Archive for September, 2002

Using VNC to Connect Heterogenous OSs to ARD

Sunday, September 1st, 2002

Due to the number of VNC distributions it is not possible to cover all of them. This section is meant to introduce you to the basic concepts of running VNC on the Windows platform so you can use any of the applications you find that have the features you need.

Ultr@VNC is open source and offers enough of the same options available to Mac users to establish a connection between ARD and Ultr@VNC. To install Ultr@VNC:
1. Download Ultr@VNC Server from the Ultr@VNC website at
2. Open the file from your desktop.
3. Select your language and click OK.
4. At the welcome screen click Next.
5. Accept the license agreement and click Next.
6. Read the Manual or click Next.
7. Select where the software should be installed and click Next.
8. Select whether to install the VNC Server, the VNC Viewer and the DSM Encryption Plugin for AES compatibility (see Figure 7.x) and click Next.

Figure 7.x

9. Type a name for Ultr@VNC to have in the Start Menu folder of your system and click Next. If you would prefer not to have Ultr@VNC icons placed in your Start Menu, select the box for Don’t create a Start Menu folder.
10. Select any other additional tasks you would like to have run by the installer such as Starting the UltraVNC service, registering UltraVNC as a service, configuring the Admin Properties and adding icons to the desktop (see Figure 7.x) and click Next.

Figure 7.x

11. Click Install.
12. Now you should see the Ultr@VNC icon in your Windows System Tray. If you do not you can open Ultr@VNC from your start menu.

Connecting to Ultr@VNC from ARD
The default settings of VNC are not compatible with accepting ARD clients because there is no password. Before we can establish a connection from ARD we will need to assign the password for ARD. To do this, Right-click on the Ultr@VNC icon in the system tray and click on Admin Properties (see figure 7.x). Type in a password in the password dialog, change any of the other settings to suit your needs and click Apply.

Figure 7.x

Other Solutions for VNC
VNC can also be installed on Windows CE using the commercial application PocketVNC or the open source application VNCViewer for PocketPC.

SynCE can be used to remotely administer Windows CE devices using Mac OS X, provided that you are using the latest version. You will also need to be using the Mac OS X Developer Tools as well as the libiconv and libpoll libraries, which can be obtained using Fink.

PalmVNC 2 can be used to remotely administer VNC from a Palm OS driven device such as a Tungsten or Treo.

Tip: Check out the Mac OS X Specific portion of the website for further configuration changes that may need to be made in order to get this open source package to function with Mac OS X.

Another great product is KVM-over-IP, offered by Adder Technology and RealVNC. This piece of hardware allows you to connect your Keyboard, Video and Mouse for Windows and Linux systems into a hardware device and control up to 16 systems remotely. The product is not cheap, but does offer very advanced capabilities.

Controlling Macs with VNC
Controlling a Mac using the VNC software from a Windows system is a little different than house ARD to ARD connections work.

Becaue the authentication scheme is the main difference between other distributions of VNC and ARD, it is important to prepare a Mac running ARD for the upcoming connections initiated from Windows and Linux distrubutions of VNC. To do this:
1. On the target Mac open System Preferences.
2. Click on the Sharing Preference Pane.
3. Click on Apple Remote Desktop (see figure 7.x).

Figure 7.x

4. Click on the button for Access Privileges.
5. Enable the option for VNC viewers may control screen with password and enter a password for administration from other platforms (see figure 7.x).
6. Click OK.
7. Close the System Preferences window.

Figure 7.x
Installing VNC Viewer on Windows
When you are using VNC to connect to a Mac you can download and install either the TightVNC or RealVNC version of VNC Viewer. For this example, we will be using RealVNC’s VNC Viewer. If you already installed the VNC Server earlier in this section you will probably not need to do this, but we will cover it just in case.

1. Download the VNC Viewer application from
2. Double-click the software to run it for the first time.
3. Type the IP address of the target Mac in the Server field (see figure 7.x).

Figure 7.x

4. Typically users leave the encryption option as Let Server Choose. Changing this can be tricky. If you have no changes, click OK.
5. Type the password set on the target and click OK (see figure 7.x).

Figure 7.x

Once your Mac systems have been prepared to be controlled from a VNC session, download the client application for Tight VNC or

Tip: Right-Clicking on the top bar of the VNC window will give an administrator the ability to send keystrokes to the target, initiate a second connection, view information about the connection, refresh the screen and swtich to full screen.
Managing Linux Systems using VNC
Most Linux distrobutions come with a VNC client built into the X-Windowing system they are running. If you are not running an X-Windowing system such as Gnome or KDE then chances are you will have no reason to be running VNC as you are already establishing connectivity using SSH or some other command line utility.

If you are running a distrobution of Linux that does not have VNC then you can install different versions based on the X-Windowing system you are running.

Enabling VNC from KDE

There are about as many versions of Linux and Unix as there were programers in the 1980’s. This makes it difficult to go through all of them. There are also multiple versions of the windowing systems. For this example we are going to setup a VNC Server to run on the KDE 3.2 X-Windowing system running on top of Novell’s SUSE LINUX 9 Enterprise.

To setup ARD to connect to VNC on Linux:
1. From the KDE Desktop, click on the Novell logo in the bottom of the screen.
2. Click on System.
3. Click on Remote Access.
4. Click on Desktop Sharing.
5. Click on the Configure… button.
6. Under the Access tab.
7. Enable the option for Allow uninvited connections (see figure 7.x).

Figure 7.x

8. Enable the option for Allow uninvited connections to control the desktop.
9. Enter a password to allow you to administer the system remotely.
10. Click on the Session tab and you will probably want to disable the background image in order to improve the performace of VNC.
11. Click Apply.

Figure 7.x SUSE in ARD

Connecting to VNC on Linux from ARD

Establishing a connection from ARD to VNC as it is installed in a KDE environment is done in much the same way as connecting from ARD to Ultr@VNC.

To establish a connection from ARD to VNC on KDE:
1. Open Remote Desktop from /Applications.
2. Click on Scanner.
3. Select Network Address as the type of scanner and enter the IP address of the Linux system you are establishing a connection with.
4. Press Enter.
5. Drag the system into the Master List.
6. At the prompt to enter a user name and password leave the user name field blank and enter the password you used in the Desktop Sharing configuration in SUSE.
7. Open the Master List.
8. Click on the Linux system you are controling.
9. Click on the icon for Take Control.
10. From the Linux system, accept the connection if you have the Confirm uninvited connections before accepting option checked.
11. If you had to confirm the connection then you may have to go back to ARD and reestablish the connection. Otherwise you should be looking at the desktop of your KDE session.