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Guess what I'm talking about now

...You guessed it, SuSE. (grin) But I'll talk about that in a minute. This is going to be a very nerdy post, so if you're not into SuSE Linux or couldn't care less about it, well.. tough. Don't read this post then. 🙂

I did not go to work today, the car did not start this morning. It has since been fixed, but it can be very trying on the nerves when the car does not start. Meh.

So.. I spent most of the day toying with my SuSE box. As a matter of fact, this is my first entry from Linux. Woo-hoo. My biggest challenge today was "Okay.. I can use TightVNC to go from Windows-to-Linux really easy (see one of my previous posts on how I did that), but is it possible to go from Linux-to-Windows, kinda like the same way you use PuTTY?" Answer: Yes, this is how:


You must be logged into Linux (duh) and be in some type of X-Windows environment, whether it's KDE, GNOME, Blackbox or whatever.

You must have TightVNC installed with the viewer. You can also use regular VNC. You'll know if it's installed correctly if you can type vncviewer at a console prompt in X-Windows, and the vncviewer launches. Tip: VNC Viewer comes with RedHat preinstalled most of the time on newer installations. In SuSE, the TightVNC is located on their FTP site as a SuSE rpm that you can install with YaST. Really, really easy.

The Command Line SSH

As with a lot of things in *nix, you must connect from the command line first before launching vncviewer. It's called ssh.

The command line to use is (assuming the remote box is set up properly):

ssh -L local-port:localhost:remoteport -l username host_ip_address

Here are some better examples.

Assume that the host is:
On public IP address, and is Windows based with cygwin and tightvnc -- meaning the remote vnc port on the Windows box would be 5900 by default.

The command line would be:
ssh -L 5901:localhost:5900 -l username

Then you would launch vncviewer and put localhost:5901 and the remote Windows desktop will pop up.

But... what if you're running tighvnc server on the linux box you're connecting from and you get a "port in use" error? Yeah, I ran into that - and it stumped me until I found out that if you have a TightVNC server running on your *nix box, port 5900 is actually 0 where vncserver is concerned, so 5901 is actually 1. And no, you can't do localhost:1, because as you know, that port is already in use by your tightvnc server. If this is your situation, do this command line instead (and it does work):

ssh -L 8000:localhost:5900 -l username

When logging in this way, you would connect vncviewer to localhost:2100. Confused? Don't be. 8000 minus 5900 is 2100. Since 5900 is 0 on a *nix box with TightVNC server installed, 5900 + 2100 = 8000. Get it? Well, even if you don't - that's the way it works.

And yeah, connecting to a Windows box from a Linux box is damn slow. You may want to read up on vncviewer options by typing man vncviewer at the console prompt and putting in some compression/depth options.

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