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Old 11-20-2011, 06:38 PM
Liam Proven
 
Default fixing distant computer via remote control

On 20 November 2011 17:23, Bill Stanley <bstanle@wowway.com> wrote:
> I am considering my options on fixing another computer via remote control.
> Â*The computer I want to fix is in a different house in my neighborhood. Â*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. Â*Winter is coming and I really don't want to leave
> my house for something that is relatively minor. Â*Some fixes take only a few
> minutes. Â*My neighbor tries to describe the problem but a verbal description
> is lacking. Â*What must be done so I can access my neighbors computer via my
> computer. Â*I would like a GUI application so it would be like I was actually
> there.

What J D Lamb has suggested will indeed work, but it is moderately
technical to achieve if you don't know your way around things like
OpenSSH servers and router configuration.

It's not FOSS, but TeamViewer is free for non-commercial use & I
believe it will do what you need:
http://www.teamviewer.com/en/index.aspx

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Old 11-20-2011, 07:11 PM
Bill Stanley
 
Default fixing distant computer via remote control

On 11/20/2011 01:10 PM, John D Lamb wrote:
> 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.

I'm aware of the difficulties and am willing to go through short term
toil to make things easier for me in the long run. Along the way, I
will learn more about Linux.


> 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.

Question... Since the ISP probably uses NAT, this would probably change
over time. Whenever my neighbor wants me to do a fix remotely, can I
ask her to run a command to learn the IP address? Her computer is
connected directly to the ISP cable with no router between. Maybe
ifconfig would work?


> 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.

I assume you mean the box that the ISP provides. There is not a
separate router. This might be a problem because the ISP doesn't want
the users adjusting their settings. If you mean a SEPARATE router, then
there is none.


> 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.

This will not be a problem. Actually, my neighbor does not have root
privileges, I have the root password. She messed up her first Linux
install by using root privileges and somehow messed things up. Our
answer was to give her only a user account and I have a separate root
account. It's really a personal problem here but now she needs to
contact me to install things. It's more of a nuisance now and she
refuses to learn how to properly administer a computer. I probably will
use ssh to access my root account.


> For the GUI, you can use VNC over ssh. Your neighbors 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 ‘neighbor’ machine has a static ip address.

Thanks, Right now, this is a preliminary investigation which looks very
hopeful. The next step will be to work on my second computer to
remotely control it. That way, I can gain some experience before
messing around with her computer.


Bill Stanley


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Old 11-20-2011, 07:26 PM
Colin Law
 
Default fixing distant computer via remote control

On 20 November 2011 19:38, Liam Proven <lproven@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 20 November 2011 17:23, Bill Stanley <bstanle@wowway.com> wrote:
>> 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.
>
> What J D Lamb has suggested will indeed work, but it is moderately
> technical to achieve if you don't know your way around things like
> OpenSSH servers and router configuration.
>
> It's not FOSS, but TeamViewer is free for non-commercial use & I
> believe it will do what you need:
> http://www.teamviewer.com/en/index.aspx

+1 for teamviewer, it is ideal for this sort of situation and trivial
to setup (no port forwarding and so on).
To go the next step add ssh and that will let you have command line
control rather more conveniently than with TeamViewer.

Colin

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Old 11-20-2011, 11:18 PM
Ric Moore
 
Default fixing distant computer via remote control

On 11/20/2011 03:26 PM, Colin Law wrote:

On 20 November 2011 19:38, Liam Proven<lproven@gmail.com> wrote:

On 20 November 2011 17:23, Bill Stanley<bstanle@wowway.com> wrote:

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.


What J D Lamb has suggested will indeed work, but it is moderately
technical to achieve if you don't know your way around things like
OpenSSH servers and router configuration.

It's not FOSS, but TeamViewer is free for non-commercial use& I
believe it will do what you need:
http://www.teamviewer.com/en/index.aspx


+1 for teamviewer, it is ideal for this sort of situation and trivial
to setup (no port forwarding and so on).
To go the next step add ssh and that will let you have command line
control rather more conveniently than with TeamViewer.


Where are the approved user lists kept? It says a "central server".
Who's central server? Should I trust someone else to keep my "user list"
configuration? Usually I would say Hell no. Should that list ever become
compromised, there would be hell to pay. I doubt there would be any sort
of "bond" for damages, when it's sorta free.


"For the proper use of the TeamViewer software the availability of the
TeamViewer master server may be necessary. TeamViewer GmbH will take
measures to ensure a high availability of the server. However, it is not
possible to guarantee an uninterrupted availability."
So, they know who is zooming who. And the base license is $719 US. in
case they decide to pursue you for possible violations.


I'm surprised we don't already have something similar in the repos as
X11 is geared out of the box to be used as a remote network gui session.
Back when in 1999 at RedHat, we would use ssh and then cipe to create an
encrypted IP tunnel from our machine at work to the machine at home...
with a stinkin' 28.8 modem connection, to use our Oracle CRM for tech
support issues at home. It is hard to believe we haven't progressed
further. Just my two cents. But, I AM dnloading it to peek at it! I sure
don't have the price for this in my hip pocket.


Ric



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"There are two Great Sins in the world...
..the Sin of Ignorance, and the Sin of Stupidity.
Only the former may be overcome." R.I.P. Dad.
http://linuxcounter.net/user/44256.html

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Old 11-20-2011, 11:37 PM
NoOp
 
Default fixing distant computer via remote control

On 11/20/2011 09:23 AM, Bill Stanley wrote:
> 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.

You already have the tools installed by default.

On the neighbor's machine:
System|Preferences|Remote Desktop
Sharing: click Allow other users to view... click Allow other users to
control...
Security: click You must contirm... click Require the user to enter...
and then enter a good, strong password.
Notification Area: click Only dispay an icon when there is someone
connected.

Note: the neighbor can leave sharing turned off except for when you need
to get in, that way she doesn't leave port 5900 & 5901 open. If you
install ssh, then you can ssh into the computer & turn it on directly
and then turn it off when you are finished:

$ ssh -X <username>@<ipaddress>
$ vino-preferences

Do what you need to do & then use the last command again to turn it off.
As others have mentioned, you'll may have issues getting in on 5900 or
22 (for ssh), so you may need to configure the ISP nat box to allow
those. Also, if you do install ssh, be sure to install denyhosts or
fail2ban as she'll get hit by ssh probes as soon as she turns on ssh.

For obtaining the IP of the neighbor, just have her fire up her browser
and go to http://whatsmyip.org and have her read the large 'Your IP
Address is..." to you. Then use Applications|Internet|Remote Desktop
Viewer or (Terminal Server Client) to vnc into her machine. Note: when
you connect and supply the password you will need to have her on the
phone & tell her to click the 'Allow' button after you've entered the
password from your side, otherwise you'll just stay with a black screen.

Also note that there are issue with VNC/Vinegre/Remote with nVidia cards
& 10.10. See:

<https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/xorg-server/+bug/353126>
This bug might also be of interest & worth a read (vino is the vinegre
client - System|Preferences|Remote Desktop).

Worth considering: subscribe her to a free dns service. I use
dyndns.com. Unfortunately there are a few hoops if you've not been
grandfathered in as a previous free user (I am):
<http://www.dyndnscommunity.com/questions/21580/from-dyn-what-happened-to-free-accounts.html>
But $20 USD per year is a pretty good deal anyway. I've been using
DynDNS for years (free) and wouldn't object to a charge if I hadn't been
grandfathered in. Good company IMO. But again, it's simple to have her
go to http://whatsmyip.org and have her read the IP address to you when
you need to access.

Also see:
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Vinagre
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/VNC
http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/maverick/man8/denyhosts.8.html
http://denyhosts.sourceforge.net/
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Fail2ban



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Old 11-21-2011, 12:48 AM
NoOp
 
Default fixing distant computer via remote control

On 11/20/2011 11:38 AM, Liam Proven wrote:
> On 20 November 2011 17:23, Bill Stanley <bstanle@wowway.com> wrote:
>> 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.
>
> What J D Lamb has suggested will indeed work, but it is moderately
> technical to achieve if you don't know your way around things like
> OpenSSH servers and router configuration.
>
> It's not FOSS, but TeamViewer is free for non-commercial use & I
> believe it will do what you need:
> http://www.teamviewer.com/en/index.aspx
>

Why would you find that necessary when vino/vinegre is already included
and installed in 10.10?




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Old 11-21-2011, 01:21 AM
Liam Proven
 
Default fixing distant computer via remote control

On 21 November 2011 01:48, NoOp <glgxg@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> On 11/20/2011 11:38 AM, Liam Proven wrote:
>> On 20 November 2011 17:23, Bill Stanley <bstanle@wowway.com> wrote:
>>> I am considering my options on fixing another computer via remote control.
>>> Â*The computer I want to fix is in a different house in my neighborhood. Â*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. Â*Winter is coming and I really don't want to leave
>>> my house for something that is relatively minor. Â*Some fixes take only a few
>>> minutes. Â*My neighbor tries to describe the problem but a verbal description
>>> is lacking. Â*What must be done so I can access my neighbors computer via my
>>> computer. Â*I would like a GUI application so it would be like I was actually
>>> there.
>>
>> What J D Lamb has suggested will indeed work, but it is moderately
>> technical to achieve if you don't know your way around things like
>> OpenSSH servers and router configuration.
>>
>> It's not FOSS, but TeamViewer is free for non-commercial use & I
>> believe it will do what you need:
>> http://www.teamviewer.com/en/index.aspx
>>
>
> Why would you find that necessary when vino/vinegre is already included
> and installed in 10.10?

AFAIK that requires router reconfiguration. Teamviewer does not:
requests are proxied across TV's servers. No user list information or
anything else is stored there, TTBOMK, not for private users, anyway.


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Tel: +44 20-8685-0498 • Cell: +44 7939-087884 • Fax: + 44 870-9151419
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:53 AM
John D Lamb
 
Default fixing distant computer via remote control

On Sun, 2011-11-20 at 15:11 -0500, Bill Stanley wrote:

> > 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.
>
> Question... Since the ISP probably uses NAT, this would probably change
> over time. Whenever my neighbor wants me to do a fix remotely, can I
> ask her to run a command to learn the IP address? Her computer is
> connected directly to the ISP cable with no router between. Maybe
> ifconfig would work?

You can check the IP address on the title bar or settings under
connection settings on your neighbour’s computer. If the address starts
192.168.… you have to negotiate NAT. Otherwise you may be able to run
services on your neighbour’s computer and login directly through ssh
into your neighbour’s computer.

You can find a bit more on https://help.ubuntu.com/community/VNC about
desktop sharing/VNC and on
http://www.debian-administration.org/articles/152 about setting up ssh
without a password — the security comes from using a key pair, which is
better than sending a password over even a secure connection. The one
thing I would recommend is using either UFW (the standard Ubuntu
firewall) or a router to prevent any more connections than necessary to
a machine. On my machine with a fixed IP address I allow ssh and nothing
else. And even then the firewall logs can register hundreds of failed
ssh attempts per day.

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Old 11-21-2011, 08:40 AM
Colin Law
 
Default fixing distant computer via remote control

On 21 November 2011 02:21, Liam Proven <lproven@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 21 November 2011 01:48, NoOp <glgxg@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
>> On 11/20/2011 11:38 AM, Liam Proven wrote:
>>> On 20 November 2011 17:23, Bill Stanley <bstanle@wowway.com> wrote:
>>>> 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.
>>>
>>> What J D Lamb has suggested will indeed work, but it is moderately
>>> technical to achieve if you don't know your way around things like
>>> OpenSSH servers and router configuration.
>>>
>>> It's not FOSS, but TeamViewer is free for non-commercial use & I
>>> believe it will do what you need:
>>> http://www.teamviewer.com/en/index.aspx
>>>
>>
>> Why would you find that necessary when vino/vinegre is already included
>> and installed in 10.10?
>
> AFAIK that requires router reconfiguration. Teamviewer does not:
> requests are proxied across TV's servers. No user list information or
> anything else is stored there, TTBOMK, not for private users, anyway.

In addition TeamViewer has a Windows client, so if you are unfortunate
enough to have to support users who have to use Windows then this
route works for them also.

That is not to say that I think TeamViewer is always the best
solution, it is just very easy as it avoids messing about with the
router. For those with a high level of support I use x11vnc that I
can run remotely via ssh as I find it gives better screen quality and
can be activated with no action on their part.

Colin

Colin

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Old 11-21-2011, 10:21 AM
"compdoc"
 
Default fixing distant computer via remote control

> Question... Since the ISP probably uses NAT, this would probably
> change over time. Whenever my neighbor wants me to do a fix remotely,
> can I ask her to run a command to learn the IP address?

The command ifconfig will tell you if there is no router involved.

But, the best way to know your external address is by opening a site like:

http://www.whatismyip.org/

or

http://www.whatismyip.com/


The command ifconfig will tell you if there is no router involved.


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