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How can I setup my Linux (debian) server so that I can administrate it remotely using my network?

It runs in character only so no need for graphics. I use it as an apache web server for an intranet, a file server for some Windows machines using samba and as an Oracle database server but it would be great to be able to run programs, administrate users, etc from another machine (perhaps a Windows machine). The server is physically too remote to use a kvm but a network solution would be ideal.

Any pointers in the right direction would be great


Ok Ok I had complete brain fade. I've just realised that I need to use telnet!

Sorry to have wasted anyones time.

All the best

If you are going to access the server from outside your firewall, I would use sshd instead of telnetd on the server...telnet is not encrypted, so someone with a packet sniffer can see everything you type (including the server's IP address, your username and password). SSH encrypts the information so it can't be easily sniffed....
Thanks for that. I've now installed Putty on my windows machines and I can access my server using SSH. This seems to work just fine.

Do you have any ideas about how I would go about getting the same sort of access if I wanted to use X windows to remotely admin the machine? Do I have to setup some sort of citrix type environment?

Thanks again

You could use Linux as your workstation and use X programs directly from the workstation via SSH ... the only thing required would be to allow X11 forwarding on the server (set X11Forwarding yes in /etc/ssh/sshd_config) and to setup X11 forwarding on the client (set ForwardX11 yes in /etc/ssh/ssh_config).

You can get an X server (for windows) like Exceed Hummingbird. This solution views the Linux X-Windows programs directly when connecting from a Windows machine. If you use Exceed on Windows you need to also setup SSH on the server to do X11 forwarding (set X11Forwarding yes in /etc/ssh/sshd_config) and then you can run X applications on your remote Windows machine.

You can also use VNC to take control of the server X desktop from either a Windows or Linux workstation. VNC is like Citrix, but FREE! VNC is not as robust as Citrix, and it doesn't map local printers and hard drives like Citrix does, so Citrix is a better solution if you need to run a major application on a server and make it available to many clients, but VNC is great for providing tech support or doing remote administration.

SSH and VNC (and Citrix for that matter) do introduce an increased security risk for your systems. There are 2 more ways for bad guys to connect to (and therefore take control) of your server. I would recommend that you always have a good firewall, if not a hardware one then a fairly secure implementation of IPTABLES on the server.

I would use the SSH enabled VNC option if I were going to connect to VNC from off site. I never use the default ports for either SSH or VNC ... as the bad guys scan for SSH on port 22 and VNC on ports 5901-5910 whenever a vulnerability comes out for either.
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