Find the answer to your Linux question:
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14
Forgive me if this has been answered before. I'm a noob and may misunderstand some of what I've been reading. I understand that there are clients that do the remote ...
Enjoy an ad free experience by logging in. Not a member yet? Register.
  1. #1
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    8

    Windows to Linux server to Windows desktop RDC


    Forgive me if this has been answered before. I'm a noob and may misunderstand some of what I've been reading.

    I understand that there are clients that do the remote desktop thing between Linux servers and Windows clients and vice versa. My question is whether there is anything that will make both the Windows to Linux connection and a Windows/Windows RDC?

    We have a network server which is RedHat Linux with Samba, however our desktops are all PCs with OS ranging from Win2000 to Vista. We would like to have client remote desktop access that would allow for our workers to access both the network drives (where most of our docs are stored) AND operate applications on their own desktops from their home PCs and laptops (OS also ranging the same as above). Is there any software that can do all of this? If we can get email access and collaborative calendaring out of all this, so much the better.

    Thanks for your patience and help.

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    I can be found either 40 miles west of Chicago, in Chicago, or in a galaxy far, far away.
    Posts
    11,530
    VNC works well for remote desktop sharing. I use it for remote desktop sharing on Linux -> Windows -> Windows -> Linux all the time. In any case, remote desktop software isn't needed to share files - samba (cifs) works well for that in both directions, or for email/calendaring applications. If the documents are in a format that the Windows system can use (Open Office or MS Office), then you can access them from Windows just like they were local files, or copy them down to Windows, edit them, and copy the changed files back to the server. Your choice how to manage that.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  3. #3
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    8
    Thanks Rubberman. I'll look deeper into VNC.

    Within the building, we have a Linux network with Windows PCs as desktop units connected to our Linux hub. Samba works great for that.

    In the process of trying to encourage teleworking from home, we need the ability for people to get on their own laptops or PCs at home and access the network as well as their desktop applications/email/etc at work. The current methodology my boss is using to access the network remotely (OpenVPN) doesn't have the functionality we need, has been difficult to implement on our system, and doesn't work well with Vista (if it works at all), so we're looking for other options.

    Several people here are pushing for us to go all Microsoft and get MS Exchange plus MS Server, however, we like our Linux setup and would like to keep it....plus the expense is cheaper with the Linux. A bonus when you are a small non-profit organization largely dependent upon grants and membership dues to function.

  4. #4
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    I can be found either 40 miles west of Chicago, in Chicago, or in a galaxy far, far away.
    Posts
    11,530
    Vista - not much works well with Vista...
    Anyway, if OpenVPN isn't working, there are commercial VPN server/client packages that should do just fine. Another option is ssh tunneling. What are the issues you are having with OpenVPN? It uses a standard protocol that commercial client packages which will work with Vista should handle just fine.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  5. #5
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    8
    Yeah, I'd rather take a flame thrower to every Vista machine I've seen myself, but there are several here at work who have Vista as their home PC or laptop!

    Truthfully, I'm not sure my boss set things up right. The current way that OpenVPN seems to work is that there's a set of 6 files that must be copied to the client machine, including a setup.bat. Once the setup.bat has been double clicked it basically sets up the OpenVPN then maps all the drives of the remote network to the designated letters on the home machine.

    It crashes 75% of the time on Vista, and when it does install, it doesn't work right, sometimes not at all. On other machines, if you already have a drive mapped to a certain letter that is duplicate on the OpenVPN setup, it'll crash the installation process. Seems awfully clunky to me.

    FWIW, many of our staff have problems operating MS Word or MS Excel, much less anything more technical.

    Either way, OpenVPN, as my boss has set it up, only maps the network drives. Staff cannot access their desktop, get the email on their work hard drive (which is stored locally on that drive not on the network due to space constraints!), or use any of their PC's applications.

    Yes we should have email centralized and backed up, but my boss has fought that for years now. (He doesn't want to pay for more disk space or the expense of backing up said disk space.) We should also have some enterprise software, but in the past he has also seen that as an unnecessary expense.

    Sooooooo, I'm trying to find a better option to allow staff to do what they need to do to get their jobs done from home or from the road since I can't change our overall setup.

    Thoughts?? Opinions??

  6. #6
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    I can be found either 40 miles west of Chicago, in Chicago, or in a galaxy far, far away.
    Posts
    11,530
    First, get your own system to install and work right with OpenVPN, or get a trial version of a commercial VPN client that will work with your OpenVPN server. You really should not need to map your network drives right away. Start by not mapping any. Once you are connected to the VPN, you are just another node on the server's network, tunneled via the internet over an encrypted link. Then you can acess and mount network shares directly. It sounds like your boss didn't set up the system correctly, plus there might indeed be issues with Vista and the OpenVPN client, which is why I am suggesting that a commercial client might be a better option at this point.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  7. #7
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    8
    Cool. Thanks for the advice. Would OpenVPN allow for remote desktop access, or would I need to do something else for that?

    (Sorry to be such a n00b about it all, but I'm not originally an IT person. Learning from the seat of my pants just to help my boss out.)

  8. #8
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    I can be found either 40 miles west of Chicago, in Chicago, or in a galaxy far, far away.
    Posts
    11,530
    Backups? Cost? What a maroon! Given a 1.5TB sata drive and an esata/usb enclosure for it is a total of about $200 USD, that is very much a situation of penny-wise and brain dead... That's what I do for backups - a quick-load esata enclosure and 1.5TB Seagate 3gbps sata drives at $150 per drive, using them just like tape (at 1/3 cost of tape). It's fast, cost-effective, reliable, and easy to restore.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  9. #9
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    8
    Heh. Yeah, I feel the same. Gee, what's it worth? Spending X amount of $ for drives and back ups....or having 25 people lose 6 months worth of email and lots of employee down time on the clock while we recreate stuff or work extra to recover from the loss?

    We don't even have antivirus at work, so there you go....

    YOu would be astounded by some of the other practices here. I'm not originally an IT person, and *I* know that they're messed up.

  10. #10
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    I can be found either 40 miles west of Chicago, in Chicago, or in a galaxy far, far away.
    Posts
    11,530
    Quote Originally Posted by athos View Post
    Cool. Thanks for the advice. Would OpenVPN allow for remote desktop access, or would I need to do something else for that?

    (Sorry to be such a n00b about it all, but I'm not originally an IT person. Learning from the seat of my pants just to help my boss out.)
    Once on the network, you can easily remote access the client systems, and vice versa (with proper authentication). BTW, which OpenVPN package + version are you using? Also, which version of Red Hat are you using?
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •