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Bill Stanley 11-20-2011 04:23 PM

fixing distant computer via remote control
 
I am considering my options on fixing another computer via remote
control. The computer I want to fix is in a different house in my
neighborhood. We both use Ubuntu Linux version 10.10,(GNOME Desktop) so
operating system differences shouldn't be a problem. We both use the
same ISP, but obviously we do not share the same local network
(different ISP accounts).


I have been spending a lot of time going over to my neighbor to fix
relatively simple things. Winter is coming and I really don't want to
leave my house for something that is relatively minor. Some fixes take
only a few minutes. My neighbor tries to describe the problem but a
verbal description is lacking. What must be done so I can access my
neighbors computer via my computer. I would like a GUI application so
it would be like I was actually there.


Bill Stanley

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John D Lamb 11-20-2011 05:10 PM

fixing distant computer via remote control
 
On Sun, 2011-11-20 at 12:23 -0500, Bill Stanley wrote:
> I have been spending a lot of time going over to my neighbor to fix
> relatively simple things. Winter is coming and I really don't want to
> leave my house for something that is relatively minor. Some fixes take
> only a few minutes. My neighbor tries to describe the problem but a
> verbal description is lacking. What must be done so I can access my
> neighbors computer via my computer. I would like a GUI application so
> it would be like I was actually there.

This is possible, but takes quite a bit of setting up.

First, you need a way to find your neighbour’s IP address. There are
sites like no-ip.com that provide the ip address for free.

Next you probably have to get through your neighbour’s router. The most
sensible way to do this is to set the neighbour’s router to accept ssh
(port tcp 22 connections) and forward them to their ubuntu box (because
the router will use port forwarding). You may also have to allow
connections through the firewall on ubuntu (usually ufw) if there is
one. Again, open port 22.

Next, you need your neighbour’s computer to run the ssh (secure shell
server). Once you have this remote login is possible. Ideally, you
should set up remote login using a public key generated on your
neighbour’s computer and transferred by any method other than the
Internet (e.g. a usb stick). You can test this using ssh
yourloginname@ip-address-of-neighbour Once you have this working,
everything else can be set up from your computer, provided you are
sudoer on your neighbour’s computer.

For the GUI, you can use VNC over ssh. Your neighbour’s computer needs a
VNC server running and there are various packages (search vnc in
synaptic) that allow remote connections.

I have a similar setup for two machines. I don’t need the first two
steps because the ‘neighbour’ machine has a static ip address.

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John D Lamb


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