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Thread: VNC or SSH -X

  1. #1
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    VNC or SSH -X

    I notice that a lot of people use VNC for managing there headless Mythbuntu systems. When on Fedora I had this setup and while it worked ok, I found that the setup was quite a pain, and the VNC shell would run slowly at times.


    With my current setup I have been using SSH -X to terminal into my Myth box, then I can load GUI apps by calling them from the command line. Using a keyfile I can lock it down as well, so only I can SSH into the box.

    So, my question is what remote management solution do people prefer and why. This is more out of curiosity than anything else, as I am quite happy with the SSH setup.


    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Re: VNC or SSH -X

    A big difference in the way the two work, and the value that they provide is in what you get when you log in.

    When you connect to a VNC server you are connecting to an established desktop session, so if I wake up and am physically at the computer and leave open a webpage then later when I VNC in I will view the desktop just as if I were still in front of the PC.

    When you SSH in it will provide you with a clean slate, basicallly your same user account is logged in multiple times.

    Of course this is a really general overview, and with some playing around you might be able to make one behave like the other. I personally prefer using SSH since I typically remote in from work, and it makes sense for me to start with a fresh session.
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  3. #3
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    Re: VNC or SSH -X

    For me, this all boils down to what administrative tasks I need to be doing.

    If they are items that will be needing no GUI, I always use normal SSH.

    If they will need a GUI, it depends if they will be a fullscreen app to me as well as if i'm working wirelessly.

    SSH -X is brutally slow over wireless, so in that case VNC.
    If its a full screen app, I prefer VNC too so that I don't have to run it fullscreen.

  4. #4
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    Re: VNC or SSH -X

    Quote Originally Posted by superm1 View Post
    For me, this all boils down to what administrative tasks I need to be doing.

    If they are items that will be needing no GUI, I always use normal SSH.

    If they will need a GUI, it depends if they will be a fullscreen app to me as well as if i'm working wirelessly.

    SSH -X is brutally slow over wireless, so in that case VNC.
    If its a full screen app, I prefer VNC too so that I don't have to run it fullscreen.
    Pretty much same here. If it doesn't require a GUI, I'll just SSH in. If a GUI admin is required, VNC for me. I like being able to view the desktop if I'm going to be using the GUI.

  5. #5
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    Re: VNC or SSH -X

    I never had any slowness issues, but to be fair the only time I have tried to use it on Wireless is with my old iBook g3....so I probably did not notice any slowness issues

    Good point on the full screen apps, especially something like Mythsetup. I do not mind it much myself, but I can see the benefit of having that restricted to the VNC windows.

  6. #6
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    Re: VNC or SSH -X

    I third that. SSH is for quick commands. VNC is for anything that requires GUI or multiple screens open.. I also use vnc when my laptop is closer that the remote control.
    Jj
    Registered Linux user #401472

  7. #7
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    Re: VNC or SSH -X

    Quote Originally Posted by Calash View Post
    I notice that a lot of people use VNC for managing there headless Mythbuntu systems. When on Fedora I had this setup and while it worked ok, I found that the setup was quite a pain, and the VNC shell would run slowly at times.


    With my current setup I have been using SSH -X to terminal into my Myth box, then I can load GUI apps by calling them from the command line. Using a keyfile I can lock it down as well, so only I can SSH into the box.

    So, my question is what remote management solution do people prefer and why. This is more out of curiosity than anything else, as I am quite happy with the SSH setup.


    Thanks
    I use ssh for terminal access but haven't tried x forwarding. How do you do that?

  8. #8
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    Re: VNC or SSH -X

    Instead of using

    $ssh host

    use

    $ssh -X host

    This will enable the X forwarding. Then run a gui command from the terminal and it will open up as a window. You may have to gksu first to get root privileges for things such as update manager or the Mythbuntu control center but it works very well.

    If you setup a public/private SSH key you get an extra level of security to the setup. I disabled the login and just use a password encrypted key for access and have had no problems yet with it. I did have some people try to hack SSH once, but since it was not setup to accept passwords it just failed.

    Both methods are a great way to remotely manage your MythTV system.

  9. #9
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    Re: VNC or SSH -X

    When I'm at home on my local network I use ssh -X for pretty much all administration. It is fast enough for me, and even over my wireless connection it is fast enough. When I am connecting from outside my LAN I used to use VNC, but I have found nxserver to be so much faster and cleaner, and allows me to create a completely new X session and reconnect to it.

    For security over the WAN I have employed denyhosts, and security by obscurity (changed the default port #) - as nxserver uses ssh and compression.
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