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Access to Linux and macOS systems from outside

VNC - remote control from everywhere

If you want to remotely control an X environment on a Linux or macOS system, Virtual Network Computing (VNC) is recommended.

VNC includes a server on a computer in HZB, and a viewer on your PC.

The software is already installed on the Linux servers and PCs with HZB-openSuSE Linux.

Own VNC server

A dedicated VNC server provides an environment for all X applications on computers in the HZB intranet. In the following example, the server is started on dinux6, which could also be another Linux computer in the intranet.

The VNC server runs permanently and is only stopped if you stop it or if the operation of your computer is interrupted.


Starting the VNC server

We recommend first tests on the intranet. If you come from the internet, you need an existing ssh connection to aditum.helmholtz-berlin.de.

  1.  Shell on dinux9
    from Linux  you can do this with the command
    ssh dinux9
    under Windows you connect to dinux9 via PuTTY
  2. Starting the VNC server on dinux9

The script reports the identification of your server, e.g. dinux9:13. The server then has virtual X display number 13.

At the first call startvnc asks for a password, if it was not set otherwise with vncpasswd.
Who knows the password can take over the session, so please use a secure password.

If you want to stop the server later, stop it on dinux9 with the command

vncserver -kill :displayNumber (here 13)

You can change the window manager and other settings if you edit the ~/.vnc/xstartup file before starting the server. For further setting options see

startvnc -h

VNC viewer

The VNC client is the program vncviewer. It is available under Windows, Linux and macOS (http://www.tightvnc.com/). On HZB computers with Windows you can install it from the Software Center.

In the intranet you start the viewer on a Linux PC with
vncviewer dinux9:13

The viewer asks for the VNC password.

If you terminate the viewer process, the server and the applications started on it will remain! The next time you log in, you will find the windows of the session again.

Before you start the viewer at home, you have to create a tunnel via aditum.helmholtz-berlin.de

Example: ssh -L 1234:dinux9:5913 xyz@aditum.helmholtz-berlin.de -p 22022 -i ~/.ssh/id_ed25519

A tunnel to port 1234 on dinux9 reaches the VNC server dinux9:13.
So e.g. tunnel the local port 1234 to the remote dinux9:1234, and tell the VNC viewer at startup to connect to localhost:1234.

X applications on additional internal computers

For example, how do you start a shell with X environment on the HPC cluster dirac?

In an xterm in the viewer window
ssh -X dirac-meister