Remote Desktop Over SSH Tunnel Help Request

The Goal:

I have two PC's each running ZORIN OS 16 core and each with package updates (as of 7 Dec 2021).

I am trying to set-up a remote desk top session using Remmina over SSH tunnel to the second machine. Both machines are currently on the same internal network, but the second machine will end up at my Fathers eventually.

The Problem:

I think my problem relates mainly to a lack of information and knowledge, specifically regarding Remmina and Zorin. I have setup remote desk top shares before, mainly between Windows machines and occasionally windows and Linux distros. So its not alien to me. But for some inexplicable reason I cannot crack a very basic set-up.

I think I can setup the SSH tunnel after installing OpenSSH on the remote PC. There are plenty of excellent YouTube tutorials.

Setting the firewall to allow connections (port 22) is not a problem. However port forwarding does not appear to be supported by default. Some pointers would be appreciated.

I think Remmina set-up should be relatively straightforward but I'm happy to accept your experience.

Now the confusing bit.

The Remmina YouTube tutorials show Ubuntu setups and nothing on Zorin. If I follow them then all I get is a Closed Connection error (both firewalls are disabled and the desktop share is setup on the remote machine). Since I get a Closed Connection error this suggests to me a VNC is running on the remote PC, strange since I haven't installed one and neither can I find one running. Since Zorin runs X11 I would have expected x11vnc to be installed. It is not.

So My questions:

  • What, if any, VNC server is actually installed please?
  • What is recommended?

An Update:

I just achieved the following. I opened Remmina and in the search bar typed the IP of the machine I was actually using (firewall was disabled and the desktop share was setup on the local machine). Bingo, I got the following pop-up:

Do you want to share your desktop?

A user on the computer ':: ffff:' is trying to remotely view or control your desktop.

Refuse | Accept

Clicking Accept successfully achieves a desktop share.

I also discovered that by moving the mouse over the pop-up (not clicking) then move it off results in the pop-up disappearing. Retrying to make a connection just resulted in the error "VNC Server Closed connection". Also, if you just leave the pop-up alone it disappears after a bout 5 seconds. Again, retrying to make a connection just resulted in the error "VNC Server Closed connection". I have to logout and back in before I can attempt a successful connection.

The above occurs on both machines

So there is a VNC server installed and running. BUT what is it? and how can I manage its configuration?

@brim2full Hi and welcome to the forum. It may take a while for someone with knowledge of Remmina you are testing to pop up here. But ZorinOS is based on Ubuntu 20.04 which should widen your search if needed.

Here is More Detail:

Having seen how to achieve a connection I retried between both machines with out success. I did, however, manage to capture the following Remmina log:

[VNC] colordepth = 8

[VNC] format.depth = 8

[VNC] format.bitsPerPixel = 8

[VNC] format.blueShift = 6

[VNC] format.redShift = 0

[VNC] format.greenShift = 3

[VNC] format.blueMax = 3

[VNC] format.redMax = 7

[VNC] format.greenMax = 7

[VNC] VNC server supports protocol version 3.8 (viewer 3.8)

[VNC] We have 1 security types to read

[VNC] 0) Received security type 1

[VNC] Selecting security type 1 (0/1 in the list)

[VNC] Selected Security Scheme 1

[VNC] No authentication needed

[VNC] VNC authentication succeeded

[VNC] Desktop name "GNOME"

[VNC] Connected to VNC server, using protocol version 3.8

[VNC] VNC server default format:

[VNC] 32 bits per pixel.

[VNC] Least significant byte first in each pixel.

[VNC] TRUE colour: max red 255 green 255 blue 255, shift red 16 green 8 blue 0

[glibsecret] password "ssh_tunnel_passphrase" deleted for file /home//.local/share/remmina/group_vnc_quick-connect_10-0-0-2.remmina

[glibsecret] password "password" saved for file /home//.local/share/remmina/group_vnc_quick-connect_10-0-0-2.remmina

[glibsecret] password "ssh_tunnel_password" deleted for file /home//.local/share/remmina/group_vnc_quick-connect_10-0-0-2.remmina

[VNC] Got new framebuffer size: 1024x768

[VNC] client2server supported messages (bit flags)

[VNC] 00: 00ff 0081 0000 0000 - 0000 0000 0000 0000

[VNC] 08: 0000 0000 0000 0000 - 0000 0000 0000 0000

[VNC] 10: 0000 0000 0000 0000 - 0000 0000 0000 0000

[VNC] 18: 0000 0000 0000 0000 - 0000 0000 0000 0000

[VNC] server2client supported messages (bit flags)

[VNC] 00: 001f 0080 0000 0000 - 0000 0000 0000 0000

[VNC] 08: 0000 0000 0000 0000 - 0000 0000 0000 0000

[VNC] 10: 0000 0000 0000 0000 - 0000 0000 0000 0000

[VNC] 18: 0000 0000 0000 0000 - 0000 0000 0000 0000

[VNC] Connected to Server "GNOME Remote Desktop (VNC) (LibVNCServer 0.9.12)"

[VNC] Tight encoding: JPEG is not supported in 8 bpp mode.

[glibsecret] password "ssh_tunnel_passphrase" deleted for file /home//.local/share/remmina/group_vnc_quick-connect_10-0-0-2.remmina

[glibsecret] password "password" saved for file /home//.local/share/remmina/group_vnc_quick-connect_10-0-0-2.remmina

[glibsecret] password "ssh_tunnel_password" deleted for file /home//.local/share/remmina/group_vnc_quick-connect_10-0-0-2.remmina

The Remmina window closed.

Thanks zabadabadoo,

I have been looking at Ubuntu and Remmina but my immediate problem is that I cannot find any information about the vnc server being used in Zorin. You will see I have been confused as to which vnc server is being used and therefore how it is configured. From my post of the log file I now see it's LibVNCServer 0.912. Not one I'm familiar with so more digging needed.


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After some digging I learn the vnc server is part of the Gnome package gnome-remote-desktop. This package does not appear to be supported by Ubuntu. Yes it can be installed but does not integrate into the settings dialogue so cannot be set-up. I believe the total lack of Ubuntu documentation on this package also suggests the lack of support.

I also looked at the Gnome project. No help there, source code no documentation on the server. No help forthcoming from their forum to date. (I did discover the gnome-remote-desktop also supported RDP. You cannot configure it but its in the code.)

I also looked at Fedora 35. Remote desktop is installed but cannot set the interface to localhost either.

I did wonder if it was possible to select one of two interfaces. I set-up my hp Z800 ports to the same network, two different IPs, and.......
NO its not possible to select which interface the vnc server should listen on.

This kinda sucks.

I'm now contemplating removing the offending package and installing something different. The problem is wayland, gnome-remote-desktop is compatible and other packages are not. At least that is my current understanding.

I am also considering trying to hack the code to get this to work as required. If anyone else is interested or wants to assist I would be grateful. I can hack, bodge, read and swear but that is about my limit.


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