by July 6, 2001 0 comments

Have you heard of pcAnywhere from Symantec? Among otherthings, this software lets you remotely control Windows machines. In otherwords, you can control a remote machine’s desktop from your machine. Asoftware called VNC, or Virtual Network Computing, lets you do the same thingfor Linux and Windows. You can control the desktop of a remote Windows machinefrom a Linux machine, and a remote Linux X Window desktop from a Windowsmachine. A Windows-Windows or Linux-Linux connection is also possible. VNC isabsolutely free, source code et al. We’ve given the software in the \cdrom\vncdirectory of this month’s CD for you to try out.

VNC is based on client-server architecture, where a serverruns on the machine whose desktop you want to view remotely. This server iscalled WinVNC for Windows (Win 9x/ME/NT/2k) and vncserver in Linux. The serveris accessed using a client program called vncviewer.

Setting up WinVNC

In cdrom\vnc you’ll find a file Unzip it using WinZip or a similar application, andrun the file install.exe in the winvnc directory. This would create a programgroup–called VNC–in Programs in the Windows StartUp menu.

Now select Install Default Registry Settings from VNC>Administrativetools.

You have the choice of running WinVNC as a service or anapplication. In the former case, it’ll run automatically when you start yourcomputer. If you run it as an application, you have to start it manuallywhenever you want to start the server. Select Install WinVNC Service from VNC>Administrativetools to run it as a service, or WinVNC (App Mode) from the VNC menu to run itas an application.

You should also get a green icon on the task bar. Otherwise,log off and re-login from the Start Menu, or restart your computer. If you stillcan’t see the icon, read the documentation vnc-latest_doc. zip in cdrom\vncfor how to get around this problem.

Now, you have to connect to the remote machine using the VNCclient, the procedure for which is explained later in this article.

The first time you start WinVNC server, you’ll be promptedto fill in a password for the server. Clients will use this password to accessthe server.

You can shut down the server by right-clicking the green iconand selecting Close VNC. You can remove it if VNC is installed as a service fromVNC>Administrative tools>Remove WinVNC service.

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