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How To Control A Server From Another Computer Over Internet
Posted 12 July 2012 - 11:22 AM
I understand that I would require a monitor, keyboard, mouse etc at the time of setting this server up. And that is what I would do. But once the server is set up and connected, I would like to move away from it and let it stay on its own in a separate room. All the stuff that need to be set up and looked after later, I would like to do it from my regular use computer over the internet (not Local area network). Controlling over the internet would make it possible for me to manage my server even when I am out of the city.
From what I read and watch online, I am perfectly sure that this is not a difficult setup to achieve but I need some help on where to start.
Posted 12 July 2012 - 01:01 PM
There is a vnc version for each Linux distro, some of them are directly installed when you install the OS and are somewhere on the administrator/user desktop.
You start the vnc server on your remote system in the other room.
Then you go to your favorite machine and you start vnc client, asking to access the remote system. And - TADAA - you are on the remote system, your friend on the remote system sees the mouse moving on the screen. At that moment you can remove the keyboard, mouse, display on the remote system; you use the keyboard/mouse on the vnc client system.
Posted 13 July 2012 - 08:12 AM
Wow! that's easier than I thought. I will definitely give it a try and see how it works. As a matter of fact, I have once tried the vnc solution for controlling my pc through my android mobile phone. Though it didn't go very well for me but I got the idea of how it would work.
vnc is the solution.
Vnc would be just fine but I what about something that would give a restricted access to a user. I am pretty sure that there would be settings available for this in the vnc server but what about something like cpanel, where a user gets access to only his website related stuff. He cannot change the system configurations of the server and modify the software or install new software on it. Is there any solution for this kind of setup.
Posted 13 July 2012 - 09:36 AM
What I do is the following :
I physically go on the remote machine, and I create a standard user, preferably a "rksh" (restricted shell) user.
I check that this user has permissions enough for doing his job (let's say administrating the webserver files).
I check that this user does not have system permissions (he does not know the root password)
This user starts vncserver.
This user sets the vnc remote access password by means of typing "vncpasswd", you are prompted for the remote access password, keep this password secret. This remote access password should not be the user password, don't make things too simple.
vncserver tells something like "you can connect IP XXX.yyy.zzz:h" (h is the terminal ID, usually 1 for the first user, 2 for the second one, etc...)
At this time your remove the keyboard and mouse and you go to your main compute.
You start vnc, which asks you the remote system idi, you enter XXX.yyy.zzz:h
You also enter the remote access password and you are on the remote system, exactly if you were on your own system. You can even click "full screen" and you even don't know that you are on a remote system. Simply you cannot alt-ctrl-del, you have to click "send ctrl-altdel" !
Posted 14 July 2012 - 11:37 AM
What I want to talk about is a simplified web-based control panel where the user is not required to have any knowledge of linux, or server hosting or any similar thing. A good example would be the popular cPanel used by most webhosts including astahost. But I am looking for some free alternate than can be used in my experimental and testing conditions.
So the scenario would be that the user (who is a complete novice) will be provided with an ip address (of the server) which he will enter into his browser. He will be presented with a web-page that asks for username and password. And after successfully entering the credentials, the user will be presented a simplified control panel with few links and icons (all in his web-browser), through which he can do stuff like modifying databases, modifying files, modifying some basic server settings, and similar stuff.
So what kind of material I need to create such a setup.......
Posted 14 July 2012 - 02:38 PM
The completely ignorant user knows how to use a web browser.
You provide this user a link, like for instance http://nextroomcomputer:8138:1 , he clicks on that link and he is on the remote computer.
The smart job you have to do is to be sure that this standard user is not able to destrou pecious files.
For instance, as a root admin user, you create "my_very_important_text.txt", and then you connect as this standard user and you check that he is not able to destroy that file.
Then, you can give this user full access to the remote computer, he only has his own password so he cannot do anything dangerous.
And installing and using vnc, under Windows or under Linux, is a very simple task: you click "install" and you click "accept" each time you are propmted to.
The only complicated parts are in our own mind, when I try to explain what security features and inter-computer communication links are involved. A standard user has only "click here", that's all.
Sometimes it's slightly easier in windows than in Linux, because on Windows there is only one possible user, and on Linux there are may users. That's why under Windows you simply click "second_computer", and for Linux you click "remote_computer:1" or "remote_computer:2", depending if you want to connect as remote user 1 or remote user 2.
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