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Any VNC experts? This is driving me nuts...

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by IndyGunFreak, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

    26,316
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    Jan 26, 2001
    Indiana
    Ok.. Support options are limited, and what few folks I do talk to, they can't figure this out...

    Here's the scenario(if you need details I've somehow left out, feel free to ask and I'll post them, but I think this is all you'll need).

    Network:
    1 XP wireless desktop
    1 Ubuntu 10.04 wireless laptop
    2 Ubuntu 10.04 wired desktops
    All updates are current on all of them, I can ping all machines from any machine on the network.

    Router: Netgear WNDR3300 - Right now, all ports are closed, as I don't want access to them from the outside. However, I've tested w/ port 5900 forwarded to the two problem machines, and coming in through my IP address, and it didn't change anything.

    Success: I can connect to all the boxes, from any other machine on the network using tightvncserver and xtightvncviewer or tsc(terminal server client). I can "control" the XP desktop and the Ubuntu laptop from any machine on the network.

    Problem: When trying to control the two Ubuntu desktops. They just do not respond, and it's like looking at a frozen screen. After clicking the menu, right clicking desktop, etc... nothing happens on my screen, but it appears to be happening on the remote machine. Example: If I click the Application menu or open a folder on the machine I've VNC'd into, nothing happens locally(where I'm sitting). However if I get up and walk to the machine, I can see on the desktop the things I've done(open folders or if I left a menu open, etc..)...

    The 3 Ubuntu machines have exactly the same vnc programs installed on them, and I just can't figure out why this is happening. FWIW, the same thing also happens when I use Ubuntu's "remote desktop" program. I have tried all 3 protocols under TSC, w/ the same results(VNC, RDP, RDPv5). As one final test to try this, I downloaded the free version of TeamViewer, and put it on my Ubuntu laptop, and the problem desktops. Using Teamviewer, gives me control of the problem desktops.

    I hope that is clear enough, I'd appreciate any insight as to what the problem could be.

    IGF
     
  2. srhoades

    srhoades

    2,802
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    Jul 14, 2000
    Is the background disabled using whatever client you are trying to use to connect? Do the two Ubuntu desktops have a ridiculously high resolution background?
     

  3. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

    26,316
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    Indiana
    Hmm, thats a possibility I guess...

    No, background is not disabled. One of the machines I was attempting to attatch to, is a dual screen machine(2500x1024). Didn't really think that could be an issue. However, one of the machines has a 15in CRT..

    I'll try disabling the background and see if that resolves the problem.

    IGF
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  4. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

    26,316
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    Jan 26, 2001
    Indiana
    OK... I've had some moderate success... I never would have thought a wallpaper could cause this.. but when you mentioned it, it did make sense. FWIW, I'm setting this up at my parents house, and eventually I'll SSH in and use it from home to update their systems, since they never bother(ever). I was there tonight watching my nephews cuz my Mom had to leave in a rush.

    On one Ubuntu PC(a very old PC)... has 2 users. A user account, and a admin account(me). After disabling the wallpapers, etc.. I can now successfully manipulate the admin account on the old Ubuntu PC... but for some reason, if I log off my admin account, and into the user account(my youngest sister), I cannot manipulate her users desktop...

    My Mom got home and I was frustrated, so I came home and I'll go back and finish it up in a few days.... I'm sure there's a group issue or something on the old PC.. The new one I didn't get around to messing with,

    I'm part way there though... I'm off thur/fri.. I'll probably mess w/ it some more then.

    Edit: Ok... My machine was the dual desktop(at my house) and I was having a similar problem with my setup, but couldn't figure out why. It only has 1 user, and the wallpaper thing fixed it... so now, I only have the old PC at my parents to deal w/.

    Anyone has any other suggestions, I'm still open to them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  5. grantglock

    grantglock /dev/null

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    Feb 20, 2004
    Iowa
    when typing the ip address into your viewer try putting a colon and then a 1 or 0 behind it. VNC will let you connect to other desktops, you are probably connecting to one that is not being displayed on the monitor.

    like this

    192.168.1.50:1

    or

    192.168.1.50:0
     
  6. grantglock

    grantglock /dev/null

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    Feb 20, 2004
    Iowa
    edited to add, i just re-read your post. I'll leave this here anyway but it won't help you with your problem.
     
  7. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Indiana
    I was wondering what you were thinking... ;)

    Thanks for the thought though...

    IGF
     
  8. Linux3

    Linux3

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    Are closing out vnc cleanly?
    Locally on each system, well not windows,
    Open a shell and type:
    'ps -ef |grep vnc'

    See if you have some daemons still running. Could be you are connecting to an old process, aka a zombie.

    When connecting to a windows system I use rdesktop, but then the windows system has to have a remote server.

    Anyway, why use vnc? Just ssh into the system and use command line. Faster.
    Have you installed ssh, secure shell server?
    apt-get install openssh-server
     
  9. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Indiana
    yeah, VNC is closing cleanly, thats for sure.

    I thought about SSH, but I'm not really familiar with it. VNC I was just familiar with, so I went with it. Honestly, with my Dad and my Sister learning Linux, it's easier to have a GUI when trying to explain something to them. After I SSH in, is there a way to start a GUI, so I can see their desktop/show them what to do?

    Maybe I should read up on SSH.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2010
  10. kc8ykd

    kc8ykd

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    michigan
    zombies?
    in my linux distro?

    what kill caliber will that require? at least a -9?
     
  11. Pierre!

    Pierre! NRA Life Member

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    Jun 20, 2003
    Lovin Sparks Nv!
    >>>Compulsory Windows Success "Nya Nya" Posting<<<

    Bummer... The Remote Desktop on my Windows 7 systems works *flawlessly*... Even on the Vista and XP systems.

    Free, Huh? :rofl:

    {sorry - simply could NOT control myself}:supergrin::supergrin::supergrin:
     
  12. kc8ykd

    kc8ykd

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    ssh is pretty easy to setup, from what i remember. the installer should prompt you to make the crypto keys automatically. connecting to it is exactly like using a standard telnet server, you shouldn't notice any differences at all (except for being prompted to accept/remember the keys when first connecting to a new host). also, make sure to enable the ssh ports on your firewalls as necessary (22 tcp/udp).

    you should also check out using scp instead of ftp. it's basically ftp tunneled through ssh for encryption.

    a co-worker of mine used to do port-forwarding w/ssh for vnc a while ago. ssh basically functioned as an encryption wrapper for the vnc packets.

    if you get stuck in a windows environment for some reason, putty and winscp are great ssh/telnet/everything clients that are free. putty doesn't require any installation either, just run the .exe and it's ready to rock.
     
  13. JimmyN

    JimmyN

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    Sep 29, 2006
    Virginia
    I use VNC because all the employees work from home offices, or on the road, so that allows me to work on their systems from my desk, without having to go anywhere. But none of them are *NIX systems, so I don't have any experience with VNC on those.

    Could it be a firewall issue with Ubuntu, since you can make changes but don't get anything back on your end? Maybe it's allowing TCP in on that port but not out.

    The way mine is set up they initiate the connection from their end when they need help. That way I don't have to change their routers to allow access and don't encounter any problems when they are traveling. They establish connection out to me, and I forward ports at my end, that way their routers don't need any open ports. I try to keep them locked down pretty tight, and any open router ports are at my end where I can control them.

    SSH just establishes an encrypted tunnel, it doesn't really provide anything else. Once the tunnel is established then your software uses that encrypted connection. For example you could run VNC through an SSH tunnel so everything traveling over the net would be encrypted.
     
  14. Linux3

    Linux3

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    Sure it does because everybody and their brother can access a windows system.
    If there is no real security everything is easy!
     
  15. Linux3

    Linux3

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    IGF have you exchanged keys?I quote:
    Choose an ssh client for the computer you'll log in from, and create a public key for that computer.
    In a text editor on your PC, open the file <home>/.ssh/authorized_keys, then add the public key you just created to the bottom of the file.


    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/VNC
     
  16. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Indiana
    I'm not using SSH.... Still haven't got this problem licked.. I'm not sure what's wrong. Might have to go to the SSH route.

    IGF