Remote terminal sharing solution

Shane Hathaway shane at
Thu Apr 23 01:18:34 MDT 2009

Michael Torrie wrote:
> I'm looking for a solution like screen (maybe based on screen) for
> remote terminal sharing.  But rather than logging into a remote machine
> where screen is already running and doing "screen -x" I want to have a
> system where someone running screen on the remote server connects out to
> my machine, letting me see what they are doing and work with them.  This
> would let a person have me help them out with system administration
> tasks without having to have any passwords or any access at all normally
> to their systems.
> This is kind of analogous to running "vncviewer -listen" and having the
> vnc server add a connection.
> Does anyone have any ideas on how to accomplish this?  Maybe I'd have to
> develop my own solution.  I'd almost like a split screen with a chat
> portion.

I *think* I need this too, so let me try to express what I need and 
hopefully it's the same thing you need.

Scenario: JJ Sysadmin is installing some piece of server software I 
wrote.  He's having some trouble and would like me to help, and I'm 
quite willing to help.  However, JJ is behind 3 NAT layers and an 
oppressive management structure that absolutely forbids giving third 
parties any sort of password for internal systems.

It would be wonderful if I could set up some kind of server that JJ 
could connect to, so he and I can work out the problem in a shared 
terminal session.  I can provide a password for him, but he can't 
provide any password for me.  JJ must be able to see every keystroke I 
type, and he must have the power to disconnect me at any moment.

The solution can be complex for me, but not for JJ, who is already 
frustrated enough because he's being forced to use a dated version of 
some so-called Enterprise Linux.

JJ can connect to port 80 or 443 of most servers.  *Maybe* port 22.  He 
can run Python, Perl, or Bash scripts, even as root if necessary.

Is that what you need also?  Screen might be part of the solution, but 
the rest eludes me.  There has to be something out there.  If not, it 
needs to be written.


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