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VNC, Linux - Remote Control
Linux® is an operating system that is becoming more popular in the business environment. It is especially becoming more widely used in server environments. It is not uncommon for organizations to use Linux operating systems to serve Web applications and databases. There are several versions of Linux, both free and for sale. The most popular versions are Red Hat®, CentOS®, and Ubuntu®.
VNC® is a common way to connect to Linux systems (as seen in DameWare® Mini Remote Control).
Overview of Linux
Virtual Network Computing (VNC) is software that allows a user to remotely control a computer from another computer. VNC basically converts your computer into a remote workstation that completely controls the computer that you want to connect to. For example, if you are on a Windows® XP computer at home and you wish to connect to a Fedora® or a similar Linux server, all you would need to do is make a connection to it through VNC software and connect to the remote computer.
Linux is an open-source operating system, meaning anybody can access, inspect, and even improve the source code. The major advantage that open-source coding brings is that it leaves open the possibility of customization which might benefit specific environments. With a system like Microsoft®, for example, the source code is not available to the public, so fixing issues relies on one company instead of a network of passionate volunteers.
Different Types of Linux
While there are many editions and versions of Windows and Mac® operating systems out at any given time, the number of unique commercial OS distributions in the market pales in comparison to number of Linux distributions.
Currently, there are more than 200 variations (AKA “distributions”) of Linux. Each one has different features depending on the programming, though each one is designed to run on the original Linux kernel that Linus Torvalds built in 1990. Some commonly used distributions are Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian®, and Red Hat.
As mentioned, Debian is one of the more common types of Linux. Other kinds, such as Linspire™, Gibraltar and Knoppix®, are all based on Debian, which is offered for free. Though it uses the original Linux kernel, most tools come from another free, open-source operating system known as the GNU project.
Ubuntu runs based on the coding for Debian. This system has several versions as well, including a cloud version, a desktop edition, and a server edition. Unlike other forms of Linux, Ubuntu is well known for being easy to use. All of its software is available for free as well.
Developed by Red Hat, Fedora works similarly to Linux in that it's free to use. Along with other distributions, Fedora does not face the risk of being overburdened by viruses or spyware due to the way that it is coded, featuring a native firewall and a user account that does not immediately have administrator use. A separate root account must be accessed for important remote administration tasks.
Red Hat Enterprise is another well-known Linux distribution. It is based on a version of Fedora and is specifically designed to run for businesses or individuals with a need for critical technological information. It is possible to obtain this version in either its desktop edition or server edition. Businesses can also subscribe to Red Hat in order to obtain support for software, the price of which can vary between a few hundred to thousands of dollars.
VNC on Linux
You may be familiar with RDP, the remote desktop feature native to Windows. RDP is widely used by help desk professionals and system administrators to remotely control Windows computers. RDP is built in to every Windows operating system since Windows XP, with the exception of Windows 8.
As popular as RDP is, it is really only useful as a remote control tool. However, even as a remote control tool, it still has limitations. For example, people using RDP to remotely control Windows computers will discover that they are unable to share a desktop screen with the user on the other end of the connection. Instead, the end-user will be either locked out while the tech views their desktop or the tech will start a parallel desktop session.
VNC software is similar, but it lets you reap these same benefits on a Linux machine. It also lets users on both ends of the remote connection share a desktop screen. This is very useful for training employees, but is especially useful for help desk technicians who troubleshoot computers remotely. This way, the end-user can watch what the tech is doing and the tech can follow the end-user’s moves closely to help determine the cause of the problem.
VNC is most commonly used to remotely control Linux computers that are being used as servers. Linux is a popular operating system for Web and database servers. Often these servers are located in secure data centers far from the location of the system administrators who manage them. This makes having robust remote support software an absolute must. Oftentimes, organizations deploy a mix of Linux and Windows servers in their environments. This means that when choosing a remote support solution, IT departments should look for one that allows techs to control both operating systems from one console.
DameWare Remote Support does just that. With DameWare Remote Support, you can remotely control Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows computers all from the same console. DameWare Remote Support is widely used among help desk professionals who provide remote support to end-users. It is also widely used among system and server administrators who manage server environments.
Download your fully-functional free 14-day trial of DameWare Remote Support today and begin managing your environment from one console within minutes.