Remote desktop access

Martin Laberge mlsoft at
Fri Aug 24 18:26:57 UTC 2007

On August 24, 2007 13:34:33 CwCrei wrote:
> Thanks to all the folks who have responded - useful stuff as ever... :)
> Steve Flynn wrote:
> > 
> > Am I right in saying that VNC presents a view of the remote machine and that
> > Remote Desktop differs in that you actually log onto the remote machine
> > (kicking off any locally logged in user)?
> Pretty much - I prefer the VNC way of doing things. For instance, I want 
> to be able to start a session on one machine, and then when I go 
> downstairs to make dinner, log in from a different machine and continue 
> the session, and when dinner is over, return to the first machine and 
> continue where I left off. VNC appears to allow this in a much neater 
> way (without terminating the first session), whereas Remote Desktop 
> doesn't - it does indeed kick off the local user, and worst still, I 
> appear to be unable to log in remotely until I've logged in locally, so 
> I can't just power-up the WinXP box and log in remotely, which is a 
> right PITA with the 'dumb' XP box we use to play MP3s etc through the 
> hi-fi...
> > The difference is that with Remote Desktop the desktop becomes yours, but
> > with VNC, like remote assistance) you merely join any locally logged in
> > user?
> I've been playing with VNC a bit today, but as my usual XP box doesn't 
> have a client installed, I first used Remote Desktop to log into another 
> XP box with the software installed, and then used VNC to connect to my 
> Ubuntu box - I was slightly suprised that such a 'desktop dasiy-chain' 
> was almost useable!
> Anyway - one thing I appear unable to do is log into multiple accounts 
> at once on the Ubuntu box? If no-one is logged in locally on the Ubuntu 
> box, then RealVNC on XP gives a "connection refused" error. If someone 
> is logged in, then RealVNC dumps me straight to their desktop. I want to 
> be able to do the same with a remote desktop that I can with an SSH 
> command line on my Ubuntu server - have more than one user logged in 
> over the LAN, using the machine's resources simultaniously. I don't know 
> if my inability to achieve this is simply a configuration issue, or 
> whether it's simply not possible with VNC. I shall give Darren's 
> suggestion a go when I have some time...
> I thought the X Windows system was supposed to be 'network transparent'?
> Many thanks folks,
> PJ.

Use Xvnc, who can create a virtual desktop on a machine (server or desktop),
where you can connect anytime this machine is ON, if you put it in the
startup sequence.

This virtual Xserver do not even need that a user be logged on the machine,
and do not even need a screen, or keyb, or mouse, ...
and do not interfere with the REAL screen of this machine.

you can have a user using this machine, while you connect to it from anywhere else
on the second virtual Xserver, without the user of the machine being disturbed 
(except for a little cpu use from YOUR virtual Xserver)

this can be accessed from the local machine, the remote machine, or the internet
(assuming you have set a password, and routed correctly, at least...)

This is Your Desktop from Anywhere.

More so, You can have multiple of them on a single machine, and when accessed one
at a time, you feel alone on this machine.

(I used this way, plus the x11vnc way, to access 1 virtual desktop and one real desktop
on 25 machines, far away from here, with a less than 10 seconds connect time,
and a 1 second response time on 56k modems, or flash second response time with adsl.)

(on the local 10/100 mbps net, this is almost instantaneous)

Just my two cents...

Martin Laberge
mlsoft at

30 years of unix admin... and still learning!

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