Friday, January 29, 2010

The VNC Alternative of using Linux over Windows

A popular method of connecting to Linux Machine is via SSH (Secure Shell). This protocol of exchanging data over secure channel [1]. The beauty of this channel is that it could easily be extended to provide other facilities like SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) or SCP (Secure Copy). One could get hold to a host of small applications from [2]. Another method to use is VNC (Virtual Network Computing) [3]. Its a desktop sharing method and uses remote frame buffer protocol.

The VNC alternative to using Linux over Windows can be used to enjoy Linux while still using Windows distribution. The only constraint is that one has to use an extra machine for Linux but the fact that we don't need to use any monitor, keyboard or mouse with it helps in both ease of use as well as house keeping (tuck away the Linux box under any table in your office and no one will know it exists).  The key to this idea are two simple commands on the two operating systems.

Linux Box

Step 1: Run vncserver command and  then vncpasswd command to set password for entry. The first command will give you "New 'X' desktop is HOST_NAME:DISPLAY_NUMBER".


Step 2: Install vncviewer from the website ( Then run the vncviewer and enter the information HOST_IP_ADDRESS:DISPLAY_NUMBER.  Clicking ok will prompt for password. Enter the password set using vncpasswd command. 
And boom ... one is able to use Linux X-Windows Graphical Interface over Windows Machine.



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