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VNC

In order to provide support on the qualitative modelling of case models within the NaturNet-Redime project, software will be used to enable remote real-time collaborative working. VNC will be used to share a common desktop on which the software will be run.

What is VNC?

Virtual Network Computing (VNC) is a open protocol which is used to remotely control a computer (the server) by using a simple program (the viewer/client). It allows users to see the desktop of a remote machine (and optionally control it with his local mouse and keyboard), as if the user is in the front of that computer. A person who wants to share his desktop, starts a VNC Server, and specifies a password giving complete interactivity, and another for view-only rights. Other participants can connect to the VNC Server (using the password) via the internet to view (and interact with) the desktop on that computer. VNC implementations (servers and clients) exist for most platforms (most importantly Windows, Linux and MaxOSX). This allows viewers to connect to servers running a completely different operating system.

Clients: Connecting to a VNC Server

Windows Guidelines

  • Download TightVNC viewer for your operating system and install it.
  • Start TightVNC Viewer (Fast Compression) (see figure 2).
  • Type the server and port in the VNC Server field, using the format HOST::PORT (note the double semi-colons) where PORT is the port-number indicated by the person starting the server. For example: gollem.science.uva.nl::5904.
  • Press the Ok button.
  • Enter the password indicated by the person starting the VNC Server in the Session password field, and press Enter.
  • You are now watching a shared desktop running the intended software.
TightVNC Connection Screen

MacOSX Guidelines

  • Download "Chicken of the VNC".
  • Start "Chicken of the VNC" (see figure 3).
  • Flag the Shared Display field.
  • Type the server in the Host field (e.g. gollem.science.uva.nl).
  • Type XXXX in the Display/Port field, where XXXX is a port-number indicated by the person starting the VNC server.
  • Enter the password indicated by the person starting the VNC server in the Password field.
  • Press the connect button.
  • You are now watching a shared desktop running the intended software.
Chicken of the VNC Connection Screen

Starting a VNC Server

Installing and running a VNC server allows other people to connect to your desktop. Note that this is a security risk, and VNC servers should not be left running after use. Furthermore, it is possible that firewalls block incoming connections, preventing people to connect to your VNC server.

VNC server software for Windows, Linux, and Unix can be downloaded from: http://www.tightvnc.com/download. The server software for MacOS is available at http://www.redstonesoftware.com/support.html#VNC.

In general the steps you have to take are as follows:
  • Start the VNC server
  • Choose a password for the chair (has control).
  • Choose a password for the listeners (have no control).
  • Give the relevant passwords to the participants.
  • Remember the displaynumber which the VNC server binds to (New "X" desktop is HOST:XX, where XX is a number). The port the clients have to connect to is 59XX. Pass this number on to the session participants.