Joe Terranova on 6 Apr 2008 15:02:18 -0700

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: [PLUG] great tool: x11vnc

Yeah, I used to use x11vnc Back In The Day (tm), before I had
completely dropped the windows mindset and started using a server for
my important stuff (ie torrents, irc, im, etc). Since my family and
relatives haven't dropped Windows yet, I haven't used it for remote
help. Here's a how-to on how to use it:
Probably a bit dated by now, but still gives the gist.

Joe Terranova

On Sun, Apr 6, 2008 at 2:57 PM, JP Vossen <> wrote:
> I've been testing Xubuntu Hardy beta, but one of my killer apps is
>  trivial "remote desktop."  As many of you probably know, that's built-in
>  to the Gnome Ubuntu as (wait for it) "System, Preferences, Remote
>  Desktop".  But vino is a Gnome app, which a) doesn't work under Xfce and
>  b) would kind of defeat the purpose of running Xfce if it did work and
>  had to load all the Gnome libs anyway.
>  There are a lot of really hairy gazillion-step HOWTOs out there when you
>  Google for xfce remote desktop, but there are some problems with them.
>  First, while I'm capable of implementing them, I don't feel like it.  I
>  use Ubuntu because I want it to Just Work without messing around with
>  it.  If I wanted to do that kind of thing I'd be using Gentoo.  Second,
>  most of the "solutions" I found don't actually give you the current,
>  console session (:0), they give you a new X session (:1 +).  The
>  *entire* point of this is to get the existing console desktop, for
>  remote control or t-shooting.  I finally grew a brain and went down the
>  output from "aptitude search vnc" line by line, doing an "aptitude show
>  <package>" for likely looking ones.
>  Enter x11vnc [1], which I'd not known about.  Not only does it do
>  *exactly* what I wanted on Xubuntu, not only does it mostly Just Work,
>  but it has a 4K+ line man page with an amazing number of options clearly
>  spelled out, in depth, with examples.  I'm really impressed with this
>  package.  (Can you tell?)
>  The only thing it doesn't do is add a menu item, which is not going to
>  be an issue for the folks on this list.  Especially check out the
>  -timeout 300 -unixpw -gui options.  For anyone who has to do remote
>  support of X desktops, you might even consider this over vino.  I say
>  that because you can set it up to be extra secure by creating a menu
>  item that the user must execute for the remote person to be able access
>  the machine, you can have it timeout and go away, and it has all kinds
>  of different passwd/authentication support.  That's as opposed to the
>  vino/Gnome setup where it's on or off as a daemon (more or less), with a
>  static passwd.  Of course, you can also tunnel it over SSH, stunnel or
>  SSL (see the man page).
>  See also:
>  Bug #56670, first reported on 2006-08-17  by  Caroline Ford
>    Xubuntu needs a VNC server like vino is to Gnome
>  Bug #212704, first reported 10 hours ago  by  JP Vossen
>    x11vnc should create a menu item
>  Check it out,
>  JP
>  [1] $ aptitude show x11vnc
>  Package: x11vnc
>  State: installed
>  Automatically installed: yes
>  Version: 0.9.3.dfsg.1-1ubuntu1
>  Priority: optional
>  Section: universe/x11
>  Maintainer: Ubuntu Core developers <>
>  Uncompressed Size: 1593k
>  Depends: libavahi-client3 (>= 0.6.13), libavahi-common3 (>= 0.6.10),
>  libc6 (>= 2.6.1-1), libjpeg62, libssl0.9.8 (>= 0.9.8e-1), libvncserver0,
>  libx11-6, libxdamage1 (>= 1:1.1), libxext6, libxfixes3 (>= 1:4.0.1),
>  libxinerama1, libxrandr2 (>= 2:1.2.0), libxtst6, zlib1g (>=
>  1:
>  Description: VNC server to allow remote access to an existing X session
>  x11vnc allows one to view remotely and interact with real X displays
>  (i.e. a display corresponding to a physical monitor, keyboard, and
>  mouse) with any VNC viewer. It has built-in SSL encryption and
>  authentication, UNIX account and password support, server-side scaling,
>  single port HTTPS and VNC, mDNS service advertising, and TightVNC and
>  ultraVNC file-transfer.
>  ----------------------------|:::======|-------------------------------
>  JP Vossen, CISSP            |:::======|        jp{at}jpsdomain{dot}org
>  My Account, My Opinions     |=========|
>  ----------------------------|=========|-------------------------------
>  "Microsoft Tax" = the additional hardware & yearly fees for the add-on
>  software required to protect Windows from its own poorly designed and
>  implemented self, while the overhead incidentally flattens Moore's Law.
>  ___________________________________________________________________________
>  Philadelphia Linux Users Group         --
>  Announcements -
>  General Discussion  --
Philadelphia Linux Users Group         --
Announcements -
General Discussion  --