[CentOS] [OT] Remote control of a WinXP machine from a Linux host

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Sat Jan 10 01:35:08 UTC 2009

Marko Vojinovic wrote:
> Sorry for an off topic post, but a lot of you folks are sysadmins here or 
> there, and just might have a suggestion... ;-)
> I have a WinXP machine that is to be unattended for a period of 3 years (yes, 
> I know, it sounds ridiculous, but still...). What I need is remote access to 
> it to perform regular system maintenance, virus cleanups, occasional software 
> installations, reboots, config changes, etc.
> Of course, rdesktop would do it, or vnc server or something else. The problem 
> is that this machine is behind a NAT, and I cannot access it remotely from 
> outside (and I need access from whereever on the planet I may happen to be).
> Basically, I need to setup some type of ssh tunnelling from XP (machine A) to 
> my static-IP-24/7-high-bandwidth-CentOS server (machine B) and then further 
> to my laptop (machine C, Fedora 10) located elsewhere (possibly behind 
> another NAT, I can't know in advance). I have root access for all three 
> machines (A, B and C). Of course, all three are on different LANs.
> However, I have never done anything like this before, so I wonder what is the 
> best method of creating such a setup?

Set up an openvpn tunnel from the remote unattended machine to the 
centos box.  If you can set up port-forwarding on it's NAT router, you 
may be able to originate this connection either way.  If you can't, use 
a keep-alive setting on the natted side to make sure the connection 
stays active.  Then you can either do the same on the laptop with 
appropriate routing or you can run freenx on the Centos server and 
connect to it with the nomachine NX client on the laptop.  In the latter 
scenario you would run rdesktop or vncviewer on the Centos server but 
the display would be on the laptop.

   Les Mikesell
    lesmikesell at gmail.com

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