Raspberry Pi. Remotely configure and lock down programs using policy. The easiest thing to do is to run the installer on the computer you want to control and follow the instructions. If you have an Enterprise subscription, you can apply an offline key at the command line or remotely. Yes, providing you have a valid support and upgrades contract.
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It is also useful in situations where a co-worker or IT support technician needs access to your desktop to resolve a problem. In fact, there are even mobile applications for devices such as the iPhone that will allow you to access your RHEL desktop from just about anywhere that a data signal is available. Secondly, in addition to providing access to your primary desktop the one you see when you switch on your monitor every morning it enables you to create multiple desktops and connect remotely to them.
It is important to note that there are both secure and insecure ways to access a remote desktop and both approaches will be covered. Remote desktop support should have been installed by default during the operating system installation process. If the rpm command reports package vino is not installed then the next step is to perform the installation.
Alternatively, to install from a terminal window, enter the following:. The next step in setting up remote desktop access is to activate it and define some basic security settings. These settings are configured in the Remote Desktop Preferences dialog. To access this dialog, open the desktop System menu and select Preferences followed by Remote Desktop.
When selected, the following window will appear:. Finally this screen specifies the command to run on the remote system to access the desktop. Once you have configured Remote Desktop access you are almost ready to try connecting. In this chapter we will cover both secure and insecure remote desktop access methods.
Assuming that you are accessing one system from another within the context of a secure internal network then it is generally safe to use the insecure access method. If you plan to access your desktop remotely over any kind of public network you must use the secure method of access to avoid your system and data being compromised.
If you want to use the insecure access methods and I still strongly recommend you use the secure method and are certain that remote access will always take place within the context of a secure internal local area network then it is important to be aware that you must configure the RHEL firewall to allow this to happen. By default, the RHEL firewall is both enabled and configured to block insecure remote desktop access. Before proceeding, therefore, it is necessary to allow VNC traffic to pass uneventfully through the firewall.
We must, therefore, configure the firewall to allow traffic on this port. To achieve this simply perform the following steps:. Remote desktop access from other Linux based systems can be achieved using the vncviewer tool. This tool is contained within a package named vnc which may be installed on RHEL using the following command sequence in a terminal window:.
The vncviewer tool is available for a wide range of operating systems and a quick internet search will likely provide numerous links providing details on how to obtain and install this tool on your chosen platform. Alternatively, run the command without any options to be prompted for the details of the remote server:. If you configured the remote system to prompt to approve a connection a dialog will appear on the remote system. Until the connection is approved the vncviewer session will wait.
Once approved, or if no approval is required, VNC will prompt for the password assuming one was defined :. If you see a message similar to the following then you may need to use the secure method of remote desktop display outlined in the next section:. Otherwise, enter the password and a new screen will appear containing the desktop from the remote system. Note that if the remote desktop is configured to prompt you before allowing remote access you will need to accept the connection on the remote system before the desktop will appear in the viewer.
If remote desktop control was enabled you can interact with the desktop as if you were sitting at the remote screen. Access is also possible from a Windows system. There are a number of VNC packages available for Windows. Enter the password if one is required. The screen should load and display the remote desktop. You may also enter the port number in the form hostname screen 0 in VNC uses port TightVNC assumes port if none is specified but when we look at setting up additional desktops later in this chapter we will need to specify port numbers in order to connect.
The remote desktop configurations we have explored so far in this chapter are considered to be insecure because no encryption is used. This is acceptable when the remote connection does not extend outside of an internal network protected by a firewall. When a remote session is required over an internet connection a more secure option is needed. This is achieved by tunneling the remote desktop through a secure shell SSH connection.
The ssh server is installed and activated by default on RHEL 5 systems. Assuming the SSH server is installed and active it is time to move to the other system. At the other system, log in to the remote system using the following command, which will establish the secure tunnel between the two systems:. In the above example, hostname is either the hostname or IP address of the remote system. Log in using your account and password. The secure connection is now established and it is time to launch vncviewer so that it uses the secure tunnel.
Leaving the ssh session running in the other terminal window, launch another terminal and enter the following command:. The vncviewer session will prompt for a password if one is required, and then launch the VNC viewer providing secure access to your desktop environment.
In the above example we left the ssh tunnel session running in a terminal window. If you would prefer to run the ssh session in the background, this can be achieved by using the —f and —N flags when initiating the connection:. The above command will prompt for a password for the remote server and then establish the connection in the background, leaving the terminal window available for other tasks. If you are connecting to the remote desktop from outside the firewall keep in mind that the IP address for the ssh connection will be the external IP address provided by your ISP, not the LAN IP address of the remote system since this IP address is not visible to those outside the firewall.