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Engineering LibreTexts

08-B.6: Remote Desktop Access

  • Page ID
    33340
  • Remote Desktop

    Remote desktop refers to a software or operating system feature that allows a personal computer's desktop environment to be run remotely on one system (usually a PC, but the concept applies equally to a server), while being displayed on a separate client device. Remote desktop applications have varying features. Some allow attaching to an existing user's session (i.e., a running desktop) and "remote controlling," either displaying the remote control session or blanking the screen. Taking over a desktop remotely is a form of remote administration.

    Remote access can also be explained as remote control of a computer by using another device connected via the internet or another network. This is widely used by many computer manufacturers and large businesses' help desks for technical troubleshooting of their customers' problems.

    Remote desktop software captures the mouse and keyboard inputs from the local computer (client) and sends them to the remote computer (server). The remote computer in turn sends the display commands to the local computer. When applications with many graphics including video or 3D models need to be controlled remotely, a remote workstation software that sends the pixels rather than the display commands must be used to provide a smooth, like-local experience. HP Remote Graphics Software is one such remote workstation solution.

    Remote Desktop Packages

    There are numerous remote desktop software packages; some are proprietary and some are open source.

    Remote desktop sharing is accomplished through a common client/server model. The client, or VNC viewer, is installed on a local computer and then connects via a network to a server component, which is installed on the remote computer. In a typical VNC session, all keystrokes and mouse clicks are registered as if the client were actually performing tasks on the end-user machine.

    Remote Desktop Software Comments
    Teamviewer TeamViewer is a proprietary software application for remote control, desktop sharing, online meetings, web conferencing and file transfer between computers.

    TeamViewer is available for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome OS, iOS, Android, Windows RT, Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry operating systems. It is also possible to access a machine running TeamViewer with a web browser. While the main focus of the application is remote control of computers, collaboration and presentation features are included.

    Remmina Remmina is a remote desktop client for POSIX-based computer operating systems. It supports the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), VNC, NX, XDMCP, SPICE and SSH protocols.

    Remmina is in the package repositories for Debian versions 6 (Squeeze) and later and for Ubuntu versions since 10.04 (Lucid Lynx). As of 11.04 (Natty Narwhal), it replaced tsclient as Ubuntu's default remote desktop client. The FreeBSD ports/package collection also contains it as a separate port and additional protocol-specific plugin ports.

    Vinagre Vinagre is a VNC, SSH, RDP and SPICE client for the GNOME desktop environment. It was included in GNOME 2.22. It has several features, like the ability to connect to multiple servers simultaneously and to switch between them using tabs, VNC servers browsing and bookmarking. In version 2.29, Vinagre added controlling frame compression, better scaling and color depth. Version 2.30 added improved SSH tunneling and better support for copy/paste features between client and server.

    Vinagre version 3.0 will operate with GNOME 3.0. As of 2012, features such as frame rate, file transfer and audio support have yet to become available.

    TigerVNC TigerVNC is VNC server and client software, started as a fork of TightVNC in 2009.

    Red Hat, Cendio AB, and TurboVNC maintainers started this fork because RealVNC had focused on their enterprise non-open VNC and no TightVNC update had appeared since 2006. The past few years however, Cendio AB, who use it for their product ThinLinc, is the main contributor to the project. TigerVNC is fully open-source, with development and discussion done via publicly accessible mailing lists and repositories.

    Compared to TightVNC, TigerVNC adds encryption for all supported operating systems (not just Linux), but it removes scaling the remote display into the client window, file transfer, and changing options while connected.

    TigerVNC focuses on performance and on remote display functionality.

    TigerVNC became the default VNC implementation in Fedora shortly after its creation.

    Adapted from:
    "TeamViewer" by Multiple ContributorsWikipedia is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
    "Remmina" by Multiple ContributorsWikipedia is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
    "Vinagre" by Multiple ContributorsWikipedia is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
    "TigerVNC" by Multiple ContributorsWikipedia is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

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