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Re: Remote X11 Connection



> Very cool, thanks!
>
> Now let's assume SSH is the only open port on remote machine (local,
> too, but that doesn't usually matter). Which of the methods you
> mentioned are still viable?

If we are talking about connections over a slow network (by which I mean 
anything less than a 100Mbp local network !) I would go the vnc or freenx 
route. Anything else is likely to be too slow to use in practice.

I have no experience with freenx (although I've heard good things about it) 
but have used vnc, so I'll describe this.

First, you have to start a vnc session on the remote machine. Note that vnc is 
not an inherently secure system, not at all in fact but it can be used 
securely. I would run something like

 > vncserver :8 -localhost -geometry 1024x768

to start a vncserver session, on display 8, screen dimensions 1024x768

The -localhost is important, as this means you can only connect to the vnc 
session from the 'localhost' (i.e. the remote one). Whats use this I hear you 
ask, well ...

on you local host run

> vncviewer -via <username>@<remote-host> :8

The via means vncviewer will first establish an SSH connection to the remote 
host. Then, once there it will connect to the vnc server, and pipe everything 
back to you via the SSH tunnel. Hence at the remote machine the vncserver is 
connected to from its 'localhost' and all is well.

one final thing, killing the vncviewer does *not* kill the session. This is 
partly what makes this useful as it means you can disconnect at one location, 
move to another machine and reconnect and find you desktop just as it was 
before. However, for security reasons when you finally no longer need the vnc 
session, you need to explicitly kill it with

> vncserver -kill :8

from the remote site.

As I said at the start, I've also heard good things about freenx. I gather it 
makes the process much slicker, without the need for all the CLI stuff. 
However, its not at all standard in most distros, whilst vnc is and installing 
in places significant burden on the remote sys-admin, so you might have to 
fight to convince them to do so (unless you happen to be that admin ;) )

Chris


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