Claude M. Schrader on 30 Aug 2008 11:39:45 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Question about Remote Desktop through a NAT

I've actually been thinking about this recently too - its pretty
straightforward to set up nicely - setting it up will most likely require
you having ssh access to his machine, so set it up when hes directly
plugged into the modem:
-get a dyndns account on *your* internet connection, and forward port 22
somewhere useful
-create a passwordless SSH key on his machine, so ssh from his machine to
yours works sans interaction
-still on his machine, in ssh_config, set it up so that an ssh session from
his machine to yours uses the -R flag to reverse port forward 590* from your
machine, across the tunnel to his. This will enable you to sit at the
machine that has been ssh'd *to*, and vnc to localhost, which will be
forwarded to his machine regardless of what his private IP is.

It should take a little legwork to set up initially, but should do the
trick. To take it one step further - I know on macs you can create .term
files, so that double clicking on the icon will run a shell command. I
imagine this is possible on Linux too. If not, you could just set his
machine up so he pulls up a terminal and types "connect" or some such, and
it will do the rest.

On 13:58 Sat 30 Aug     , Casey Bralla wrote:
> I'm not sure I can do what I want, but maybe somebody here has some brilliant, 
> yet incredibly elegant and simple idea to help solve my problem.
> My 82 year-old nerd-wannabe dad (actually, he *was* a nerd when he was 
> younger, but the world moves too fast...) just loaded Ubuntu on his laptop.  
> He often asks for my help, but since I'm 250 miles away, I find that Remote 
> Desktop is my best friend.
> He often plugs his computer directly into his cable modem, which is great 
> because I can directly access his IP address with VNC.  The problem comes 
> when he hooks up the the internet through his wireless router, which uses 
> NAT.  
> It is possible, of course, to set the wireless router to port forward all 
> incoming VNC connections to a particular NAT'd IP address.  But this seems 
> inelegant to me for several reasons:
> 1.  Talking my dad through setting up port forwarding on the router will be 
> difficult, since I can't see the setup screens he would be seeing on the 
> router, and he doesn't have a clue about how it works.
> 2.  The assigned private IP address may change, thus rendering the port 
> forwarding useless
> 3.  There may be visitors at his house who are accessing the wireless, and 
> then the assigned IP addresses will be assigned to the wrong computer.
> What I want to do is to have my dad run a "VNC Request" program that will 
> weave it's way through his NAT to my static IP address, establishing 
> a "reverse VNC" so I can then control his desktop.
> I've done some google searches for this, but haven't found anything.   Is what 
> I want to do even possible?  Does somebody have an other brilliant idea?
> TIA, and have a great long weekend!
> -- 
> Casey Bralla
> Chief Nerd in Residence
> The NerdWorld Organisation
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