Send Keystrokes with VNC

Alex Angelopoulos alex "at" bittnet.com
Thu, 10 Jan 2002 10:31:06 +0000


I think I see.... You *are*after a quick and dirty solution, given that it's reasonably reliable and secure.  And given the "real
world" earmarks of this situation, "throw out such a horrible program" is not an option (it never has been for me, either).

Realistically, let's cut to the chase.  I get the impression that  you don't really care about logging either; you just want to be
positive that when the error box pops up, something hits the danged button and says OK so it doesn't lock up a website.

Here's the problem: there are no standard tools to tell VNC what it is seeing on the screen - and you have 3 major possible states:
(1) Server is logged in
(2) Logged in but locked
(3) Not logged in at all


It is farily easy to set  up something like AutoIt to continually "float" in the background and about once  per minute check for a
window with the title you specify.  It can then activate that window and sendkeys to it specifically.  Using VNC is a nice concept
for a couple of reasons, but there is o way that it can make up for the lack of controllability that Windows has in this situation.



----- Original Message -----
From: "Floyd Russell" <floyd "at" neospire.net>
To: <vnc-list "at" uk.research.att.com>
Sent: Wednesday/2002 January 09 17:09
Subject: RE: Send Keystrokes with VNC


: If the machine is unlocked then I could write a perl script to watch
: for the dialog box and click enter.. that is not a problem. The problem
: is when the machine is locked and I need to click that button. The easiest
: resolution to me was to just have VNC send a return blindly. I have
: strong reservations about installing ActiveX controls.
:
: |> -----Original Message-----
: |> From: owner-vnc-list "at" uk.research.att.com
: |> [mailto:owner-vnc-list "at" uk.research.att.com]On Behalf Of Alex
: |> Angelopoulos
: |> Sent: Wednesday, January 09, 2002 3:02 PM
: |> To: vnc-list "at" uk.research.att.com
: |> Subject: Re: Send Keystrokes with VNC
: |>
: |>
: |> The problem here is that you actually have two different
: |> scripting issues, it looks like.
: |>
: |> On the one hand, you have the connection to the server via VNC
: |> from your client. As soon as you log in to the server, you need to
: |> "find" the error dialog which is not identifiable as any
: |> separate object by the VNC client - all it is doing is passing back and
: |> forth a picture and mouse/keyboard location and activity...
: |>
: |> Let me see if I understand your objectives.
: |>
: |> (1) You don't want to automatically respond to the error locally
: |> on the server - you want to ensure it goes through your event
: |> monitoring system.
: |>
: |> (2) At the point you are notified by the server of the error,
: |> you want to manually initiate a process which will autologon to the
: |> server console and kill the error box.
: |>
: |> I would suggest a method using AutoIt or the ActiveX control
: |> also, but in a different fashion if you need it to follow this process.
: |> It can be done with raw WSH sendkeys even (I have a couple of
: |> examples floating around) but it depends on more precise description
: |> of the above. Other questions...
: |>
: |> Do you have any requirements that it be done via vncviewer or
: |> the Java console?
: |>
: |> Is there an issue with installing any ActiveX controls on the server?
: |>
: |> Is the server console always logged off, always logged on,
: |> always logged on and locked, or some variation of the above?
: |>
: |>
: |> ----- Original Message -----
: |> From: "Floyd Russell" <floyd "at" neospire.net>
: |> To: <vnc-list "at" uk.research.att.com>
: |> Sent: Wednesday/2002 January 09 14:37
: |> Subject: RE: Send Keystrokes with VNC
: |>
: |>
: |> : I tried rfbplaymacro and found it tedious to work with at best. The
: |> : reason I don't want to used something like AutoIt is that our
: |> monitoring
: |> : system will alert me when a failure has occured. As this point
: |> is when I
: |> : would want to fire off a perl script that could connect to the
: |> VNC server
: |> : and hit enter on an error dialog box, which will then allow a failing
: |> : website to run. The last time I brought something like this to the list
: |> : I was told to "throw out such a horrible program". I truly wish it was
: |> : that easy, but getting rid of the offending software is not
: |> even an option.
: |> : If anyone has some good examples of rfbplaymacro I would be willing to
: |> : re-investigate it.
: |> : Thanks all,
: |> : Floyd Russell
: |> :
: |> : |> -----Original Message-----
: |> : |> From: owner-vnc-list "at" uk.research.att.com
: |> : |> [mailto:owner-vnc-list "at" uk.research.att.com]On Behalf Of
: |> Michael Ossmann
: |> : |> Sent: Wednesday, January 09, 2002 12:12 PM
: |> : |> To: vnc-list "at" uk.research.att.com
: |> : |> Subject: Re: Send Keystrokes with VNC
: |> : |>
: |> : |>
: |> : |> On Wed, Jan 09, 2002 at 12:33:08PM -0500, Thompson, Dale W. wrote:
: |> : |> > Check out AutoIt at
: http://www.hiddensoft.com/AutoIt/index.html for a
: : |> > program that would make this task almost trivial to set up.
: : |> And it's free.
: : |>
: : |> Excellent!  I've been looking for something like this on Windows.  In
: : |> answer to the original question, you could also use rfbplaymacro
: : |> (available on freshmeat) if you have a Unix box to run it on.  I've
: been
: : |> using it to script VNC sessions for bandwidth testing and have had
: : |> success.
: : |>
: : |> --
: : |> Mike Ossmann, Tarantella/UNIX Engineer/Instructor
: : |> Alternative Technology, Inc.  http://www.alttech.com/
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