking there.

A colleague in a physics department at a small university would like to "non-destructively" introduce his students to working with Linux. What I mean by non-destructively is that the department already has a network of Windows machines and not enough budget to buy more for Linux - hence the solution must be zero-cost and starting from Windows.

Yes, ssh logins are possible but they're going to scare the pants off people with little computer experience and none at the command line. We're looking for desktop Linux from a Windows client.

My initial guess at a solution - although not being highly experienced in this area, it was just a case of "I've heard about this thing called VNC..." - was to set up one Linux machine on the network, running VNCserver, and have the students use VNC clients from Windows to connect. I have not yet tested the solution, but the following issues occur to me:
- Can you set VNC to use regular user accounts/passwords?
- Can one VNC server serve multiple desktops to different machines?
- Is this going to fall flat because of load on the server (and its graphics card in particular)?

Another solution might be to use a "thin client" live CD, perhaps customised to know the IP address of the Linux box, and run NIS/NFS services from the Linux box. That way the Windows clients could be non-destructively converted to Linux machines within 2 minutes.

Any thoughts? Is this a problem that's already been solved?

Thanks,
Robert.

Quantum Archaeology

Last edited by kadissie; 10-08-2005 at 10:09 AM.
 
Old 08-19-2005, 09:51 AM   #2
IsaacKuo
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Re: Multiple Windows login to Linux desktop (with VNC?)

Quote:
Originally posted by kadissie
- Can you set VNC to use regular user accounts/passwords?
I'm not sure exactly what solution would work, but I think you'll want to run a session manager (like kdm) within each VNC server. Then, the users log in with regular accounts just like they would if they were sitting in front of the server itself.

Quote:
Originally posted by kadissie
- Can one VNC server serve multiple desktops to different machines?
Yes. More precisely, any particular VNC server daemon can only provide one desktop, but you can run many VNC server daemons on one physical machine.

You probably want to have one VNC server process per remote workstation, and setup shortcut icons on each workstation to connect to a different particular port.

Quote:
Originally posted by kadissie
- Is this going to fall flat because of load on the server (and its graphics card in particular)?
The VNC server desktops are stored in normal memory, and have nothing to do with the graphics card. This consumes a lot of memory, especially since each VNC server daemon includes a full X server and whatever desktop environment is used. If you do a little looking around on the Internet, you'll find some guidelines on how much memory and processing capacity you need per desktop.

Quote:
Originally posted by kadissie Another solution might be to use a "thin client" live CD, perhaps customised to know the IP address of the Linux box, and run NIS/NFS services from the Linux box. That way the Windows clients could be non-destructively converted to Linux machines within 2 minutes.
If you're going to go through all of that trouble, I think you'd probably do better with setting up network booting or plain old dual booting.
 
Old 08-20-2005, 07:40 AM   #3
kadhiravan.r
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VNC

U have to give password for VNC login.This can be done by using vncpasswd command in the server.vncpasswd

Then the vncserver should be running in the server.


Using VNC viewer from client (it can be windows 98/xp/2000) u can login to the server, it will ask only the password, give the password u specified through vncpasswd command.


u should specify the login session also in the vnclogin screen, like this...

vncserver name - 198.54.45.88:1

this will work .

regards

kadhir.R
 
  


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