Remotely connecting to a Windows PC/Laptop.

This may be an odd question to ask, but is there a way that I can remotely connect to my brother’s laptop via my “local” network? What I mean is, even if my router isn’t connected to the internet can I still remotely access his laptop from Ubuntu box on the local network. Now I don’t want to confuse anyone, but what I’m seeking to do, is monitor my brothers activity, because he’s still young so I like to keep an eye on him, but also be able to take control of his laptop, like capturing the mouse, shutting down the laptop etc. How it would normally function, but with me controlling it from my Ubuntu box.

Yes, there are a few ways you can do this… install a VNC server on his Windows box, set it to start automatically at boot up, and install a VNC client on your Linux box, then just connect to his IP (you’ll want to give his box a static IP).

But your best bet is to just enable Remote desktop supprt on his Windows box

Then install rdesktop and (the GUI front end for it) grdesktop on your Linux box.

sudo apt-get install grdesktop

Info -

The tightvncviewer for Linux is in the repos… you’d want the TightVNCserver for his Windows box if you decide to go down the VNC route.
That said, there will be nothing stopping him from disabling it.

I’ll read over these in a bit, however I do need some help. I know what static IP’s are and what they do, I just have no clue how to configure them. Would you be able to help with that? You already know/knew that my ISP is Virgin, and I’ve got the Virgin Media Superhub (100MB). My box is connected wirelessly so, I’m not sure how I would about this.

OK, are you going to want to give EVERY networked device a static IP, or just your/his PC’s ?

Do you know the IP of your router ?

I know the IP (local & WAN) of my router yes, and yes EVERY network device to have a static IP. There’s 2 Xbox’s, 2 Laptops, and 1 PS3.

Well you have 2 options then…

  1. turn off the routers DHCP server altogether (no devices will be able to connect if they are set to get their IP via DHCP… they will all NEED static IP’s).
  2. Limit the available IP’s (DHCP pool) that can be served by the routers DHCP server (new devices without a static IP will still get served an IP, but your static devices IP’s will be “outside” the addresses in the pool, so they will never conflict with a device that gets served an IP from the pool.

Make sense so far ?

Are you going to want any new devices to get served an IP via DHCP, or are you going to want to configure them manually with static IP’s ?

What is your routers local IP address ? (it is safe to publish this :wink: )


Hmm… I hope you didn’t turn off the DHCP server in your router before setting up at least one PC with a static IP… Otherwise, you’re going to have to learn how to set up static IP’s the hard way :slight_smile:


Don’t worry, I haven’t touched anything… yet. I like the sound of the 2nd option because there are people who come by the house, and use the wireless from time to time with their Iphones, iPod touch’s, Droids, etc.

My local IP is

I was actually going to suggest leaving most devices set as they are… simply because the Xbox’s can do funny things with some routers.

And just changing his and your IP’s to static.

Which version of Windows are we talking about ?

We’re talking about WIN 7 and well that could work as well.

Can you find a setting in your routers inteface where you can set the address range of the DHCP pool ?

Here’s what it looks like in mine -

As you can see I’ve only got 8 addresses available in the DHCP pool… → (inclusive)


If so, what are the starting and ending IP’s set to at the moment ?

I’m going to guess the starting address will be

I’m guessing this is it…

OK, best way to go about this…

In the above pictured settings… change the line that reads:

Starting IP Address
Starting IP Address

Save the changes. (click Apply)

at this point you MAY need to reboot any devices/PC’ss that are switched on… as they MAY loose their IP addresses, and need to get them again.

Actually it’s probably best to reboot them anyway.

Right, done that. What next?

OK, once you’ve rebooted any devices/PC’s that are currently switched on…

Your Ubuntu box first…

Click the NetworkManager icon in your top panel (by clock) and select Edit Connections.

Go to your Wired tab … select the connection, and click Edit

Go to the IPv4 tab, and change:-
Method: Automatic (DHCP)
Method: Manual

Click Add

now make the settings look like

DO NOT CHANGE THE Connection Name: SETTING (well you can if you want)

When you’ve done that…

Change your Wireless settings in the same way… BUT
make sure the IP address is set to … NOT again.
ALL other settings (eg. Netmask, Gateway, and DNS server) remain the same.

remember to save the settings :wink:

If you’re not sure what I mean… ASK NOW.

I know what you mean, don’t worry. :stuck_out_tongue: However before I go do ahead. My Xbox runs through ICS via ethernet. Will I just leave it at Share to Other Computers?

Erm … is the Xbox connected to your PC via wired or wireless ?

Yeah it is.

OK, leave the wired tab as it is

and change your WIRELESS connection to these settings

Obviously DON’T change the Connection name to MARKNET

and remember to SAVE the settings.

Right that’s that done. Next?

OK for the Windows 7 PC…

See here:

In step 5 … you’ll need to make the settings read:

IP address 192.168.0.[b]3[/b] Subnet mask: Default gateway:

Preferred DNS server:
Alternate DNS server:

You’ll need to do this for both wireless and wired connections, but raise the IP address by 1 for each connection.

so wired may be
and wireless:

as before… if you have any questions … ask now.