Multi-user Access

James [Wez] Weatherall jnw "at"
Tue, 15 Dec 1998 15:07:28 +0000

On Tue, 15 Dec 1998, Lionel Cons wrote:

> I would like to find out if we can use VNC to allow random users to
> access a pool of dedicated machines running Windows NT 4.0. What I
> have in mind is the following.
> WinVNC should allow incoming connections as it does now but, as soon
> as someone is connected using VNC, the machine should be used
> exclusively by this user and all other VNC connections should be
> rejected. One should also probably add an option to kill a connection
> after some inactivity to avoid deadlocks.

The ConnectPriority registry setting for WinVNC can be used to ensure that
only one user has access to a machine at any time, although this can be
bypassed by starting the viewer in 'sahred' mode.

> When the connection is dropped for any reason, WinVNC should kill the
> existing Windows NT "session" so that the machine goes back to the
> state where it asks for user and password.

Currently, it is possible to make the current user log off when they
disconnect, using the LockSettings registry entry for WinVNC.  It was
hoped that this could be used to 'lock' NT machines on disconnect, for
safety, but currently that functionality isn't easily available to
programs, so only a full-logout is allowed.

> This way, a modified vncviewer could try all the machines in the pool
> and connect to the first one available. The user will then have to
> type his name and password and will be the only user of this machine
> until the VNC connection ends.

That should work fine, provided no-one has direct access to the NT boxes
except admin people!


James "Wez" Weatherall
Olivetti & Oracle Research Laboratory, Cambridge, UK - Tel : 343000
Laboratory for Communications Engineering, Cambridge - Tel : -

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