Cooking with Linux - My Desktop Lies over the Ocean

Because being there is open to interpretation.

On the GNOME side of things, remote connections are done with the Terminal Server Client program (Figure 6). You'll find it under Applications in the Internet menu, but you also can run it directly with tsclient.

Figure 6. The GNOME Terminal Server Client Program

The Terminal Server Client has five tabs, the most important of which is the General tab. Enter the remote computer's address (including the :0 display extension as shown by the desktop sharing server program), and make sure you select VNC as the protocol from the drop-down list. For these remote desktop sessions, you simply can click Connect and be done. As with the KDE client, the remote user may need to confirm the session (which may require you to enter a password) and then manually give you control of the mouse and keyboard. The additional tabs allow you to define your display size, set color depth or modify some performance-related parameters. Incidentally, both the KDE remote client and the GNOME Terminal Server Client also let you connect to an RDP session as well.

Once a session is open, a tray icon appears in your system tray. The GNOME icon looks like a small terminal screen (Figure 7), and the default KDE tray icon (Figure 8) looks like a screen with a globe in front of it. In both cases, you can right-click on the tray icon where a drop-down or pop-up menu will show you active connections and give you a means to terminate them.

Figure 7. The GNOME Desktop Sharing Tray Icon with Drop-Down Menu

Figure 8. The KDE desktop sharing system tray icon (top right next to the clock) lets you manage connections and desktop control.

Once you have established a connection, the remote system becomes a window on your current desktop. You can switch to full-screen mode, or as is the case with the KDE client, you can drag the window to any size you desire, then click the Scale button to resize the remote control session dynamically (Figure 9).

Figure 9. The KDE Krdc viewer lets you change the size of your remote session dynamically.

Despite the many advantages of doing things at a distance, there is only one way to enjoy a glass of wine, and that is by being there. Luckily, François, our most excellent waiter, is not elsewhere, but right here in this restaurant. As the clock ticks ever closer to closing time, I'm sure we can convince him to let us enjoy a little more wine before we head to our respective homes. If you please, François, make sure everyone's glass is refilled. Raise your glasses, mes amis, and let us all drink to one another's health. A votre santé! Bon appétit!

Marcel Gagné is an award-winning writer living in Waterloo, Ontario. He is the author of the Moving to Linux series of books from Addison-Wesley. He also makes regular television appearances as Call for Help's Linux guy and every month on radio's Computer America show. Marcel is also a pilot, a past Top-40 disc jockey, writes science fiction and fantasy, and folds a mean Origami T-Rex. He can be reached via e-mail at You can discover lots of other things (including great Wine links) from his Web site at