New VNC Manager (based on ChrisControl)

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New VNC Manager (based on ChrisControl)

Postby SantaAnaSlim » 2011-07-25 21:48

ChrisControl is awesome. Though it seems that is uses some old version of uVNC and it had more bells and whistles than I needed, so I made a customized version for my network. I thought I'd give it out to the world.

I'd appreciate any input and if it works well for your needs or not.

It's a really trimmed down version, but here's what it does:

- Install uVNC on a remote host
- Check the current version on the remote host (and ask you to upgrade)
- Supports WOL for hosts that are in the history
- Supports forced reinstalls (through a flag in the ini file)

Let me know what you think:
http://code.google.com/p/easyvm/
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Re: New VNC Manager (based on ChrisControl)

Postby B » 2011-07-25 22:47

Interesting -- I never heard of ChrisControl -- sounds like a great project. http://code.google.com/p/chriscontrol/


I don't understand why you'd remove such an important part of its appeal though (RDP support). Seems like a big step backwards...


Edit: Hmm, and some comparisons to ChunkVNC at http://www.portablefreeware.com/forums/ ... hp?p=22591
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Re: New VNC Manager (based on ChrisControl)

Postby SantaAnaSlim » 2011-07-26 13:47

ChristControl is great, but I found that with my job RDP isn't really very useful. I'm the sole IT guy and we have two locations. When users have issues I need to be able to see what they see (RDP essentially logs the local user out), so that doesn't really do my any good. Plus I have RDP setup on all my servers and chriscontrol doesn't enable it (if it's not enabled), so it's really just a passthrough to the built in windows RDP client. To me the VNC aspect of ChrisControl is what I needed.

I stripped out the RDP stuff and upgraded the VNC stuff (as well as added some other VNC based features). The current version of ChrisControl doesn't have the latest version of VNC and it hasnt been updated in a year.

There were some feature requests to ChrisControl, if the developer doesn't have time to work on it, I suppose I could.
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Re: New VNC Manager (based on ChrisControl)

Postby B » 2011-07-26 14:15

Question; I was unable to find the answer (but haven't tried the software) -- how exactly does it "prompt the user to remotely install VNC Server" when no ports are responding on the remote system? Is it assuming a domain environment or something?

If neither are found then (here is the clever bit!) ChrisControl will prompt the user to remotely install VNC Server onto the remote system. ChrisControl will then install VNC server, start and connect to the remote system via VNC
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Re: New VNC Manager (based on ChrisControl)

Postby SantaAnaSlim » 2011-07-26 16:24

It does assume a domain environment. It also assumes you're on a LAN. I can't imagine doing this over the internet. It would be pretty tough to establish connections with routers and firewalls and all of that. ( though I suppose it COULD be done)

Essentially it works like this:
- It will resolve the host name to the ip address
- It will PING the host to make sure it's alive
- It will then try to establish a connection on the VNC port (5009? I think)
- If the host doesn't respond to that connection it pops up and says "VNC not found, do you want to install it"
- At this point it will copy the VNC files to \\HOSTNAME\C$\VNCTEMP (ChristControl does allow you to enter a username and password if the current logged in user doesn't have admin rights)
- It then will use SC to install winvnc.exe as a service and then start it.
- Then it launches the VNC viewer with a bunch of command line switches to connect to the host and that's it really.

The only issues I've come across was dealing with Windows 7 and the CAD issue. I remedied that with a group policy to Enable SAS and including the latest version on uVNC.

I added some features that will check the version of VNC on the host and prompt to upgrade to the version compiled into program. I also allowed for a forced reinstall. This allows you to make changes to the VNC.ini and have those be pushed to the host. (ie password changes, or other settings).
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Re: New VNC Manager (based on ChrisControl)

Postby SantaAnaSlim » 2011-07-26 16:32

ChrisControl has a section for doing WOL, I took that stuff and added into the connection process. After it pings the host, if there's no response, it will ask if you want to try to WOL. It then waits and tries to ping it every second until it responds (or you cancel). The tough thing about WOL is you need the MAC address, but I havent found a way to get the MAC of a machine that's not currently powered on. So the only way to do the WOL is to have a list of MACs somewhere or to use your past connection history. EasyVM stores your connection history in the INI file and will look up the mac for a machine you've connected to in the past. It's not perfect, but it's better than nothing.
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Re: New VNC Manager (based on ChrisControl)

Postby B » 2011-07-26 18:23

That's a fascinating question. As far as I can determine, WOL hardware is in a listening state only, and there'd be no way to have it respond and report its MAC address. That would actually be quite cool if one could do an NMap sweep of a network and gather the MACs of all powered-down hardware!

But it doesn't seem like it's going to work, unless you have access to a managed switch to disclose the table. Some discussion at http://serverfault.com/questions/176405 ... -a-network

Sounds like you're doing some valuable work, SantaAnaSlim. If you haven't yet, you might check out the SCPrompt, ChunkVNC, mremote/mremoteNG, and iTalc projects, which all have some intersection with what you're doing...
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