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Remote Control for ZENworks 10 Configuration Management, Without Using Windows

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Mike Brady

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Posted: 29 Aug 2007

Editor's Note: Obviously Novell recognises that a Linux-based viewer is a good thing, but with the emphasis of the first ZCM release being on all-Windows environments, it wasn't the top priority. In the meantime, this tip works, as long as you have enabled password-based Remote Control in your policy. Enabling passwords means that both ZCM and basic VNC passwords can be used, but this can be overcome by setting only the ZENworks password (persistent mode) through the policy and not allowing the user to override the password.

ZENworks 10 Configuration Management is brand-new on the scene. The web-based admin interface is a welcome change, and seems to be very nicely put together. The one thing that I have found "wrong" is that I cannot use remote control from my SUSE 10.2 workstation. I use SUSE as my main operating system, and do not want to boot to Windows to do remote control of my user's workstations.

SOLUTION: Have no fear, the remote control in ZCM is based on VNC. If you go into Remote Control of a workstation in the ZCM admin console, you can click on "More Options" in the window. You will see a port number listed here - 5950. This is the magic number. Pull up a VNC client (I like UltraVNC, running under Wine on Linux), put in the IP address of the workstation you want to control, followed by :5950. Example: When you hit connect, the end user will be prompted that the admin wants to remote control their machine, and asks the user to put in a temporary password. The user tells you what they put in (use the phone, or instant messaging). At your end, put the password into the password prompt your VNC client popped up. Ziggety boom!, you have remote control without using Windows.

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