This guide will describe the procedures and various options when deploying VNC on your network to Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows Server using the tools in VNCScan Enterprise Network Manager (VENM). We’ll move through each of the screens and give an overview of each of the settings and what they do. We’ll conclude with a look at what happens during the deployment process behind the scenes.
System Requirements for VNC Push Installs
· The remote computer must be running Windows 2000 or greater
· The Remote Registry must be started on the remote computer (in some configurations, this is disabled by default and needs to be set to “Automatic”)
· In Windows XP, Simple File Sharing needs to be disabled.
· There must be no firewall enabled that is blocking the typical file sharing ports.
· Administrator access to remote computers must be either granted to the account you are logged in as or supplied in the deployment tool at the time of deployment.
VNCScan uses the concept of “Deployment Profiles” to group settings for the remote server. Instead of choosing options such as the server password, VNC version, and various other settings every time that you deploy VNC, you can create names profiles that contain all of this information; ready to be used on any computer on your network quickly.
These profiles are created using the Profile Editor. The easiest way to get to this tool is the toolbar under the Managed Groups tab (Fig 1.0)
The Profile Editor
Using the Profile Editor, you can create new profiles or edit existing ones. We’ll start by creating a new profile called “UltraVNC with MS Login”. To start, click on the button that says “New Profile” as seen below.
Let’s take a moment to look at all of the options on the first tab of the deployment profile editor in the image below (FIG 1.2).
· Profile Name – This is what will be used to reference this profile when it’s time to deploy VNC Remote Screen Sharing to a networked computer.
· VNC Version – You have the option of deploying 4 different versions of VNC; UltraVNC, TightVNC, RealVNC Freeware, or UltraVNC Legacy. UltraVNC is the default and most compatible with modern operating systems. This is the official version that is best supported in VNCScan.
· The server password must always be set no matter what other settings you choose in the editor.
· The TightVNC Read-Only password will be enabled if you are deploying TightVNC and wish to enable a second password for read-only access to the remote desktop.
· VNC Port – this is the port that VNC will listen on for a connection. If you alter this, you will need to make sure to edit the computer or group properties in VNCScan to connect on the correct port.
· Java Port – optionally, VNC Server has a built in java web client. If you set the port to 0 it will disable this server.
The connection options are optional and work fine as the defaults for most scenarios. If you’d like to modify them, here’s what they do:
· Authorized Host Connections – this allows you to say who can or cannot establish a connection to the remote server based upon IP address. You can get more information about the AuthHosts here,
· Disconnect Actions allow you to do certain actions on the remote computer upon disconnect such as log off or lock the workstation
· When checked, you can make the server ask the logged on user for permission before connecting.
· The next checkbox compliments the one mentioned above by automatically accepting the connection if the logged on user doesn’t respond after x number of seconds.
· For performance reasons, you can also choose to remove the remote desktop wallpaper, pattern, or user interface effects while remotely connected.
There are additional performance options listed below. Things operate fine at their defaults. Changing them can get a bit more geeky and should be done with care.
· Use VNC Hooks… – That will use “hooks” into the operating system to detect which areas of the screen has changed and need to be updated in the viewer. This just gives a little better quality with screen updates. The downside is the increase of CPU required at the remote computer.
· Poll the whole screen – this will poll the entire screen for updates on each cycle instead of just the foreground window(s). As expected, it can cause a performance hit on the remote computer.
· Filter Events that have no effect – This filters out changes on the remote system that aren’t visible on the monitor. I’d leave that checked unless there’s a specific need to uncheck it.
· Sharing – This determines at the server level what happens if two different consoles attempt to remote control the desktop at the same time.
o Always Shared – no matter what setting the connected client(s) have set, the server will override them and allow the desktop to be shared by all connections
o Never share – no matter what setting the connected client(s) have set, the server will override them and disallow the desktop to be shared by all connections
o Use Client Defaults – This lets the client settings decide. If the connecting client is set to disallow sharing, all existing connections will be dropped in favor of the newly connecting client.
· Accept Pointer Events – to accept mouse input from the connected clients or not
· Accept Keyboard Events – to accept keyboard input from the connected clients or not
· Accept clipboard Updates – When checked, anything copied to and from the clipboard at either computer is passed through the VNC connection to the remote computer. If this is enabled, be careful of what you copy into the clipboard while in a VNC session.
· Send Clipboard Updates – this controls whether anything copied to the clipboard on the server is sent back to the client’s clipboard for pasting.
· Clipboard events affect the screen saver – If enabled, the screen saver will be disrupted on the server if the client copies something to their clipbard
· Disable local inputs – This will disable the remote servers keyboard and mouse while someone is connected to the server.
Here’s where we can set some things that are specific to UltraVNC along with other settings that you may be interested in.
· Disable Tray Icon – This hides the VNC icon on the remote computer. Normally, while the service is running, there’s a little icon by the clock that gives information about the server and allows users to change settings. Hiding the icon can take away the temptation to tamper.
· Allow users to shut down VNC – When this is checked and the user right-clicks the icon in the task bar for the server mentioned above, the option to shut down the server will be grayed out.
· Allow users to change and access settings – When this is checked and the user right-clicks the icon in the task bar for the server mentioned above, the option to open the settings window for the server will be grayed out.
· Use DSM Encryption – This is specific to UltraVNC. It enables encryption for the IP traffic between the server and the viewer. This happens using a shared private key file. If the server is deployed with this check box checked, it will refuse connections from any viewer that is not configured for encryption with the same private key. More information on this is here.
· MS Authentication – This is also specific to ULtraVNC. It will ignore the password configured in the “Required Settings” tab and use Windows authentication to control the connection instead. The ACL lingo is explained here.
The custom section of the profile editor is getting a little out dated. In older versions of VNC, settings were stored in the registry. Now they are most stored in a file in the same folder as the server. If you’re still deploying older registry based VNC versions, this section could come in handy to you.
You can add custom registry keys to the remote computer during the deployment using this screen. If you chose UltraVNC DSM encryption in the previous tab, a path will be specified here to the rc4.key private key file that will be used on the server end. If you’ve created your own key, be sure that the same key file is in the folder where your vncviewer.exe is located. Again, more information on this can be found here.
That’s it! Save your settings and you’re ready to deploy it to a workstation.
Deploying the Profile
We’re going to start with the premise that the computer you are wishing to deploy VNC remote desktop to is not already added to a group in your console. We’ll start by right-clicking a group and choosing to register a new computer manually.
Now, type in the workstation name, then hit the button that says “Resolve From HostName”
You can optionally enter any other information in this dialog but this is all that is required to continue. Press the OK button to return to the main window.
Click the “VNC Deployment” toolbar and select “Deploy to Selected”
The following window is displayed (FIG 2.4). Let’s go over some of the options that you see here.
· Selected Computers – these are the computers selected to have VNC deployed to
· Deploy Profile – this is the profile of settings to be applied to the selected computers once VNC has been pushed to them. Look familiar?
· Add computers to group – Once the push process has been initiated, the computer(s) will be added to the group selected
· Use alternative login credentials – This will be the user account used to access the remote computer and its registry. Make sure that it’s a user account with administrative access to each computer in the selected computers list.
· Do not copy start menu icons – this prevents the icons for VNC server from showing up on the remote computer’s start menu
· Deploy UltraVNC video driver – When checked, the push script will attempt to install the UltraVNC performance enhancing video driver on the remote system. Be aware that Windows Vista, 7, and server 2008 have driver signing restrictions that may cause a prompt to show up on the remote computer during deployment.
You’re done! If everything went right, you should be able to connect to the remote computer and remote control it by simply double-clicking on the computer in the main window.