I found a great new utility this week and I’ve already had the chance to use it several times. It has yet to disappoint and I love the flexibility it offers.
Suppose you manage Windows machines and periodically need to remotely access them. There are several great utilities to help streamline this (for instance, I like Royal TS and Terminals) but there’s a new player to add to the mix and it has a great little twist.
ChrisControl (I’m using beta 1.7 found at Chris’s Realm) is a slick little application that will check for RDP or VNC and then establish a session with a machine that you want to control. Neither protocol responding or installed? If your credentials are sufficient, it’ll push the VNC server install to the remote machine, fire up the service and then connect your VNC Client to it.
Slick! And it worked great on a server this week that didn’t have RDP running after a routine reboot.
But wait, it goes one better: When you disconnect the client the default action is to uninstall that VNC Server you just installed.
It was built as a PE Extension but it can also just be ran directly. Only one file in the zip and no install is necessary. In fact, I’m sure it would run just fine on a USB stick or other portable means.
Oh, and it is free, licensed under GNU GPL and source is even available.
This one is a winner and it’s been added to my toolkit as another great method to get to my servers. I love options like this as they tend to save me frantic drives across town to data centers late at night
Since I’m sure it’ll get questioned, here’s the blurb on security from the help file (there’s more in there about necessary access requirements)
ChrisControl does not allow unauthorised access to machines because it requires administrator rights on the target machine. This means that any user who uses ChrisControl to remotely control a machine had numerous other ways of controlling the machine anyway.
ChrisControl uses VNC or RDP for its network remote control. No changes to the security of these programs have been made in compiling ChriControl. Because the program is intended for use on a local network, this is assumed not to be a problem. Authentication is not performed by ChrisControl itself, but by the Windows operating system. If you can access a machine with this program, it is very likely that other applications (in particular windows file sharing) would have been available anyway.
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