[Gllug] KVM-over-internet

damion.yates at gmail.com damion.yates at gmail.com
Sat Feb 18 23:38:04 UTC 2012

On Tue, 31 Jan 2012, Rich Walker wrote:

> This isn't server installations, unfortunately - it's specific embedded
> hardware being delivered as part of a package, with a customer whose
> network is usually locked down in all sorts of ways. The KVM->router->3G
> dongle approach will probably be the final solution...

I've used a Raritan device before.  This seemed to use VNC, it certainly
looked very VNClike.  I never worked out how to directly connect to it
with a stock VNC client, I had to use the Java UI that it provided via
its own HTTP server.  The good thing was that it was tiny, about the
size of a packet of cigarettes, supports PS/2 style mouse/keyboard but
IIRC also USB HID along with VGA in for the BIOS and onwards if you ever
wanted to remain connected via the remote VNC display for that far
(these were debian so the moment sshd was up, you'd not need this

It looks like this:

I believe these ran an embeded Linux distribution, and if Raritan are
intersted in supporting 3G (*) this might be exactly what you're looking
for.  In fact it's an interesting idea, as this would be handy for
anywhere in any country.  You could often be in a place where you can't
just plug this in to any old network port, the network might be what
you're trying to fix in some remote place!  Sending these out to remote
hands would be handy if you knew you could always connect to it.

(*) I have never known a 3G connection to ever provide you with anything
like an IP you can connect to via the Internet, they're always NATed and
firewalled.  This could put a complete dampner on this whole idea.

The only ways I can see this working are if a) your mobile provider let
you have an IP (ideally static) which permits in bound connections.
This is HIGHLY unlikely.  Or b) you create a tunnel, such as
ssh -R 5900:localhost:5900 -g some.special.host.you.trust
Then you can connect to some.special.host.you.trust:5900 and have it
connect to the raritan's VNC port.

This would have to run on the raritan (note I mentioned embeded linux),
or you'd need another device to do this along with dialing up the 3G
device.  That's the other issue, you'll need to dial up the 3G network
and present this via an rj45 connection for your network KVM!

Okay as I wrote this I worked out another option.
1 Android phone with 3G <-> wifi tethering support in the OS
and (hopefully this works) ConnectBot app, with ssh tunneling configured.
1 extremely cheap wifi/utp passive bridge (I just found a new one for
1 Net KVM.

 - Damion
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