VNC Question

I have a question for those of you running the FREE version of VNC for remote access. Is VNC like Windows’ Remote Desktop such that if a user is working on the VNC Server, and you remote in, they lose control of the workstation until you logoff, or can a user be in front of the workstation and share control/see what the remote user is doing?

Thanks in advance.

It takes over.

You need a server that can create virtual desktops to do what you are asking.

I installed CentOS 4.1 on an old PIII beater machine a while back that supported virtual desktops. Worked great.

There is an option to share the connection with the viewers (under the Misc tab) so that they can see what you are doing. I use it to remote in to a few of my older NT 4.0 servers.

When you remote into a device running VNC on it, the user can see what you’re doing. So, if you move the cursor, they see it too.

We have been using TightVNC for some time now. It’s great, no problems yet.

There are a number of options that allow you to customize. You can let the local user see and interact with you - they can move the mouse and use the keyboard, or you can disable all local access while you’re logged in. It also has an option to log of the user when you close the connection - good for machines in areas that need to be locked or logged off to deter use.


winVNC from realVNC, which is one of the free versions out there, under the “Inputs” tab, you can select or deselect an option “Disable local inputs while server in use”. So this would allow both to either use that computer/server or only control to one at a time.

From the VNC site:

VNC uses a random challenge-response system to provide the basic authentication that allows you to connect to a VNC server. This is reasonably secure; the password is not sent over the network. Once you are connected, however, traffic between the viewer and the server is unencrypted, and could be snooped by someone with access to the intervening network. We therefore recommend that if security is important to you, you ‘tunnel’ the VNC protocol through some more secure channel such as SSH.

It’s actually for use on a local LAN in a Point-Of-Sale environment. The front POS PC is used to ring up customers and uses Quick Books POS software. The back computer is simply running XP Professional, and currently either uses Remote Desktop or Remote Assistance Request to login to the front PC to enter items into their inventory as they are received.

The problem occurs when someone is working on inventory, and a sales consultant needs to ring up a customer. With RDP, the session to the back user is killed. Remote Assitance works, but there are so many clicks and acknowledgements that have to be done before the session is even started.

I was looking for some type of remote access solution that allows the sales consultants to use the system and not boot off the person doing inventory, and vice versa. Since both users would be using the same instance of the software application, obviously the inventory person would have to wait until the customer is rung up, but he/she doesn’t have to be kicked off of the remote access session when this occurs.