Remote desktop connection

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A remote desktop connection is if you work graphically via the network on a remote computer. This can make sense

  • to support a user on a remote computer
  • to train a user on a remote computer
  • if the remote computer is part of a company network and you are connected via VPN
  • if you have a task that needs to be completed on the remote computer
  • if the remote computer is your web-server (or another server)

Applications on remote computers

You can start an application on a remote computer and see its gui on your local workstation.

Terminal Servers

Terminal servers display a complete desktop environment from a remote computer. For every user, an own graphical session is created. This is called remote log-in in this wikipedia article.

  • Remote X-Windows with XDMCP - XDMCP allows remote login and access to an entire GUI environment through an X display manager such as Gnome's GDM (so long as the option is enabled).
  • NX - NX is designed to allow you remote-controlling a graphical desktop. It is also possible to use a slow computer as pure NX presentation server. You can directly log in to the remote computer and do not need to log in to the local computer.
  • rdesktop - RDesktop is a Linux client that can attach to a Windows Server running Terminal Services or to the built-in Remote Desktop capability of Windows XP Pro. It is ideal for many who prefer to work from a Linux system, but who have an occasional need to access a Windows machine. RDesktop replicates a full Windows desktop in a window within Linux. -- also capabile of showing just one application
  • LTSP - the Linux terminal server project allows you to set up a terminal server infrastructure including boot from PXE from the terminal server.

Shared Sessions

Shared sessions allow two (or more) users to act on one graphical session, so they can see what each other types and how he moves the mouse. wikipedia calls it real-time collaboration.

  • VNC - VNC is also designed to forward an entire GUI environment. It is less efficient than X-Windows but the traffic is compressed (for low bandwidth connections), and clients exist for every major OS. It has a degree of protection for passwords, but the data itself is sent without encryption. It can be made more secure by tunnelling the connection via ssh. By using x11vnc you can also use VNC to connect to an already running X session.

See also

External links