Chapter 7. Secure Remote Administration with SSH

7.0. Introduction

In this chapter and the next, we’ll look at some of the ways Linux offers to administer a server and access your workstation remotely. Linux gives users great flexibility and functionality. You may have command-line only or a full graphical desktop, just as though you were physically present at the remote machine.

OpenSSH is the tool of choice for remote command-line administration. It’s secure, and easy to set up and use. It’s also good for running a remote graphical desktop because you can tunnel X Windows securely over SSH. This works well over fast local links. However, it’s less satisfactory over a dial-up or Internet connection because you’ll experience significant lag.

Rdesktop is a simple Linux client for connecting to Windows Terminal Servers, and to the Windows XP Professional Remote Desktop. This is useful for some system administration tasks, and for accessing Windows applications from Linux.

For dial-up users who want a remote graphical desktop over dial-up, FreeNX is just the ticket. It is designed to deliver good performance over slow links. Currently, you can use it to access a Linux PC from Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, and Solaris.

VNC is the reigning champion of cross-platform remote graphical desktops. With VNC, you can do all sorts of neat things: run several PCs from a single keyboard, mouse, and monitor, mix and match operating systems, and do remote technical support.

In this chapter, we’ll look at ...

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