Tag Archives: remote desktop

How to Change the Remote Desktop Port in Windows Server 2008 R2 Tips, Tricks and Tutorials 09 APR 2015

As convenient as staying with default ports for services on your server is, the sad truth is that thanks to attackers this is probably not such a good idea.

In order to change the listening port for Remote Desktop connections on your Windows Server 2008 R2 instance, you’ll need to first edit the registry and then allow the change in through the firewall.

The steps are as follows:

  1. Start Registry Editor (Start -> Run -> Type ‘regedit’ -> Enter)
  2. Locate and then click the following registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\TerminalServer\WinStations\RDP-Tcp\PortNumber
  3. On the Edit menu, click Modify, and then click Decimal.
  4. Type the new port number, and then click OK.

Then, if you are running a firewall, you’ll need to add an exception for your newly selected port so that traffic over it is indeed allowed. To do this:

  1. Go to Windows Firewall with Advanced Security >> Inbound Rules >> New Rule >> Enter port number >> Next >> Next >> Done

With all the values changed and the new firewall rule in place (very important if you are doing this with a machine that you don’t actually have physical access to!), close the registry editor and restart/reboot the server.


container ship docked at sydney container port

(And if you are working remotely, then enjoy the agonizing wait before you can try to connect again all while hoping that you did everything correctly first time around! Stressful to say the least.)

Ubuntu Lucid Lynx: Remote Desktop and VNC Viewer CodeUnit 13 JUL 2010

I have two Ubuntu desktop installations, one monitor and no KVM switch at home at the moment.

Annoying, but thanks to the ridiculously simple and powerful combined Remote Desktop and VNC Viewer functionalities, controlling my second, “blind and dumb” machine is so simple that a child could do it.

So let’s get it set up then.

First, we need to enable our target machine to respond to remote desktop requests. Ubuntu Lucid Lynx comes built in with a Remote Desktop server and the functionality can be accessed by going to System -> Preferences -> Remote Desktop on your machine. This should bring up the following dialog, which you can configure to your heart’s content:

Screenshot of the Ubuntu Remote Desktop dialog

You’ll notice that I have deselected the “You must confirm each access to this machine” checkbox. If this is checked, then you would need to physically allow the remote desktop connection on the target machine, meaning it would be a bit silly applying it to my blind machine as the whole point is to use the second machine from the first without any actual physical interaction on the second box!

Close the dialog and believe it or not, you are now set to go. All that is needed now is for a client to connect to your remote desktop with.

Virtual Network Computing (VNC) is simply put, a graphical desktop sharing system that uses the RFB protocol to remotely control another computer. It transmits keyboard and mouse events from the source computer to the target computer and then relays back the graphical screen updates from the target computer to the source computer over the network. VNC itself is platform independent and there are a lot of open source client and server variants out there, with most being pretty much fully compatible with all the others.

For my particular setup, I chose to make use of RealVNC’s VNC clients for both my Windows and Ubuntu desktops and the instructions to do so are below:

To control your second Ubuntu desktop from a Windows machine (maybe your laptop in your bedroom?), you need to download a VNC client off the web – in this case I grabbed RealVNC’s free client from http://www.realvnc.com/products/free/4.1/index.html. It’s a small download and once it is down, simply double clicking on the executable will bring up a window prompting you to enter the network address of the machine you want to remotely control. If you set your machine up to request a password, you will be prompted to enter this in, and once successfully authenticated, a nice new fullscreen window should pop up allowing you to take full remote desktop control of your unlucky target machine.

For Ubuntu the process is much the same: simply install a client, for example sudo apt-get install xvnc4viewer will do the trick, and once the install is complete, run vncviewer -fullscreen to launch. You will be requested to enter a password and once done, you should be in full remote control of the target PC.

Note, that in order for Remote Desktop to work the target machine does need to have an active session running. Now while it might not be a safe idea just to leave an unattended login on your network, it might not be a bad idea to simply make use of Ubuntu’s lock screen functionality on the target machine once you finish up your remote  control session. (To do this, simply click on the top-right power button and select the first menu option, entitled “Lock Screen”).

And there you have it. A remarkably simple and very cost effective way of controlling all those extra machines of yours without necessarily purchasing monitors and keyboards for each and every one of them! :)

Related Link: http://www.realvnc.com/products/free/4.1/index.html

In computing, Virtual Network Computing (VNC) is a graphical desktop sharing system that uses the RFB protocol to remotely control another computer. It transmits the keyboard and mouse events from one computer to another, relaying the graphical screen updates back in the other direction, over a network.

VNC is platform-independent – a VNC viewer on one operating system may connect to a VNC server on the same or any other operating system. There are clients and servers for many GUI-based operating systems and for Java. Multiple clients may connect to a VNC server at the same time. Popular uses for this technology include remote technical support and accessing files on one’s work computer from one’s home computer, or vice versa.

Using CTRL+ALT+DEL on a Remote Desktop Connection CodeUnit 30 APR 2010

The “three-finger salute”, interrupt key combination extraordinaire CTRL+ALT+DEL is pretty important to most PC users out there, giving one a reliable way of bringing up the Windows Task Manager in order to hunt down and kill that annoying hanging application or process (and thus save a dying Windows), as well as, depending on the security policies in place, allowing you to easily switch between user accounts, lock the workstation down or even shut down the machine entirely.

However, hands up the number of times you have logged into a Remote Desktop connection to handle some troubleshooting on a remote machine, pressed the CTRL+ALT+DEL combination, and recoiled in horror as you placed a well-deserved slap to the forehead with the accompanying “Doh!” when the machine brings up your local Windows interrupt screen instead of the expected remote machine’s dialog.

But fear not.

There is actually a pretty simple alternative way to bring up the Task Manager screen on the remoted desktop connection instead of the usual right-clicking on the taskbar and selecting it from the menu box that pops up route.


That’s it. The simple to remember (well not quite so simple seeing as I’m writing it down here for future reference) way to bring up the task manager dialog on a remote desktop connection.

Nice. (And props to Sven for reminding me about it!)

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control-Alt-Delete