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I have some user accounts in my Ubuntu 10.04 and I want them to login from all over the world and access their data using Internet and of course I want any of my users to be able to access only their own user and to be able to change data.

What should I do? Are there any remote desktop apps?

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    Do they only need to access their data, or do they need an actual desktop? – JanC Oct 15 '10 at 10:57
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The feature is already installed on your Ubuntu. The "server" can be configured in System/Preferences/Remote Desktop, whereas the "client" is in Applications/Internet/Terminal Server Client.

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A blog entry explain this better than I can: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/ubuntu-remote-desktop-builtin-vnc-compatible-dead-easy/

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    How does this implement user-based security? With the settings shown above, this doesn't even allow users to log in if there isn't someone to click the "allow" button. – Jeremy Oct 17 '10 at 0:59
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As far as I can see, none of the answers posted so far actually implement user-based security, they simply allow access to a running X session. This page talks about how to launch the X windows manager (or login handler) over the internet. This way, the only application user gets access to is the login screen, just as they would if they were sitting at the local terminal.

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  • FYI, if that page doesn't explain it well enough for you, the Google search you want is "remote X session" – Jeremy Oct 17 '10 at 1:04
  • The reason this method allows you to implement user-based security is that you're pretty much just launching the session over SSH or some other (non-GUI) transport, you're not relying on X-based applications to give you access to your desktop. I think VNC-server can be set up to handle this situation as well, but it is generally considered to be insecure if it's not running over SSH (more correctly, TLS). – Jeremy Oct 17 '10 at 1:07
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You can use VNC, but to make it secure you have to route it through an SSH connection, which can be complicated to set up. I use NX, which is an X11-only remote desktop protocol. First you have to set up an ssh server and make sure it's open to the Internet. Then install an NX server. Afterwards anyone on any major platform should be able to connect and see their desktop using the NX client.

There are a few implementations of the NX protocol, such as the open-source freeNX and the proprietary (but free for the basic version) one by Nomachine. Which one you install is up to you.

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