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Surely one needs remote access every now and then. So what options do Linux users have when wanting to access their computer remotely? Here are a few options.
TeamViewer is one of the best, if not the best, remote access option for Windows. Guess what? They now support Linux as well. TeamViewer for Linux is still a beta product, but it works just fine, far better than running TeamViewer under Wine and it does everything that you have become familiar with TeamViewer on Windows.
Using TeamViewer can’t be easier. You download a package for your distribution and double click to install. At present there are packages available for Ubuntu, Fedora, Suse and Mandriva. In addition you can also download the tarball and then compile and install on your computer the old fashioned way. Once installed, fire it up and you are ready to rock!
Teamviewer takes a moment or two to initialize when you start it up. Once initialized, TeamViewer UI displays an ID and a password. These are the credentials you (or anyone else) needs in order to gain remote access to the computer. The ID of a computer remains the same, while the password is regenerated every time. You can however set a user defined password that doesn’t change and can be used to access your computer remotely anytime.
In addition to the above, you can also
- record sessions.
- adjust screen quality to optimize performance or view quality.
- create blacklists and whitelists to always deny or always accept requests from certain users.
- tweak and specify precisely what remote users would be able to do on your computer.
TeamViewer also makes it easy to transfer files between the connected computers and can also support VOIP if need be.
The other option is to use remote desktop over VNC. While VNC is not as feature rich as TeamViewer or LogMeIn, it is readily available on Ubuntu. All you need is an IP address and optionally a password to be able to connect to a computer via VNC.
In Ubuntu you need to enable remote desktop connection. Open System > Preferences > Remote Desktop and place a check against “Allow other users to view your desktop“. Optionally you may also specify a password that would be required to access the computer remotely via VNC.
There are a number of clients available that allow you to connect to a VNC server. You can find out more about them here.
Yet another way to access your computer remotely is to use NX. You would need a FreeNX server on the machine that you want to be able to connect to remotely. You can use the freenx-team ppa to install freeNX on your computer. It is a bit more involved to set up on earlier versions of Ubuntu. This Ubuntu Help page has more step by step instructions for different versions of Ubuntu.
NX clients are available for Windows, Linux, Mac and Solaris systems that let you connect to a computer running a NX server. You can download the one for your computer here.
LogMeIn is a great tool to access your computers remotely and perform a number of other useful tasks. While the above mentioned alternatives don’t offer each and every feature offered by LogMeIn, they certainly come close. TeamViewer is arguably even better than LogMeIn. In any case if it is remote desktop access you are looking for all three of the above have you covered. If you want something a little more feature rich, try TeamViewer.
Have any suggestions to add to the list? Share them with us in the comments below.