[NCLUG] rdp, vnc through nat

DJ Eshelman djsbignews at gmail.com
Tue Aug 18 11:00:50 MDT 2009

Remote Desktop Connection is only available on XP Pro editions, so 
that's not always the best solution, though Home does have a Remote 
Assistance link that sort of worked.  The problem with RDC is it's 
single-client unless you do some hacking that I don't recommend.  In 
other words, you'll be able to see their desktop but they won't be able 
to see what you're doing.

We use GoToAssist ourselves, but of course that is a subscription 
product.  That and GoToMyPC use port 80, so it's easy enough to have the 
client initiate.  The problem is that you'll have to be running a 
Windows host for your side of things unless you want to spend just as 
much time getting that to work.

As far as firewall, you're always better off using a client-initiated 
connection, as Bob suggested.  That way you aren't having to deal with 
the headaches of opening ports in the client's firewall or those pesky 
'established' rules for random ports.  There are a few other open-source 
solutions out there, apparently, but none that I can say I'd recommend :(

good luck!

Goodman,Darrin wrote:
> Matt Rosing wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I'm trying to figure out how to operate my father-in-law's or parent's 
>> machine remotely from my machine so I can do some stuff for them. To try 
>> this out, so far I put gnome-rdp on my machine and I put a vnc server on 
>> a windows machine and now I can control my windows machine, which is on 
>> the same local network as my linux machine. What I don't understand is 
>> how to run this through the fire walls. The ports are no problem but the 
>> NAT is. I can modify my fire wall to send everything related to rdp to 
>> my linux machine but I can't get to the firewall at my parent's house. I 
>> just can't ask them to touch anything and I can't drive there to set 
>> this up. So, I want the server (the windows machine) to initiate things 
>> and the client (my linux machine) to respond. Is this doable? Or is 
>> there a better way to do this?
> Please excuse my ignorance here, but why not just use a remote desktop client?  I use grdesktop to connect to some of our Windows servers at work.  If I am outside of our domain, so long as I am logged into our vpn, I can connect to the servers (and be looking at the Windows desktop on my machine).  Actually, something recently "broke" somewhere (Firewall perhaps? Can't locate any rule in the firewall that is disallowing the connection...) and I can no longer do this from outside of our network, but I'd like to gain a better understanding of how to fix the issue.  Anyway, perhaps the remote desktop method would also work for you.  The Windows machine would just need to be set up to allow remote access.
> -Darrin
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