[wplug] rdesktop vs. VNC

Wise, Jeremey WISEJ at PIOS.com
Tue Feb 18 14:20:31 EST 2003

I have been out for the last three weeks on various projects and have just
caught up on my wplug reading. This may be of no value but based on some of
the threads I though to add my $.02 worth.

Rdesktop- Very cool. Works well. Emulates MS Terminal RDP client with
greater efficiency than MS older TS clients though the newer one is better

VNC - Service overlay that allows redirection of the local console port when
run on the system. VNCclient connects to this TCP port and receives such

Notes: While rdesktop have many features and is very useful for
administration remotely I would strongly recommend it NOT be the only source
of remote control as there are a few catches that can cause great dismay for
remote admins. Most W2K servers do not implore MS TS Licensing (a whole can
of worms in and of itself) and use TS for admin only. This opens some
security holes in that only domain/system admins can access this. Most do
not clear the last user login cache and so you supply them with half the
info they need to begin attack. RDP is not the greatest security protocol
but in my limited opinion, passable. The greatest disadvantages come in that
if for any reason (fat finger, local system crash, session lockup) you
disconnect three times the only way to rdesktop is via a local user
intervening (there are settings to fix this but none too elegant). Thirdly
RDP connections can not do certain specific patching functions and
application loads because of hard coded reliance on local console
(SQL/Patches being an example). Enter VNC. It does take up resources at it
runs as a console service but does not have the Admin level account
restrictions, three user session limit, or licensing issues. This allows for
better remote access admin work if nothing else from the ability to bypass
the headache of session lockout concerns. The other great feature is the
ability to have multiple users interact on the same desktop for peer help or
'management' which I have found very useful.

These are tools that are needed in day to day life in our helping support
heterogeneous environments and I believe will allow us to better support our
perspective customers while proving OpenSource projects such as VNC or
TightVNC(my preferred VNC iteration for remote admin) have made some
impressive contributions to everyone.

Jeremey Wise (440)-519-6006
Pioneer-Standard Electronics, Inc
wisej at pios.com

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