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Deployment Server Remote Control with UltraVNC

Created: 20 May 2008 • Updated: 07 Jul 2009 | 11 comments
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CondorMan's picture
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Deployment Server 6.9 adds the ability to remote control your clients from the Console using any remote control application you want. There are many free remote control options available. My personal preference is UltraVNC. It offers good performance, file transfer, video driver, encryption, MS logon, text chat, multiple-monitors-support, auto reconnection, and a few plugins.

This article will explain how to configure Deployment Server to use UltraVNC for remote control, in three easy steps. First, you will need to upgrade to Deployment Server 6.9. Second, install UltraVNC Server to all of your client computers. And third, add UltraVNC Viewer to the Deployment Server Console.

Upgrade to Deployment Server 6.9

Deployment Server 6.9 adds a new RemoteControlTools.ini file that will allow you to add any remote control tool to the right-click menu of your computers in the Deployment Server Console. You can download Deployment Server 6.9 at http://www.altiris.com/Download.aspx

Install UltraVNC Server to all of your client computers

First, you will need to download the latest UltraVNC Setup (UltraVNC-xxxx-Setup.exe) from http://www.uvnc.com/download/index.html

Save UltraVNC-xxxx-Setup.exe to a new directory in your eXpress share. I will be using the path eXpress\Apps\UltraVNC\UltraVNC-xxxx-Setup.exe during the rest of this article. If you place the UltraVNC Setup somewhere other than the Apps folder, just remember to substitute the actual directory you are using whenever I reference the Apps folder.

Second, install UltraVNC to any computer so that you can use this install as a source for files and settings to be referenced later in this article.

  1. Run UltraVNC-xxxx-Setup.exe
  2. When prompted so select components, choose UltraVNC Server, UltraVNC Mirror Driver, and UltraVNC Viewer. If you want to enable encryption, you can also install the DSM Encryption Plugin.
  3. When prompted to select additional tasks, choose "Register UltraVNC Server as a system service", "Start or restart UltraVNC service", and "Clean old VNC registry keys"
  4. When the install is complete, you will receive a warning that no password has been set yet. Press OK and you will be presented with the configuration dialog.
  5. Enter your VNC Password, enable "Require MS Logon", enable "New MS Logon", enable "Disable TrayIcon", enable "Forbid the user to close down WinVNC", and press OK.

Third, you will create three files in the same directory that you saved UltraVNC-xxxx-Setup.exe in. These files will be named UltraVNC.inf, UltraVNC.reg, and UltraVNC.acl

UltraVNC.inf will contain the following:

[Setup]
Lang=en
Dir=C:\Program Files\UltraVNC
Group=UltraVNC
NoIcons=1
Components=server,server\driver
Tasks=installservice,startservice,acl,properties,cleanreg
AclFile=.\UltraVNC.acl
PropertiesFile=.\UltraVNC.reg

If you want to install to a different path, change the Dir= setting. If you want to display Start Menu icons, change NoIcons to '0'.

To create the UltraVNC.reg file, go to the reference computer you installed and configured UltraVNC on and export the registry key "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ORL\WinVNC3" as UltraVNC.reg.

Your UltraVNC.reg file should look like this:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ORL]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ORL\WinVNC3]
"DebugMode" = dword: 00000000
"DebugLevel" = dword: 00000000
"AllowLoopback" = dword: 00000000
"LoopbackOnly" = dword: 00000000
"DisableTrayIcon" = dword: 00000000
"MSLogonRequired" = dword: 00000001
"NewMSLogon" = dword: 00000001
"UseDSMPlugin" = dword: 00000000
"ConnectPriority" = dword: 00000000
"DSMPlugin" = hex:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ORL\WinVNC3\Default]
"FileTransferEnabled" = dword: 00000001
"FTUserImpersonation" = dword: 00000001
"BlankMonitorEnabled" = dword: 00000001
"CaptureAlphaBlending" = dword: 00000000
"BlackAlphaBlending" = dword: 00000000
"DefaultScale" = dword: 00000001
"UseDSMPlugin" = dword: 00000000
"SocketConnect" = dword: 00000001
"HTTPConnect" = dword: 00000001
"XDMCPConnect" = dword: 00000000
"AutoPortSelect" = dword: 00000001
"InputsEnabled" = dword: 00000001
"LocalInputsDisabled" = dword: 00000000
"IdleTimeout" = dword: 00000000
"QuerySetting" = dword: 00000002
"QueryTimeout" = dword: 0000000a
"QueryAccept" = dword: 00000000
"LockSetting" = dword: 00000000
"RemoveWallpaper" = dword: 00000001
"Password"=hex: 3a,c5,fd,c2,ba,de,af,16
"AllowShutdown" = dword: 00000001
"AllowProperties" = dword: 00000001
"AllowEditClients" = dword: 00000001
"DSMPlugin" = hex:

UltraVNC.acl will contain one line per domain user or group you want to allow remote control. The lines will look like the following:

allow 0x3 "Domain\Domain Admins"

The first word can be "allow" or "deny". The second portion can be either 0x1 which is View Only, or 0x3 which is Interact. The third is either an Active Directory Group or User in the Domain\Account format.

When you have UltraVNC-xxxx-Setup.exe, UltraVNC.inf, UltraVNC.reg, and UltraVNC.acl in a directory (and nothing else), you can create a job to install UltraVNC.

  1. Open the Deployment Server Console.
  2. Create a new job.
  3. Add a Distribute Software task to the job.
    1. For the Software Package Name, browse for and select the UltraVNC-xxxx-Setup.exe file you downloaded.
    2. Enable the "Copy all directory files" option.
    3. Under "Additional command-line switches:", add "/verysilent /loadinf=".\UltraVNC.inf""

You can now run that job on your machines to install UltraVNC Server.

Add UltraVNC Viewer to the Deployment Server Console

Go to your reference, open Windows Explorer and go to "C:\Program Files\UltraVNC" copy the files vncviewer.exe, zip32.dll, unzip32.dll to a directory in the eXpress share of your Deployment Server. I will be using the directory eXpress\UltraVNC.

Next, open RemoteControlTools.ini in Notepad. And add the following section:

[UltraVNC]
Display-Name=Ultra&VNC
RemoteToolEXEFilePath=UltraVNC\vncviewer.exe
CommandLine=%COMPNAME%

If you would rather use the client computer's IP Address to connect than the computer name, replace %COMPNAME% with %AGENTIPADDR%.

At the CommandLine= option, you can also add any additional command line parameters that you want. For your convenience, here is a list of the command line parameters and what they do:

-help, -? or -h
Print a help message.
-listen [port]
Start the VNCviewer in listen mode. If port is specified, the viewer listens on that port.
-viewonly
Do not send local keyboard or mouse events to the remote computer.
-nostatus
Don't show the status window while connecting.
-nohotkeys
Do not enable hot keys (like CTRL+ALT+F9 for full screen mode etc.). Can be useful in case of conflict with other installed software hotkeys.
-notoolbar
Do not display the toolbar.
-autoscaling
Automatically scale the viewer window so that the remote screen fits at best your local screen size.
-fullscreen
Display viewer in full screen mode.
-noauto
Disable auto mode. Required for using the color options below or saving a custom configuration (otherwise the settings from quick options always override).
-8bit, -256colors, -64colors, -8colors, -8greycolors, -4greycolors, -2greycolors
Set the color depth. Fewer colors can significantly reduce the required bandwidth.
Note: Grey colors only work with 32 bits color screen resolution. 16 or 24 bits color resolutions just don't work with grey colors.
-shared
Share the server with other viewers, i.e. allow several viewers to connect simultaneously to the server.
-swapmouse
Swap left and right button of the mouse.
-nocursor
Do not display any local dot mouse cursor.
-dotcursor
Display the local dot mouse cursor.
-normalcursor
Display the normal local mouse cursor.
-emulate3
Emulate a 3-button mouse.
-noemulate3
Do not emulate a 3-button mouse.
-scale A/B
Scale the display by the factor A/B.
-disableclipboard
Do not transfer clipboard content.
-loglevel loglevel
Set the loglevel. This can range from 0 (minimal) to 10 (maximum logging).
-console
Open a console window for log output.
-logfile filename
Log to the file specified by filename.
-config filename
Read the configuration from filename.
-encoding encoding
Encoding is either raw, rre, corre, hextile, zlib, zlibhex, tight or ultra. Encodings are described here.
-compresslevel level
Use specified compression level (0..9) for "tight" and "zlib" encodings (Tight encoding specific). Level 1 uses minimum of CPU time and achieves weak compression ratios, while level 9 offers best compression but is slow in terms of CPU time consumption on the server side. Use high levels with very slow network connections, and low levels when working over high-speed LANs. It's not recommended to use compression level 0, reasonable choices start from the level 1.
-quality quality
Use the specified JPEG quality (0..9) for the "tight" encoding (Tight encoding specific). Quality level 0 denotes bad image quality but very impressive compression ratios, while level 9 offers very good image quality at lower compression ratios. Note that the "tight" encoder uses JPEG to encode only those screen areas that look suitable for lossy compression, so quality level 0 does not always mean unacceptable image quality.
-password password
Use the specified password for "classic" VNC authentication.
-serverscale scale
Scale the display on the server side by 1/scale. For instance scale = 2 means that the remote screen dimensions are reduced by 2 ("half screen size"), reducing at the same time the amount of graphical data received by a factor 4 (2^2).
-quickoption option
Select a quickoption. Modem option is default.
1: Auto
2: LAN
3: Medium
4: Modem
5: Slow
7: Ultra
-dsmplugin filename
Use the DSM plugin specified by filename.
-proxy host[:port]
Use the repeater specified by host and optionally port.

Now you can remote control any computer that has UltraVNC Server installed. Open your Deployment Server Console. Right-click any computer that has UltraVNC Server installed and choose Remote Control>UltraVNC.

Comments 11 CommentsJump to latest comment

rstaats's picture

Testing this now as a remote option for Vista machines. That's been the beef with the remote control options lately is that we can't control vista boxes. This may be a stellar solution. :)

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DeborahKahmke's picture

I am forwarding this along to my Desktop Manager, remote control has always been a touchy subject and with Vista is was going to get worse.

-d

Deborah Kahmke

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trb48's picture

UltraVNC is a great program, and this is a great article about it. It shares everything that you need to know to install, deploy, configure, and use UltraVNC. There are a few things that you need to keep in mind when using UltraVNC. Here they are:

1.) You should change the default port. This is open source and widely used. If you change the default port to something custom you can avoid lots of problems.

2.) You can allow the user to accept the remote control session. That was a remote control requirement. Their is one little hitch. It only asks when someone is logged in. If the user is not logged in, you can remote the system without getting permission.

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PerryWillis's picture

Thank you so much for contributing this article. The timing couldn't be better. We are upgrading to 6.9 over the summer and recently made the decision to upgrade to latest version of UltraVNC. Already had the VNC job done, but had no idea one coule add remote control programs to the console. Incredibly simple and powerful. Thanks again. If anyone has any doubts about doing this, check the CPU usage when you have remoted to a computer using Altiris Remote Control.

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coenicho's picture

First of all, thanks so much for this document! I'm the primary Altiris guy and have been looking around for a solution to the (lack of) Vista Remote Control. Do you (or anyone else) have many positive experiences to report about Vista Remote Control, either with this approach using UltraVNC or with some other application?

These instructions and job setup have been effective in installing/running UVNC on an XP machine, but I've yet to get it to work with Vista Enterprise machines. In particular the job will not run on a machine that runs Dagent. Also, when I manually run the command the Deployment job runs and I get a warning about the Video Driver, I install it and then the Vista system starts to act a bit funny (aero theme is disabled, general slow and laggy behavior when running a few applications).

Thanks in advance for any insight or help with the Vista Remote Control quandary!

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haim96's picture

most of the remote control software is problematic for vista. most of the time it's because of the UAC feature in vista. sometime even if it look like that the software work,when you try to install software or do any thing that need full admin access you will get black screen in the remote console when the UAC kick in!
that because the user that is in front of the computer get massage with the secure desktop and you can see that,all you see is black screen.
i'm not sure but i think that DAMEWARE in there last version fixed that issue.
you can also avoid that by disable UAC.

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Dominique's picture

hello ,

This is a great article as we are struggling between Carbon Copy as it has the logging expected, user names, workstations, etc... and DS Remote Control which is accessible from the Deployment Server but no easy report about the logging information...
I did not a correct reporting on any web site, so I am asking does VNC or Ultra VNC give a friendly report about the remote connection with:
User doing the connection
Date/Time Start
Date/Time End
and more...

Thanks
Dom

Dom

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Tenacious Geo's picture

Has anyone tried this with this latest version? It seems like registry information is different... I couldn't find very good info on how to deploy the UVNC client silently on their website.

-Geo

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Tenacious Geo's picture

I was able to setup UltraVNC 1.0.5.3 in an SVS layer and it works great. It's setup with AD authentication and everything. :)

I was having issues with the traditional deployment of UltraVNC server to other PCs, so the SVS method is much easier. The only thing I had to do was leave out the "mirror driver" since SVS has issues with drivers. 

-Geo

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Ceros's picture

I had tried running the UltraVNC setup file as an admin but keep getting the following error:

C:\Program Files\UltraVNC\winvnc.exe

An error occurred while trying to rename a file in the destination directory:
MoveFile failed; code 5.
Access is denied.

Click Retry to try again, Ignore to skip this file (not recommended), or Abort to cancel installation.

I have tried differrent directories, different admin accounts, and different versions of the setup file.

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blairthomas's picture

thanks

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