Patrick Binder's picture
I have looked and looked for free open source solutions to the common problem of needing remote access software that clients can dl and it unistalls when it it done or one that has jump client that install on every computer in the network so that administrators can manage the network. Every single one cost thousands per user license. I think that it would be easy enough to develop our own live bootable OS that allows remote access into, WIN, MAC, Linux, and smartphones of all flavors that runs a LAMP stack for management. and I believe strongly that the turnkey core has the necessary starting point to develop it. I would love to have some people help me and put our heads together. if nothing else it will tear down the cost of the other companies software to a much lower cost. I think that if we sucessfully develop a OS/VM solution that hundreds of small and starting out companies would benefit greatly from such a software leap. Now obviously we will have to have mutliple platform gurus working on this project to develop a platform that supports all the above. SO please can we create a development site to start designing this incredible software. I would like to see it have the functionality of all 3 software titles. bomgar, logmein, and webex combined. so lets start dicussing features and concepts. If we can compile the already existing freely available cross Platform Open Source Software together with already existing gateway,firewall,VPN software into one single appliance then have it set to defualt boot to runlevel 2 so that it is manageable through webmin primarily as all tkl is and design the webmin to manage all of the above functions. Is that something that will be relatively medium to compile?
Liraz Siri's picture

Kudos to Patrick for taking the initiative. IMHO, this is what the open source is all about. As I said on another comment post, I love this idea and would seriously consider running the required infrastructure for NAT negotiation. It might not be necessary though:

Jeremy Davis's picture

I just had a read about pwnat and I still find it hard to believe. That is certainly one clever dude! Using that to connect VNC over some secure networking (VPN?) and we're pretty much there!

I also liked the fact that you may be willing to back this idea with a TKL server if need be. You TKL guys rock! I think pwnat is probably cooler though! Quite a unique solution, well AFAIK anyway.

How cool would it be if I could just "TKL" into my home server from work! :)

Patrick Binder's picture

Ok well if we are going to design the server it needs to be able to connect to all win, dos, unix (mac, solaris, oracle etc), linux (all OS's) and even if we use this we are still going to have to design a GUI administrator console as well as a client with a built in chat. the GUI admin console will need to have tabs to be able to be remoted into as many other clients at one time as we wish to be simulataneously remoted into as we as each tab will have sub tabs allowing remote view, local file to remote file system transfer(both directions), a command shell to the remote system. we will need two client types the first is a permanent jump client that you can easily select at any given time from the list and remote into the computer(server) with out gaining access persmissions each time from and end user for administering servers in a lights out configuration, the second client type would be a client that a end user downloads from the server to and gets put into a call pool for any tech to pickup and remote administrate that uninstalls itself upon the end of the session but allows for remote boot of the computer and restarts upong the computer booting up and while the computer has the client installed it skips the login process and logs in automatically. obviously the server version should have the same thing. Now at the server end we have to develop an ssl secured webmin for administrating the user accounts on the server as well as allowing for customization of the front page via html, xaml, or php. Clearly all the admin credentials will have to be kept in a MySQL database and managed by phpMyAdmin, wisely we should use the enterprise version of phpMyAdmin to allow for database replication for redundancy of the servers. Clearly we will have to use a LAMP stack or less likely a LAPP stack in order to design the site so that it is accesible for client to download the client or select a tech they prefer from the list and download a client that puts them into their call pool instead of the call center pool to be transfered to a tech. obviously there is a lot more that has to be done as well for features but this should be a nice list for us to use to start a flow sheet for the application design so that we can easily develop the SAS/Server solution.

Patrick Binder's picture

Well clearly we have to use both pwnat as well as a vpn,firewall,ssl and LAMP stack all combined into one server  base structure in order to support the necessary aritecure requirements? anything else that I am forgetting to include in the bas structure that we will have to use to build everything else off of?

David Fonseca's picture

As I emailed Patrick just now, I'd like to help if work starts on this one.

It seems to me that what the product should do first is work on some of the blind spots of these other products (that along with having full windows support).  Bomgar has no support for Android and I think the other two are only partial for android, webex and logmein both suffer from being SOS involving a third party in the connection process.  I think Bomgar may have an advantage over the others because it also logs all sessions (for financial and medical systems this is required.)

It does seem like what is needed mostly is the patience and skil to knit together all the Linux functionality already available to make a killer product.

I have been indecisively trying to pick out a product in this niche myself to buy and use for my lone-wolf tech support company, and its amazing how many companies are in it right now.  I would guess there are easily 30 different products available, especially if you include the shared desktop meeting types, and one-to-one "remote to my other desktop" products.  Most of them are horrendously expensive for someone like me ($750 to $1500/year avarage), yet watchagoingtodo?

I do see the smart-phone support market as a growth area, and one that nobody seems to cover 100% yet, and most of those 30 companies don't cover it at all.

See Wikipedia comparison of 60 products or so in  Comparison of remote desktop software

Jeremy Davis's picture

and am happy to be involved but I only have time and energy to be at the periphery. Also with the TKLPatch deadline fast approaching the likelihood of this project making the cut for the next appliance release is probably slim.

But don't let that put you off! Because of the TKLPatch system it is possible to create a patch that end users can apply themselves. It also means that the pressure is somewhat off (although perhaps not for you David if you are hoping to use it yourself). I suggest whoever is most motivated start posting some specs/plans and build a prototype patch from that.

I think this could be a very exciting project, looking forward to seeing how it evolves.

Patrick Binder's picture

I have every intention of figuring out how to figure out how to make this work. I think once the TKL Base system is 100% patched as far as stability and a proper Webmin console built for the base system that we can begin to use that I can use suse Linux Enterprise servers package for creating PXE boot system. The package also allows you to create a system back up in the Form of an ISO so once we get a working server we can package it back into a bootable installable ISO Linux System. but the thing is I have like NO programming knowledge aside from some html, and VB. So in order to accomplish this I would have to study my ass off. and I need you guys to reccommend some guys that know this stuff to help us with this project. I feel that creating this particular system could make a small fortune in supporting other people computers. And help every Technition world wide to make there work able to be done from anywhere in the world.I hate being tied to an office I want to get my IT company off the ground run all my charges through paypal and just jet set from here to there and having a remote support software that is tailored to work on all platforms, win, linux, unix, oracle, solaris, etc as well as all mobile OS's that we can create the most widely used remote software in the world. and provide ourselves the freedom to be able to expand our businesses globally by alllowing us to work from anywhere thus be able to travel worldwide and still do tech support while setting up companies around the world. sorry if I am getting a little repetitive its been an extremely long day and I am having trouble with creating virtual hosts on my joomla server that running on one of my SLES servers. But its my first attempt at ever running a second website from the server. maybe someone has some advice or a run through that I can go over of how to do the setup from webmin. as my webserver is a long ways away and I am on location and I need to be able to set up the server to do addtional virtual host by port number from the same domain/subdomain as the main site. I would prefer not to create a new domain name in order to set up the site. so maybe someone knows a good tutorial. also what theme does the TKL use for webmin does someone have a link I hate the default webmin thats on my sles box but I love the TKL theme.

Ryan Hall's picture

I just wanted to chime in and say that Bomgar does in fact support iOS and Android OS.  Some have special versions as well (Samsung comes to mind) that allow deeper access into the OS than others.  

I am going to comment below more things.

Patrick Binder's picture

Ok so I downloaded the 10.04 base system. How do I proceed from here to configure it to automatically install additional packages during installation? and where do I add the packages? in the pool?

Alon Swartz's picture

You have a couple of options, I'd recommend taking a look at the community development documentation.

Erica Malinowski's picture

Hey patrick, you might want to check out this open source remote access project. They seem to be in the latter stages of developing the type of remote desktop software that you are looking for. 

Pressley Stacks's picture

Has an appliance been considered that would mimic Adito (now known as OpenVPN ALS)?  It is a web-based, open source, SSL-VPN application.  Most of the development on it has gone by the wayside.



Guest's picture

Yo my peeps did this happen n stuff

Jeremy Davis's picture

No one has stepped up to the mark and started development. Perhaps it could be you?

Hallsie's picture

I just came across this and just like all of you, have been looking for this very alternative.

Here are some ideas and information that I wanted to share so people could look and possibly think of how to implement.

The first is that we right now use mostly a mix of VNC and a software called N-Central by this company:  It goes beyond the scope of what is attempting to be done HOWEVER N-Central is a real nice piece and one that should be looked at by the open source communiity.  It uses a multi-layered approach to management.  First you have the main server (which theirs runs on Linux of some sort already) then when you configure you create "Sites" then deploy a Probe to that site.  Then it installs "Agents" on the machines.  Then when you remote manage a machine you can do lots on the machine without the user even knowing; running scripts viewing logs...  lots.  There are even options to run scripts remotely from the main server scheduled to multiple machines etc.   What it also does however is the "go to my PC" type stuff where you can hit the server address and you can get a remote help.  Which is logged by the support reps etc.  It's real awesome and also has management capabilities etc. that make it very much worth the $$ when you buy it.

The other thing I wanted to bring up is called iTALC (  I haven't touched it in a year or so and mostly because of the complicated setup with how it handles which PCs can handle which PCs.  And you have to have the MAC addresses (does not just auto-grab them).  What is cool however is that it's made for a learning environment where you have Teacher PCs and Student PCs.  It allows you to see what is on the other PCs (whichever you want at the time etc.) you can also (because of the funky permissions) do things with the PC (block out controls, push your desktop to all of theirs, push one of theirs to all etc.).  I moved away from it because of the complicated setup but you can see where something like this could be VERY COOL!

Anyway I have zero coding experience and so I am limited as to what I know and can do but if you have further questions I can help in whatever way i can.

Jeremy Davis's picture

But from a look over the N-Central website, it too looks good but does not apear to be open source, thus making it ineligible as a software candidate for a TKL appliance.

BTW I had little or no coding experience when I first started playing with TKL so this is great opportunity to get your hands dirty if you're keen :)

Hallsie's picture

I know N-Central doesn't have any "open source" options it was more of an informational thing to see if anyone knew of anything open source like it etc.

I have been playing a lot with TKL and trying to learn but it's tough.  I don't know where to begin...  most things seem very alien when not coming from a *nix world and having 0 programming knowledge.

I have to blindly follow instructions posted on sites which don't always make sense.

For example...   I installed TKL 1.5 Joomla a long while ago and wanted to look into upgrading to 1.6 but don't know where to begin.

Jeremy Davis's picture

Thank you for clarifying.

IMO it is probably worth having a bit of a read over the basics before you try too much. Here are some links I would suggest browsing:

And of course the Ubuntu Server Guide:

You may also find the Ubuntu Server FAQ useful:

I think this thread may also be of value and contains lots more links and advice:

Obviously all those resources refer to Ubuntu, but as TKL v11.x is based on Ubuntu 10.04/Lucid then they will generally be relevant. The Ubuntu forums are pretty active and friendly so that is a great place to ask questions (as well as here obviously). Personally I find google to be the best Linux info resource! Often far better in my experience than finding Win info (above a basic level anyway)!

If you get stuck or there is something you just don't get, feel free to start a new thread here and ask! Then myself and/or one of our community members (and/or even a passing guest) will try to help you out.

Good luck.

I found digging around bash resources and on bash related IRC channels helped me get up to speed. I have some bash resources listed on the TKLPatch Primer at

Ric Moore's picture

'The Ubuntu forums are pretty active and friendly so that is a great place to ask questions (as well as here obviously"

A bunch of us Ubuntu regular users/support contributors jumped ship after that "pretty active and friendly" Ubuntu Support list got moderated and we were tossed out, once we complained about the "lens" shopping "feature" allowing third parties access to our seach results without our permission fro our private desktops. Ergo, I wouldn't use Ubuntu if I had to be shot.

I wouldn't support Suse for the same reasons, after their parent company tried to sue Linux users. I sure as hell won't use Windows. So, I'm running Debian 100%  and am quite happy now. Just my two cents. Ric


I'm not sure how I missed this one. I hope I can contribute anything from my skillset that can be helpful.

John Click's picture

I use RHUB remote support appliances and it doesn’t cost me a fortune. It is easy to use and is only one time cost as compared to hosted services.

Mike Anderton's picture

There is another alternative for all LogMeIn products which is called ISL Online.

With Remote Support to unlimited operators, Remote Access to unlimited computers, Live Chat for unlimited chats and agents, and Web Conference and Mobile Applications which are already included in a license.

You can check our product webpage at

toby's picture

I would love a tool that would allow me to easily support a handful of family members and a couple of friends, most of whom have difficulty following telephone instructions to install and launch gotomypc, logmein, or gotoassist attended host apps. What I would like is to be able to install an unattended client on those few specific systems, which are scattered around the US, so I can provide support with nothing required of the end user other than to watch me work while we chat about what's happening in each other's life.

While I do support my semi-retirement with occassional for-pay pc & mobile device support (mostly malware mitigation and hardware upgrades), I have no plans to use remote support software as a tool for income in the future. Since all of my remote support is provided for free, I can ill afford even a couple hundred dollars a year for a software solution. I am not a coder, in even the most vague use of the term, so unfortunately I am unable to offer much assistance in bringing such a tool into fruition. However, I am willing to offer my services as a beta tester, should the need arise. (I own multiple computers, running Win 7 & 8 and Mac OSX, and three mobile droids, and enough spare hardware to piece together a couple of systems suitable for Linux installs. I am also comfortably family with various virtual pc applications. So I could test without ever putting anyone else's system at risk.)

I truly hope this project is still moving forward. IMHO this is exactly the type of scenario where opensource can really shine - offering a no-cost solution to those of us who just enjoy helping others, and not necessarily to make money.

Jeremy Davis's picture

It would be a great addition to the lineup but unfortunately it stalled and no one else has picked it up... It's still on the radar though...

Mayor Adam West's picture

I just tore open our old 'Bomgar' box as the case fan was making all types of noise.  Since I had it open, I figured I would clone the HDD in case it decides to croak soon.  Come to find out, it runs some form of Linux(Mandrake?)


Anyway, I started looking into building my own Remote Support box and hosting it here at my office, but alas I ended up here.  I am no programmer by any means so I cannot be of help, but I hope one day this thread becomes a reality!

Mike's picture

Guys, have anyone made progress on building a system, cant seem to find open source code to.

Screenconnect is one that my employer uses but costs so much. These costs for licensing is increasing and its going to hurt my pockets for personal/probono projects :(. 


Jeremy Davis's picture

I agree that this would be great; but unfortunately it hasn't happened...

Savyn's picture

Hi Guys


Good project and I wish this got started, I would be happy to provide some money or help towards getting hosted servers and tech to start the development.

I woudl recommend to prepare an open standard project view and put in the lead developer, visionaire etc.

We have a small IT company supporting users and we would love and open source version of of main tool.

Looking forward to updates 


Many thanks


Jeremy Davis's picture

While we agree it's a really cool idea we are not in a position to drive this forward.

If you are interested in driving it and doing lead development then perhaps we could help/partner on it?

kais's picture

Hello everybody, any news regarding this project ?

i think it is possible to developp as we can see there is a new product in the market doing remote support but not free or open source. It means that technaccaly it is possible. we only need a volenteer team do it.

as a first thinking what we need to developp this kind of project:


- a VNC server, or porbably VPN server

- a VNC Client / VPN client,

- a tool to tell to the client where is the server and to tell to the server where is my clients. and this is the most important part of the project. but looks there is a lot of open source alternatives to skype. and why skype because it makes a client and a server to connect together behind NAt, firewalls, and Networks. an open source of this kind of tools : Linphone  and it works on all plateforms and is 100% open source. so we can start from there to create the server and client parts and when a client request connect with a server (technician) we call a VPN or VNC tool to establish connection.

it looks defenitly pretty easy we only need a team to work together.


All the best.



danny's picture

Hi kais

i have been trying to figure this out for years and i am even willing to learn a new programming language to get this going. do not know the work invovled and if needs to be funded somehow.

yout link


for the tool i cannot find it or i am tired.

what do you guys think on this approach if we cannot use this method

thanks danny

Bryan's picture

I built a couple of log me in like clones for Windows machines, they are currently running on my website, which is actively being developed as an open dns replacement. Try it out: Supervene dot com, sorry for the link this is truly not a spam post. Im sure I can help you guys out with some source code. Some code was found in old forums and some I pieced together using stuff like novnc. Hope this helps, let me knew if anyone is still interested. I knew this id an old post.
Jeremy Davis's picture

Thanks for your input.

I still think that this idea would be awesome to implement so your code may be handy. Although for us we'd also need code that would work with Linux. We also have a fairly high percentage of Mac users too...

Is your code open source? If so do you have hosted somewhere like GitHub?

Bryan's picture

It uses vnc which is a cross platform client, and no vnc for the host console. The chide is a Hodge podge of different components, and were built "in place" no installer. So a lot of adjustments would need to be made. I will start a project on git hub and post all the bits. I will reply here when it's up. Most of the code is Perl and php.
Bryan's picture

The content will be posted here:

I warned you, the code is a hodge podge and inculdes:

Unattended access files:

novnc instance, vnc repeater, client service perl script, html pages for login, add,delete,connect using novnc


Remote Support:

index.php, support_admin.php

Windows version of 7-Zip 7zS.sfx is needed to build the windows package on linux. So this is included in the www/support folder. I also included the linux version of 7-zip tar.bz2 in the www/host folder.


I also included the source for the windows desktop client source. It was built using ActiveStats PDK which is licensed so this would probably have to be rewritten in another language.

It will be online today, I am removing private data from the code now.

Bryan's picture

It's all online. Lets build somthing!


Jeremy Davis's picture

Great work mate!

I've had a quick glance, but TBH I'm not very familiar with Perl. I have heard of VNC (as you would expect) and have used it before (although a long time ago). I have also heard of and used NoVNC (although only in a web browser - as a component of another product).

From a glance, your solution consists of a web server (Apache?) that provides a "fixed" front end and install-able client modules (that the server connects to; they handle the remote access on the client end). Do I have that right? Or am I missing something?

Assuming that a have it right, I would completely separate the code into server and client. It probably makes sense to include the (installable or drop-in) client binaries with the server, but I'm not sure that it makes sense to include the source as well.

This certainly looks like it could be a really cool project. If we can get something working really sweet, perhaps we could provide it as an appliance. Also we could consider providing a hosted version too? We would probably need to charge a minimal subscription fee (to cover hosting costs and some extra to assist with future development) but I reckon that would be pretty awesome!

Bryan's picture

I will write up a with details. You are correct so far about apache. This chide also includes remote support tool like
Bryan's picture

Sorry, my phone corrects code to chide for some reason.
Antho's picture

WOW! Awesome pack! Right now i was Googling about find a way to do this.


Is there a posibility to multiple agents to connect to the same PC ?


Also, an agent can connect to multiples PCs? 


Would be cool to have a Web GUI COntrol panel centralized like Bomgar does with its desktop app or Logmein; a list of all current PINNED computers and all of its info (status, last access, uptime, ip, etc...) :)


Let me know. I can help with Web development!

Bryan's picture

The files I posted already include a web console with pinned desktops that checkin and report online, offline, and last check in time. The only request missing is multiple concurrent connections.
Greg's picture

Hello Bryan!

I visited youre git page - and its awesome ( ) !!!

I have only one question : How to bring it on-line ?

Please Man just explain me how to clone it to Debian \ (or what ever you like) and fire it up.

This will be a great solution to my very small business .

Please contact me via greg/

Bryan's picture

I have recieved an ton of requests to make the software "deployable" in the form of an ISO or VM so I have started writing the code.

I am currently reworking the code to act as a standalone server using the CentOS netinstall disc. I am changing the database over to sqlite rather than a full MySQL instance for better portability. I am also adding multiple session support per user/admin and building a generic agent that allows for zero config deployment for your server instance. I will post additional updates regarding this project on my website Supervene once it gets closer to deployment. I would guess 1-2 weeks before the first ISO release.

Lastly, I removed the repo on Github as it was incomplete and no one seemed interested enough to contribute to the project after 7 months.



Jeremy Davis's picture

If you are fluent with Linux commandline and comfortable with Debian, then you could leverage our existing build tool (TKLDev) to build exactly what you are talking about. It's how we build all (~100) of our appliances!

I won't go into too much detail here as the docs are fairly extensive, but essentially, it uses an overlay directory which contains files to be overlayed directly over the OS filesystem; and a conf directory, containing install and config script(s).

So long as it uses only open source code, we'd be more than happy to add it to the official TurnKey library of appliances which will get you lots of exposure (we have literally hundreds of thousands of website visitors a month).

WRT to removing your GH repo, that's a bit of a pity. IMO even if it's not getting much attention, it's still worth keeping the code public. Unless of course you don't intend it to be open source any more? In which case, most of my post is irrelevant.

Some Guy's picture

It appears that Github is throwing a 404 for your link:   Hopefully, this is just temporary.     ... just another IT guy looking to self host his remote support. 
Jeremy Davis's picture

TBH, I'm not completely sure why, but he has. :(

Hopefully he'll be back and either give us an update on where the code lives now, or perhaps even re-upload it to GH?!

BryanD's picture

All the code was not usable in the state it was uploaded. I pulled it and started rewrote all of the Remote Support code in one language, which is now implemented on my site. I am also building the code into a fully deployable ISO for a self-hosted server. I am adding management pages for user accounts and SSL security. I am also reworking all of the code so the agents for unattended access does not require the Perl PDK which requires a license. The agents are also auto configured based on the account the installer was downloaded from so no configuration required, which is great for mass deployments and tamper proofing. I will post more as I get closer to requiring testers. I am subscribed to the thread so I get all of the messages. For some reason the forum always says I am blocked so most of my messages do not make it through.
Jeremy Davis's picture

Hi Bryan,

Thanks for the update. Out of curiosity, are you using TurnKey as the base for your ISOs? If not perhaps that's worth consideration? So long as it only includes open source software, we may be able to add it to the library!?

Also FWIW I've tweaked your website user account (which I note you weren't logged into when you posted this). If you log in with that, you should now be able to avoid most of the spam traps. That should make posting easier.

If anyone else is having issues posting to the forums, please get in touch with me and I can also tweak your user account.

Bryan's picture

I am not using TKL as the base for the software. I am fond of CentOS and its proximity to RedHat Enterprise. Does TKL have a CentOS base? If so, I feel it is possible I could make this happen.


Thanks for the bot fix BTW!

Jeremy Davis's picture

We're all Debian guys, so no CentOS version sorry. There isn't really a fundamental reason why not, but OTOH we don't have any plans to go down that path. It would be a fair bit of work, for fundamentally little gained (except for a few die hard RHEL/CentOS users who would never use anything else).

Regardless, keep us posted on your progress. So long as your software remains open source, we may still add an appliance in the future anyway?! We'll see what happens. Regardless, good work! :)

Bryan's picture

Ok guys. I poked around with the code a while ago and somewhere along the way I lost sight of the project and stopped working on this. I think I will just box it up and turn it over to you. I am not a TKL user but I would be willing to help you get things rolling as I originally planned. I am working on the Git repo (I hate git btw) I am a little slow since I am old school.. plese bare with me while I learn this thing again.

Bryan's picture

I will break it down into different projects as requested before even thought they are all one big project. This should make understanding the pieces easier. The Client for the remote support does not exist since it get compiled on the server in realtime. So this means three parts:

Unattended Access Server

Unattended Access Client

Remote Support Tool

Jeremy Davis's picture

Nice to hear from you! :)

I for one am certainly looking forward to this and has assumed that the project had died a natural death. Great to hear that isn't the case! :)

As a non-TurnKey/Debian user, if working with TKLDev is too steep a learning curve then whatever you can share will be fine, I'm sure. So long as your setup uses default Linux commands, it should be easy enough to port across. Dependencies may be a little problematic (RHEL/CentOS tend to have older packages and a more limited default package archive in my limited experience), but I'm sure we'll be able to resolve that if need be.

Re git, if that doesn't float your boat, so long as you publish it somewhere publicly so I can fetch/download in in some way, I can live with pretty much anything else. Although personally, I'm a big git fan, so GitHub or similar is my preference.

When you have pushed something somewhere public please let us know and I'll have a look.

Bryan's picture

I apologize for the long wait. I have been busy with the razdc project. I am scrubbing the code for database passwords, etc.. I will post as soon as I can. I would love to see this code get put to good use (I still use it daily for remote access). I feel guilty for not sharing the wealth that is the freedom from the coorporate products.

Bryan's picture

Here are the links for the repos. Keep in mind they will over lap and have duplicate files as they share componets.


Lets build somthing.

Indogen Capital's picture


remote access software for what??

Bryan's picture

The code is open source now. This means it can be used for anthing that can run a secure vnc Session. It was originally designed to run on a Linux server but support windows clients, but you can swap out the windows vnc binaries for Linux vnc.



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