Distro Astro – remote access with VNC

Out-of-the-box Distro Astro has Gnome Desktop Sharing installed. This is great for remote access to your astro-laptop to control telescope, mount and camera from the warmth of your house. (Of course, you need to have booted the astro-laptop and logged in as a user before the remote access can work and you need to arrange it so the laptop is in range of your Wifi network!).

Make it easy to use by going in to the Control Center and launching Desktop Sharing.  Tick the boxes to allow other users to view and control your desktop.You can add a bit of security by requiring a password for remote users.

Distro Astro Remote Desktop

To access your astro-laptop remotely you will need to know its IP address (aka inet address). Open up a Terminal window and type the command:

This will print out the details of your network interfaces – you want the inet address:

Distro Astro IP address

(Note: you can specify the interface explicitly e.g. WiFi is wlan0, Ethernet is eth0 for my astro-laptop.)

While you have that terminal window open; enter the following command:

This fixes a compatibility issue with remote vnc clients.

On my house PC I run Windows and I find TightVNC works very well as the VNC client. Just install it and run it. You will be prompted to enter the IP address of the PC you wish to access. Type in the IP address from earlier. A window to your astro-laptop will open up giving you complete remote control!