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TightVNC on a 2008 Terminal Server With Custom Ports

Posted on 2012-03-11
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Last Modified: 2012-03-12
Hello All,

I had a great idea (or so I thought).  I installed TightVNC 2.0.4 on a 2008 Terminal Server.  I did CHANGE USER /INSTALL first.  Then I created a bunch of local users, and assigned each one a separate port for TightVNC, and updated the individual TightVNC settings accordingly.  I also added the necessary NAT entries on the firewall.

The goal was to be able to allow multiple internal users to be able to RDP to the terminal server, and share their desktops with external users.  It seemed to work well with two users.  But the third user could not get an external user connected to his desktop.

TightVNC stores its port number in the registry under HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/TightVNC/Server/RfbPort.  But I am unclear as to how HKEY_CURRENT_USER works on a terminal server.  If there can only be one set of TightVNC settings in the registry at any given time, then how can TightVNC work with two simultaneous users?  And if it works for two, why not three or more?

What am I missing here?

Baffled,
Chris
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Question by:LimeRidge29
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 37709460
Tight VNC is not a vey secure application and performance is slow. You have a terminal server, why not just use shadowing if you want to view other user's sessions, it's all built-in, secure, and better performance.
http://www.itedge.net/blog/2005/04/19/allow-terminal-server-users-to-shadow-users-rdp-sessions/
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Author Comment

by:LimeRidge29
ID: 37709778
I understand that TightVNC is not secure, and maybe not the best solution.  However, it does provides the flexibility to share the TS desktop externally, or to control a remote user's desktop from the TS, even if that user does not have a publicly accessible RFB IP/Port.  It also allows multiple connections to the same session.  Both of these features are extremely helpful for our various support scenarios.

For example, if our client needs support, they run VNC Server, and Attach Listening Viewer (our IP/Port) so that we can see/control their desktop from our TS RDP session.  Then if we need to involve a third party, we run VNC Server from the TS RDP session, and they can connect via the same IP/Port.  We see and control the entire process.

Unfortunately, the whole thing falls apart with more than 2 TS sessions.

I am looking for any VNC-type solution that will meet the criteria above AND work on a Terminal Server.  Is TeamViewer worth looking at?  Is there something else?
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Accepted Solution

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Rob Williams earned 250 total points
ID: 37710367
Yes I would srongly recomend Teamviewer or GoToAssist.  Excellent tools for remote assistance, both allow you to share your desktop or the remote computer's desktop. Teamviewer is a bigger investment up front, but cheaper over a two year period.  GoToAssit you can pay per year, per month, or per day as needed.  Both offer very good performance and security.

An old review of GoToAssist
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