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Linux HOWTO #2: Access your desktop remotely using VNC/SSH

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Published on May 8, 2008

LINUX HOWTO 2nd installment (Errata: see below)

This is the second installment in a new series called Linux HOWTOS. Every week I will post a video explaining how to accomplish something using a GNU/Linux operating system. Please write requests for installments in the comments!

Have you ever wished you could access your desktop from another computer over the internet? There are many proprietary programs that allow you to do this, but Linux has all the tools you need to accomplish this securely, effectively, and for free. All you need is SSH (included in most Linux distros) and a VNC server. This video explains how to install and configure the software so you can access your desktop from anywhere, even on a windows PC (use PUTTY: http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sg... and TightVNC http://www.tightvnc.com )

If you have any questions, please ask in the comment field, and I or someone else will do our best to answer. Please avoid 'RTFM'-style answers. They are not welcome. Also please post corrections if I mistakenly give some wrong information.

Network configuration can be tricky and I certainly didn't have time in the video to consider different networking hardware setups. If you try VNC over SSH and have some problems, feel free to leave a question in the comments.

***Errata***
./vncinstall must be run as a root user:

$ pwd
/usr/src/tightvnc-1.3.9/vnc_unixsrc
$ su root
Password: *******
# ./vncinstall /usr/local/bin /usr/local/man
************

There was a request to see a list of the commands used in this video, so here they are:

(install vnc)
cd /usr/src/tightvnc-1.3.9
tar -xjf *bz2
cd vnc*
xmkmf
make World
cd Xvnc
./configure
make
cd ..
su
./vncinstall /usr/local/bin /usr/local/man
vncpasswd

(start ssh)
service sshd start (may be different on your distro)
exit
ssh -L 10101:ip-or-host:590? -p port# ip-or-host
vncserver :? (same ? as previous line)

(new terminal)
vncviewer localhost::10101

-----------------------
This video was created using only free and open source software tools: TightVNC, pyvnc2swf, ardour2, audacity, jackd, LAME, mjpegtools, and ffmpeg.

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