If you happen to be the resident “geek” in your house, workplace, or school, you have probably used VNC. It allows you to remotely connect to another computer and even control it. When used for legitimate technical support, it is a useful tool for helping users who are not present in the same room, building, or even the same side of the world. There are also other uses to it outside of technical support. If a user disables the “control” feature, it can be used for instructional purposes.
KDE, being the complete desktop that it is, includes a desktop sharing application that allows both VNC and RDP connections to and from the user’s desktop. Setup is easy and painless. Just follow these steps:
Note: The “host” computer will receive the connections, and the “guest” computer will connect to the host and control/view it.
1. On the host computer, start Krfb. It can be found in the k-menu under Internet, Connectivity.
2. Click the “Configure…” button.
3. Choose whether you want your computer’s presence announced, and choose the desired listening port (the default is 5900).
4. In the security tab, make sure “Allow uninvited connections” is unchecked (unless the computer needs to be accessed when the user is not present).
5. If you want to allow the guest to control the desktop, check “Allow remote connections…”
6. Click “OK”.
Back in the Krfb main window:
1. Click “New Personal Invitation..”
2. Copy down the host ip address, port, and password.
(The personal invitation will be valid for one hour from the time that you create it. You can also use “New Email Invitation…”, which will give the same type of invitation to the email addresses you specify).
3. Click “Close”. (Notice that the Krfb icon appears in your system tray. Leave it there as long as you want to accept connections).
Now, the user on the guest computer must do the following:
1. Start Krdc. It is found in the k-menu under Internet, Connectivity.
2. Next to “Connect to:” make sure “vnc” is selected, and enter the host address and port given to you in the invitation. (Example: 192.168.254.3:5900)
3. Press “Enter”, or click the connect button to the right of the text box.
Once connected, there are five control icons at the top that you might consider using.
Full Screen makes the window full screen. A control bar will appear when you move your mouse to the top of the screen.
Screenshot takes a screenshot of the host computer and holds the picture in your clipboard. You can then paste it into a folder or an image editing program.
View Only will disables the “control” feature, which is useful if you need to spy (not that any of you would) or just want to observe.
Local Cursor will show you a mouse icon so that you can easily navigate through the user’s desktop.
Grab Keys will direct all keystrokes to the VNC window even if your mouse is focused elsewhere, so use with caution.
Scale will resize the VNC screen to fit within the window.
If you want to connect to the same location in the future, be sure to save a bookmark in the Bookmarks menu at the top. When you are finished with your remote setting, click Disconnect. Now you can remotely connect and control KDE computers, whether for business, education, or recreation. Use this new found power wisely.