Installing and Configuring VNC

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Virtual Network Computing (VNC) is open-source remote control software providing functionality similar to that of Remote Administrator (Radmin). While there are several variants of VNC available (RealVNC, TightVNC, UltraVNC) RPOWER recommends UltraVNC. UltraVNC consists of two components: the VNC server, running on the remote computer, and the VNC client (or viewer) running on the local, support computer.

A feature of UltraVNC not found in Radmin is that it may be executed in "Listening" mode, what RPOWER support personnel often refer to as "Reverse" VNC. In listening mode, the VNC server connects outwardly to the VNC client obviating the need for port forwarding through the router at the remote site. (Port forwarding must instead be configured at the local site).

When using UltraVNC in normal mode, port 5900 (default) is forwarded to the VNC server computer. The port number is configurable, so multiple port forwards can be made to support multiple remote computers at one site. When using UltraVNC in listening mode, port 5500 is forwarded to the client computer.

One disadvantage to connecting using listening mode is that there may be a considerable performance decline if VNC server has not been actually installed on the remote computer. This is especially true on Windows Vista and Windows 7 machines. Because of this, RPOWER recommends that a complete installation of UltraVNC Server be performed on all computers at a site that may require remote support. These instructions will guide the reader through that installation.

  • Important note: Do not attempt to install VNC while remotely controlling the computer through a reverse VNC connection - an incomplete installation will result.

If desired, after installing the VNC on each workstation, it may configured for incoming support. See Configuring VNC later in this article for details.

Contents

Running the installer

Download the entire VNC folder found at:

 ftp:\rpower.dyndns.org\_Guest FTP\

...and copy it to the system's shared drive, thereby making it available to all workstations.

  • Note: The VNC folder contains both VNC Install and VNC Connect folders. The VNC Install folder contains the files necessary for a full installation of UltraVNC. The VNC Connect folder contains the files necessary to reverse connect to RPOWER support personnel.

Navigate to:

 X:\VNC\VNC install

and execute the file: Install UltraVNC v10xxx.bat.

At the User Account Control window click Yes.

Select the appropriate language and click OK.

At the welcome screen click Next.

At the license agreement window select I agree... and then OK.

At the Information window click Next.

At the Select Destination Location window accept the proposed destination by clicking Next.

At the Select Components window accept the proposed full installation by clicking Next.

At the Select Start Menu Folder window, accept the proposed UltraVNC entry by clicking Next.

At the Optional non-GPL addons recommended for Vista window, select Download Vista Additions files now by clicking it (de-select for Windows XP) and then click Next.

At the Optional non=GPL Mirror Driver 1.0.x window, select Download the mirror driver by clicking it (de-select for Windows XP) and then click Next.

At the Select Additional Tasks window, select all items except Create UltraVNC desktop icons by clicking them and then click Next.

At the Ready to Install window click Next.

The installer will download, extract and install the necessary files.

At the Information window, click Next.

At the Completing the UltraVNC Setup Wizard window, accept the proposed Yes, restart the computer now selection and click Finish.

In the System Tray, right click the VNC Server icon (looks like a blue eye) and select Admin Properties.

If necessary, de-select Disable Viewers inputs and at the VNC Password box, enter a remote control password. Click OK.

At the User Account Control, Do you want to allow... prompt, click Yes

If installing VNC only to optimize reverse VNC operations, then the operation is complete. To set up VNC to support incoming connections, continue to the next section.

Configure VNC

VNC may be configured for incoming remote support in two ways.

  1. Each VNC server may be configured with a unique I/P port number (5900, 5901, 5902...), requiring a unique port forward in the router for each VNC server or...
  2. All VNC servers may be configured at port 5900. in which case a VNC repeater (distributer) is installed to route incoming requests to the appropriate VNC server.

For an installation of only two or even three workstations, method 1 is probably faster and simpler. For installations of four or more workstations, method 2 is recommended.

Method One - Configuring VNC for unique port numbers

At each workstation, launch the VNC settings editor from Start, All Programs, UltraVNC, Edit Settings.

Click the Manual radio button and designate the port number for this server in the RFB Port box. One workstation (usually the file server) may be left at the default value of 5900, then number the additional workstations up from there (5901, 5902,...).

Click the Security tab and in the VNC Password box enter a password.

Click OK.

In the router, set appropriate port forwarding.

Connect

At the local computer, start the VNC Viewer (Start, All Programs, UltraVNC, UltraVNC Viewer) and enter the public IP address of the site and the port number of the workstation to connect to, separated by a colon (the port number may be omitted for the default, 5900).

Click Connect.

Enter the password at the prompt and click Log On (or Enter).

Once connected, right click VNC in the task bar (in Windows Vista/Windows 7 right click the top of the active window) to bring up the connection menu and select Save connection info as.... Select (or create) an appropriate folder (VNC Connections?) in which to save the connection and name it appropriately i.e., Bobs Diner Cash1..

Click Yes at the prompt to save the password with the connect file.

Continue connecting to workstations at the site and saving connections as necessary. Now, Double clicking the file will connect to the workstation with no additional input required.

  • Note: An alternative to making and saving connections to each workstation is to make and save one connection and then copy, paste and rename each, editing the port= field as appropriate.

Method Two - Configuring VNC and VNC Repeater

At the VNC Repeater workstation (usually the file server), launch the VNC settings editor from Start, All Programs, UltraVNC, Edit Settings.

Click Allow Loopback connections. Do not change any port information.

Click the Security tab and in the VNC Password box enter a password.

Click OK.

Still at the VNC Repeater workstation, copy Distributer.exe from:

 C:\Sys\VNC\VNC install\bin

to:

 C:\Program Files\UltraVNC
  • Important: Also copy Distributer.exe (or a shortcut to it) to the workstation's Startup folder.

Execute Distributer.exe by double clicking it - it will run and minimize to the system tray.

Right click the Distributer icon in the system tray and select Settings

In the Listen port Viewer box enter 5901.

Make sure that only Enable Mode I is selected.

Click Save.

At the router, forward port 5901 to the repeater workstation.

At each remaining workstation, launch the VNC settings editor from Start, All Programs, UltraVNC, Edit Settings.

Click the Security tab...

...and in the VNC Password box enter a password.

Click OK.

Connect

At the local computer, start the VNC Viewer (Start, All Programs, UltraVNC, UltraVNC Viewer)

In the VNC Server box, enter the local IP address (or Windows networking name) of the workstation to connect,

Check Proxy/Repeater and in the box to the right, enter the public IP address of the site and 5901, separated by a colon.

Click Connect.

Enter the password at the prompt and click Log On (or Enter).

Once connected, right click VNC in the task bar (in Windows Vista/Windows 7 right click the top of the active window) to bring up the connection menu and select Save connection info as.... Select (or create) an appropriate folder (VNC Connections?) in which to save the connection and name it appropriately i.e., Bobs Diner Cash1..

Click Yes at the prompt to save the password with the connect file.

Continue connecting to workstations at the site and saving connections as necessary. Now, Double clicking the file will connect to the workstation with no additional input required.

  • Note: An alternative to making and saving connections to each workstation is to make and save one connection and then copy, paste and rename each, editing the host= field as appropriate.
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