Remote access another Linux computer

wsXuku

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Hello everybody, new to the community.

My parents are in Europe and I want to send them a Linux based laptop, they just use Skype and browse the net, maybe an e-mail now and then.

Currently they use Windows and it's becoming a pain, they are almost completely computer illiterate and every time windows pushed an upddate everything is messed up.

I want to be able to remote into this laptop in case they mess something up, and teach them how to work it - or fix it myself.

Asking for advice - I want something that will not require permission from their end, and it's very basic and easy to use on my end. Also I will need admin rights to be able to access everything.

I am an average Linux user, not completely ignorant but have a lot more to learn.

I currently run MX Linux on my home computer. The plan is to install a very easy to use distro on my other laptop, put Firefox, Skype and maybe an e-mail shortcuts on the desktop and send it in - so I can setup both computers here in the US.

Any thoughts appreciated.
 


Condobloke

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G'day wsXuku, Welcome to Linux.org

The two that spring to mind immediately are :

Remmina : Part of the Linux Mint repository/software manager.
https://remmina.org/ ...
Not only free as in gratis and Open Source, but also copyleft.

Funded, made, translated and built 100% by kind people like yourself.

Available in 67 languages and 50+ distributions.

Teamviewer: https://www.teamviewer.com/en-us/
Free for private. non commercial use.

I do not use remote of any kind......and I am quite certain there are many others....others will come along and make their suggestions etc

FWIW, Remmina sounds very good to me.
 

SlowCoder

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SSH for sure, which opens you up to a number of management options:
- obtain a remote shell/command line to their PC for general management
- use sftp to transfer files back and forth
- use sshfs to mount remote file systems

Other than making sure the PC is on, they would not need to grant permission.

BUT:
- Someone would need to configure their ISP router to allow ssh into the PC, without granting access to their entire network. Many people have unsecured IoT devices that would become vulnerable if the router's firewall is not configured correctly. Who would be able to do this for them?

Another option would be to configure a VPN tunnel between their computer and yours. It would require more interaction on your parents' part, as they would need to initiate the VPN connection. The difference is that you could configure your router, rather than theirs, to allow the connection to your PC. After that, you could connect SSH and do your work.
 

Old Tom Bombadil

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I routinely use TeamViewer to work with family members hundreds of miles away from me. However, I do NOT use unattended access to their computers. To me, the possibility of a bad actor hacking such a connection is too great for me to put my family at risk. Instead, they must be present for the connection and must tell me the password (via phone call) to allow me to connect to them. The password changes each time we use it.

When I connect to their computer, they are the logged in user... so I do not need to have a user account. They have admin or sudo rights. If some action needs a password to continue, they can enter it, or I can enter it since I know it.

This is a simple method, just install TeamViewer on both computers to be used. No router configuration is needed on either end. But be aware that all the traffic between the connected computers passes through TeamViewer servers, so you must trust that they are not bad actors themselves! TeamViewer is available for Windows/Mac/Linux, including both .rpm and .deb installers.

Also be aware that transferring a graphical remote desktop takes a fair amount of bandwidth, so a fast and solid connection to the internet is needed at both ends. This could also potentially strain any "data limits" that may be in place at either end.

I'm not an expert with TeamViewer, but it suits our simple needs very well. If you demand unattended access, that is beyond my experience, but TeamViewer describes it as a simple task here. I would also recommend viewing their full documentation. You could practice with it at home before sending them the laptop, or you could talk them through installing it on their Windows computer instead, if you're comfortable managing that for them. I manage both Windows and Linux for my family.

Good luck, whatever you decide!
 
OP
W

wsXuku

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Thank youy all.
I watched a couple tutorials on Remmina - I like it.
Will look into Team Viewer as well - however that seems to require a TeamViewer account, and I don't like that.

BUT - it seems I need the IP address of the remote computer, as far as I know the IP address changes every time the computer is rebooted. Is that correct ?

So I will have to get the IP address from them every time I log in ?
 

Old Tom Bombadil

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TeamViewer is free for personal use. You do not need an account (unless unattended access needs it... I don't know about that). You also do not need to know IP addresses at either end.

Cheers
 
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