VNC without X?
Robert A. Book
Wed Dec 4 18:04:00 2002
> My intent was to run an X server on the remote host, and encapsulate its
> state using VNC. The end goal is to connect to the host from a local
> "workstation" and continue working where I last left off.
> I only have shell access and a home directory. Is it possible to find the
> appropriate binaries (things like xauth, xterm, ..) and libraries (xlib, ..)
> and fonts and put them in a directory in my home directory, and set
> appropriate environment variables for X programs to see these files? If
> possible, is this practical? Are there alternatives?
> Thank you for reading, I hope to hear from you soon.
Since you only have shell access, and you are only trying to preserve
text-based terminal sessions, VNC not the right tool for this
What you need is a program called "screen," which essentially does for
text-based shell sessions what VNC does for X sessions. Screen allows
you to have multiple shell sessions going on in a single terminal or
terminal window, and -- more importantly for you -- to disconnect the
entire session, leave all processes running, then reconnect later and
continue where you left off.
Screen was originally written in the "old days" when people logged in to
Unix machines over phone lines, or from dedicated text terminals over
serial lines. The idea was to give you several "virtual terminals"
with a single physical terminal and a single phone line, and also to
preserve the work if the serial connection went down.
You can get screen from one of the links on this page:
You can download the tar/gz file from there and compile it and run it
as an "ordinary" (non-root) user. Better yet, if you can convince the
root user to install it, there is an RPM on the Red Hat Linux CD, and
it is also available from http://rpmfind.net/ (search on the word
--Robert A. Book