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Remote Monitoring Using Screenshots and Your PDA

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Daniel Bray

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Posted: 8 Dec 2006
 

Problem:

Simply monitoring, aka watching the screen, from a wireless PDA. Example: Let's say you have a huge data migration copying, and you are watching it via RConJ on a Linux box. You would really like to be doing other things, but still want the ability to just remotely glance at the RConJ window (or whatever windows) to check on the progress.

Solution:

Using a SUSE Linux Enterprise Server Apache webserver, with an NFS share mounted to a SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop running the RConJ session, take a screenshot of the RConJ app, and only that app, and drop it in the NFS mounted directory. Then, just view that image remotely on your PDA.

Example:

  1. Connect to the RConJ session, or whatever application it is you would like to watch remotely.


  2. NFS mount the web directory onto the Linux desktop


  3. Find out the window ID of the RConJ session, by running the following script/command:
    xwininfo -root -children |grep RConsoleJ | awk '{print $1}'
    ...this should kick back something like: 0x121325d
  4. Then cd into the NFS mounted directory, and run the following ImageMagick command/script to take a screen shot of just that window ID every 10 seconds:
    while(true); do import -window 0x121325d watchme.jpg && sleep 10; done

Now just view that watchme.jpg file on your remote device, and wait for the application to finish doing whatever it is you are waiting for.

This came in VERY handy, when I needed to migrate a few 100 GBs of data, and I did so using ToolBox and NCF file. I just didn't want to sit in front of the laptop and watch it copy. So I took my PDA with me, and monitored it remotely.

Environment:

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server webserver running Apache and an NFS mountable web directory.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop with ImageMagick installed


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