Now that we've looked at VNC, I want to show you alternative to VNC called NX Client. Now, there are several graphical programs out there that run Remote Desktop sessions. VNC is one of them. Window's own Remote Desktop is another. However, these two particular programs aren't very secure. They may have some weak authentication or some weak encryption mechanisms. But the best bet is to use, as we talked about before, secure shell; ssh. Now we saw earlier how you can use secure shell at a command prompt to establish a secure session with another computer and do remote administration but that was kind of at the command prompt. A lot of people want to use GUI tools and even the entire remote Desktop to administer a computer. NX Client is an example of a program that can do that and it's just one of probably hundreds of programs that are very good out there that could do that. NX Client happens to be one of my favorites. It's a secure Remote Desktop client server program and the best thing about it, it runs natively over secure shell so the session is encrypted. Now, It'll incur a little bit of performance hit because of this encryption but it's well worth it. Now, what it's used for is encrypted remote administration sessions and Remote Desktops. It's a really good replacement for VNC and Windows Remote Desktop programs. It can be used on Windows or Linux and UNIX. You can download this for Linux platforms and for Windows platforms. You have to get the client and server installation so if your Linux box is going to serve as the server and you're going to connect to it to remotely administer it; you need to download the server portion to put that on the computer. If you're going to use, say the Windows box as the client, you need to download the client for Windows and install it on it. And vice-versa if you so choose so you'll have to have the client and server and you have to install secure shell if it's not already installed. Now, if you're going to administer a server that already has secure shell installed by default like Linux, this is no problem. If you're going to use this to remotely administer a Windows box, then you'd have to download a free secure shell server, for example a sshd server and there are several good ones out there. Let's go ahead and look at NX Client and again, this is just one example. There are many programs out there that can do this, that can do a secure Remote Desktop. This is just to kind of show you how it's possible to use it across secure shell. Let's go ahead and take a look at it. OK, we're in a Windows XP Professional computer and we're going to bring up the shortcut for NX Client. We're going to assume that it's already installed and we're going to make this assumption for just about all the tools that we cover as a matter of fact because the, this is on how to use the tool. Anyone can click Next on Windows Installer and install the program. Anyone, usually with a little help, can install RPM packages on a Linux box and install a program, so let's focus on how to use the client itself. So it comes up and it gives me a login and a password option. Now, I could choose to login as a guest user but we want to use a bonified account that's on the machine, the target machine that we're trying to administer. Now let's look at some of the configuration options and you can configure this when it's installed. The host name your connecting to or IP address, the port and this is key right here. It defaults to the secure shell port, port 22 by default but you can change it to a different port as long as your secure shell daemon on the other end is listening on that port. You can change the style of Desktops that you want; a VNC Desktop, a Windows Desktop and so forth and even which particular Desktop environment you're going to use on the other side. My favorite is GNOME so I'm going to use it. You can also set your connection speeds here. If you're connecting across a modem, you set it right there or if a faster LAN, then you can set it right there and this is used to control or enhance your performance of the Desktop coming across. You can set display options here for your Desktop. I'm going to go with the defaults and we're going to say OK to this and then we're going to actually connect to the machine and like I said, we have to use an account that's already on our target machine so I'm going to use the Bobby account. Again, I would emphasize that you not necessarily log in as root and in face, by default, the NX client will not allow that but you can set it up to do that as long as the secure shell daemon on the other side is set up to allow root. Again, I highly discourage it so I'm going to log in using the Bobby account. We're going to name our session VTC Linux because we're connecting to a Linux box. Let's go ahead and log in. It's going to set up the environment and it's going to connect and it's going to authenticate us and again, all this is happening over secure shell, which is the same kind of software that we saw earlier, the secure shell program so it's just a GUI client that sits on top of that and gives us our Remote Desktop. And once again, NX Client is a very good program but it's not the only program out there that you can do this with. So it's bringing up our openSUSE 11 Desktop, our Linux Desktop so we're actually going to remotely administer this Linux box from a Windows box using this NX Client over secure shell. So it's a secure remote administration unlike the Remote Desktop program that comes with Windows or even VNC. So now we're logged into our openSUSE box and once we get there we can open up a terminal and we can do whatever we like. We can look at processes, we can back up things, we can configure our server and so forth. So we can look at all these things and administer this Desktop remotely. So we can do just about anything we want to over the secure client and actually once I get started, it's not that bad as far as performance goes. So that's how to use the NX Client. Again, very good way to get a Remote Desktop on another computer across a secure shell connection.
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