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      VNC (Virtual Network Computing) is an open-source, cross-platform protocol for viewing GUI desktops on remote machines within a LAN or over a WAN/Internet connection. This paper discusses different methods of deploying VNC with an emphasis on the security considerations of each method, and the tradeoffs associated with the convenience of each method. The methods discussed include an open connection and a connection tunneled over ssh (Secure SHell). Includes information regarding the platform-independence of VNC and ssh implementations, so that solutions presented can be applied to Windows, Linux, Mac, and even other operating systems – securely and with open-source software.

Virtual Network Computing (VNC) is a process by which a system’s desktop can not only be viewed but also engaged in an interactive session as well. The use of such a tool gives the system administrator the ability to administer and troubleshoot a system remotely. In this way, a target system on the next floor, the next building or even at an employee’s home is within reach. There are other methods available of establishing this type of remote viewing.










    In computing, Virtual Network Computing (VNC) is a graphical desktop sharingsystem that uses the RFB protocolto remotely control another computer. It transmits the keyboardand mouseevents from one computer to another, relaying the graphical screenupdates back in the other direction, over a network.

VNC is platform-independent – a VNC viewer on one operating systemmay connect to a VNC server on the same or any other operating system. There are clients and servers for many GUI-based operating systems and for Java. Multiple clients may connect to a VNC server at the same time. Popular uses for this technology include remote technical support and accessing files on one's work computer from one's home computer, or vice versa.

VNC was originally developed at the Olivetti Research Laboratoryin Cambridge, United Kingdom. The original VNC source codeand many modern derivatives are open sourceunder the GNU General Public License.


There are a number of variants of VNC which offer their own particular functionality; e.g., some optimised for Microsoft Windows, or offering file transfer (not part of VNC proper), etc. Many are compatible (without their added features) with VNC proper in the sense that a viewer of one flavour can connect with a server of another; others are based on VNC code but not compatible with standard VNC.


VNC was created at the Olivetti & Oracle Research Lab(ORL), which was then owned by Olivettiand Oracle Corporation. In 1999 AT&T acquired the lab, and in 2002 closed down the lab's research efforts.

Developers who worked on VNC while still at the AT&T Research Lab are:

Following the closure of ORL in 2002, several members of the development team (including Richardson, Harter, Weatherall and Hopper) formed RealVNCin order to continue working on open sourceand commercial VNC software under that name.

Several other versions of VNC have been developed from the original GPLedsource code. Such forkinghas not led to compatibility problems because the RFB protocol is designed to be extensible. VNC clients and servers negotiate their capabilities when handshakingin order to use the most appropriate options supported at both ends.

The term "VNC" is now a registered trademark of RealVNC Ltd. in the United States and other countries.


The name 'Virtual Network Computer/Computing' originates from ORL's work on a thin clientcalled the Videotile which also used the RFB protocol. This was essentially an LCD with a pen input and a fast ATMconnection to the network. At the time, network computerwas commonly used as a synonym for 'thin client'. VNC is essentially a software-only (i.e. virtual) version of this network computer.



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