Customization > Desktop Customization

no monitor network connections


A few years back doing certain things, such as conveniently testing scripts and software on bare metal systems was difficult and time consuming generally involving home server deployments, and/or the desktop clutter of multiple keyboards and monitors. On the plus side virtual computing began its evolution into what it is today with applications like gnome-boxes, Oracle virtual box, Vmware and so forth, but perhaps less notably some other quite useful applications evolved as well, like Remmina, open SSH, x11vnc, and network manager. Those of us who have several machines, and want to make attempts at OS tweaking such as modifying 32 bit systems on their own baremetal hardware from our powerful 64bit boxes donít really need the multiple monitors and keyboards as in the past, and/or we donít need to configure headless servers and complex sharing applications via the terminal either.

I am currently modifying a Debian 9 32bit system toward a Linux Lite look and feel, partly for fun, and partly because this stable 32bit is probably the last best of its kind. Opinions vary. In any case the process I am about to describe is something anyone can do nowadays because of the refined nature of Linux networking these days. Many of the old headaches (starting x11vnc at startup, connecting to shared ethernet, autologin etc.) are simply no longer a problem.

Go ahead and install a Linux Ubuntu/LL or a Debian 9 32bit system on that old hardware. Use the monitor at first, and the keyboard and mouse so that everything configures correctly. Install openSSH server to it. Install x11vnc to it. Set the system to auotlogin. *With Debain 9 XFCE apply the changes in this link to lightdm.

Next connect your other computer to it via ethernet. In LL simply create a new wired connection with IPv4 set to -shared to other computers- and save the connection. Connect to it and then connect to that connection from the 32bit machine. If your bigger machine has WIFI you will now have an internet connection on the old 32bit box without needing a card or dongle drivers. Set the old 32bit box to connect automatically and allow all users and save the connection. Once everything connects note the IP addresses of the two machines. (connections information in network manager) You do not need to change firewall settings on either machine or open any ports for any of this. Your big machine with the shared connection is likely to be addressed to and the old 32bit machine is likely to be on a broadcom pcix card.

Open Remmina on your big machine and set up sftp, secure shell, and vnc computing connections to the 32bit machine i/e address. Shut down your 32bit machine. Turn it back on without the monitor. Give it time to autologin and connect via ethernet. *Make sure you connect to your wired connection on the big machine. See the video below for demonstration.




As you can see from the video I tried to connect before the 32bit system was completely loaded. Also note that the ethernet connection ends when the 32bit machine shuts down. You can also see that the defaults for x11vnc and openSSH are correct for simple passworded connections. Newbies can certainly set this up easily. Install from synaptic and youíre good to go. Go ahead and set Remmina vnc computing for the best (slowest) and 24bit true color. It doesnít matter if the x server package on the old machine is glitchy, your video is running on the big machine.




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