TeamViewer Remote Session Control Now on Linux

Apr 14, 2010

The free remote access solution comes to the open source community.

After a huge customer request, TeamViewer 5.0 can now allow remote access to, and remote control of, Linux systems over the net. That is, provided TeamViewer is running on the remote host as a standalone program –– special client or server versions aren't available.

Remote support requires the unique ID and password of the client (which can also be stored, but is normally newly created at startup). Through a worldwide accessible central registration server over the Internet, which is 256-bit encrypted over a UDP connection between the hosts, remote session control is possible without port forwarding even over routers and through firewalls. Only when a proxy or firewall with content filters prevents it does the transfer run over the TeamViewer servers. Especially noticeable is the speed; session control runs effectively even over modem connections. The German software maker enhanced compression significantly so that less data needs to be transferred.

The modified WINE-based version performed perfectly in a short test and provided a multitude of integrated functions that are relevant for remote session management, such as restarts and easy data transfers between systems. Even multiple logins on common hosts is possible, such as to demonstrate something to multiple users. The VoIP chat and video chat functions are useful in this case, although transfers are available only on the receiver end under Linux because V4L webcams are not yet supported. Laudable is that TeamView is based on the free Speex audio and Theora video codecs. A couple of limitations for the Linux version are that the collaborative whiteboard function is missing and VPN support isn't available. An X server is required; virtual consoles aren't supported.

Because the software smiths prepared the program for Windows and Mac OS X downloads, Linux users can access these systems as well, or can be managed by them. An option allows viewing the remote host tasks by screencast. After registering on the product page, Web browser access is possible and even an iPhone app is available.

TeamViewer provides deb and rpm packages for Linux in version 5.0.8206 for download, with an additional 64-bit deb package and a simple tar.gz version that doesn't require installation. The program is free for individuals and under cost-based licensing for commercial customers.

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  • Very useful indeed

    I just used it tonight from my Ubuntu box to xp over a dsl connection. It saved me at least 20mins over the phone!
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