Somehow I think people are missing the significance of the rdesktop reference. Rdesktop gives linux the ability to do a Microsoft RDP connection to Windows, complete with a normal Login screen etc. I am sure it is included as part of most (ALL) linux distributions. It removes the need to create keys, manage all the port settings for VNC etc. I use both but only use the VNC connection if I absolutely must. The performance and screen resolution are just far superior with rdesktop.Pretty simple to use as well.
VNC support is built in into ESX35i. You can access guest as soon as it powers on. No guest network connection is neccessary.
It is just lack of password support so irritating...No performance problems with VNC so far.
Hmmm...except on guest O/Ss that don't provide RDP servers - like Linux, anything Windows version before XP and 2000 Server, NetWare, Solaris, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, etc. Sure, if you're accessing Windows Server or XP and later, RDP works fine. Also, RDP is only good after the O/S is booted - during boot you have no access to the console. This is fine as long as the O/S boots correctly, but if you have any problems with Windows booting then you may need something else.
As far as performance, RDP definitely has better built-in encryption and compression (VNC doesn't have any), but as long as you're on a 100Mbit+ network, VNC works fine.
With rdesktop you connect to the guest once it's up and running (and like others pointed out it must be running Windows). But what if the guest uses DHCP to obtain an IP address, how can you connect with rdesktop to it if you don't know the IP address?
With VNC you can connect to the console using the management network (and at least my ESXi has a static address) so this is easier for me...
Not wanting to prolong this but somewhere in this thread someone wanted an alternative to VNC since the password is a problem. Since this is a linux to windows question, rdesktop was the perfect choice. When rdesktop was dismissed as though it hadn't actually been tried, I responded as I did. Since the password problem was the most important issue, reverting to server was the solution and it sounded like the poster had not used rdesktop I thought it important to reiterate the rdesktop reference.
I use VNC and have used it for many years. I use it where apropriate. If it is appropriate for you to use without a password then use away. For the person or persons wanting an alternative and the VI client is not an option then rdesktop is the appropriate choice.
Not wanting to prolong this but somewhere in this thread someone wanted an alternative to VNC since the password is a problem.
No. We just want to find out where is the problem with ESX VNC password. That is the topic to discuss.
Password option was working fine with other VMware products, why not ESX35i?
Can someone from VMware please tell us how to generate the remotedisplay.vnc.key? We know the functionality
exists in ESXi.... We just need to know how to generate they hash/encryption now....
If you just email me the basics, I'll write a script and some documentation to post here.
I'm not sure that anyone (but VMware) knows at this point. I tried a couple different hash algorithms (md5sum, sha512sum) and neither of those matched what VMware was looking for. I'm sure it's one of those somewhat common ones, but until VMware releases their official instructions on it, I'm afraid we won't find out.
Sorry for the delay, the guy who wrote the code was out on vacation and just got back. I didn't know if there were any pending legal considerations, so didn't want to post details without talking to him.
The quick answer is that it's DES and Base64.
Compute hashed password for use with RemoteDisplay.vnc.key has a description, sample code, and precompiled binaries for Linux/OS X/Windows.
Thank you for sharing this great info with us. It works well.
First of all i would like to thank you guys for this usefull information. I'm using ESX Server 3.5 and i'm trying to connect to a running VM via VNC. So now that i found out the RemoteDisplay.vnc.password isn't used by this version i am using your compiled c code to generate the RemoteDisplay.vnc.key. This works all fine and the VNC program prompts for a password when connecting. Now my question: Is there any way you could present a solution for computing this key in JAVA. I tried to understand your very good solution in order to convert it to JAVA but it seems you're using special Triple DES keys. I could call the compiled c library out o a script but then i'll loose the plattform independency. So i would be really happy if there is an JAVA solution for this.
Thanks in advance
Can someone provide a step by step guide on how to get this to RemoteDisplay.vnc.key to work in the vmx file? I've already downloaded the vncpassword.zip file and still can't figure this out. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks.