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Remote Desktop with Linux - Encryption - Securing

Posted on 2006-07-07
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-04-28
Hello, In the past I have used windows to windows over the internet and locally using RealVNC Server and Real VNC Viewer, Now I have moved to the wonderful world of *nix and would like to connect to a machine over the internet using encryption to make it secure (as secure as possible)

Now i would be connecting to the machine which would be UBuntu 6.06 using UBuntu 6.06 and windows realvnc viewer

LOcally I can connect fine using remote desktop built into ubuntu and using vncviewer built into ubuntu now this works fine locally and doesnt really need to be encrypted as its local?

THis also works over the internet forwarding port 5900 but I do not feel secure doing this all in clear text with no encryption applied at all, I have tried to instal realvnc linux version but the server just says aborted after every command in the console, the vncviewer in this works though, also tried FreeNX but it just sayed killed by signal 15.

COuld you please help me securing a connection over the net, I have installed open ssh on the nix box and used putty to connect over the net but this is obviously command line and i want a full GUI

Thanks again
Question by:scr5
LVL 14

Accepted Solution

chris_calabrese earned 500 total points
ID: 17062067
The easiest way to do this is to tunnel the GUI traffic inside of SSH. There are two basic ways of doing this.

The first is to install X Windows software on your workstation (assume it's Windows since you're using PuTTY) and tunnel the X traffic through SSH. I believe the PuTTY docs tell you how to do this.

The other is to runnel VNC traffic through SSH. There are plenty of how-to's on this around. Just Google for "tunnel vnc ssh".
LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 17062577
Alternatively, you can use NX server:


The 2 user version is free. Performance is much better than VNC or alternatives.

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Author Comment

ID: 17062994
freenx dont work I managed to do this i think, I made a tunnel in putty local host 5900, then normal info in session the remote ip and port 22, then in real vnc  address localhost,

Server had open ssh server installed and was using the remote desktop built in, i.e. that password and it worked, I have to connect to machine via CLI in putty first, then realvnc using the remote desktop password.

In netsta i saw that all the traffic was going through port 22 so that means i set it up correctly? :)

LVL 40

Expert Comment

ID: 17095642
FreeNX should work ok, (I had no problems on gentoo with 0.5.0) but did you get the private key of the server installed correctly on you nxclient?
if not that does invoke some obscure problems, indicating a kind of half started connection...)

And FreeNX is definitely a LOT faster than vnc. It's on par with RDP & almost Citrix for windows.

I haven't tried the very recent 2.0 version yet. Then the base license of 2 users is free.

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