Remote terminal sharing solution

Joel Finlinson joel at
Fri Apr 24 09:19:10 MDT 2009

On Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 1:18 AM, Shane Hathaway <shane at>wrote:

> 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.
> Shane

For Windows or Mac machines, I like and use or
JoelOnSoftware's FogCreek

You guys are right, a Linux product/version would be great.


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