posted 13 Jan 2017
I have been using Linux for over a decade now I have often been hesitant to spread the good news of Linux to my friends and family, especially those that are a bit more remote or I don’t have contact with as often. Lately, I have been inspired recently by some of the folks at Jupiter Broadcasting to encourage people to switch to Linux but have still been hesitant because of the whole tech support thing. You have to ask the questions to see if Linux will work for someone. There are many cases where it is not a good fit and I don’t bother attempting the switch.
One of my issues in switching someone has been the unfamiliarity most people have with interface and the software tools. It is often not convenient or downright impossible to troubleshoot over the phone. The process of walking them through an issue when they have also inadvertently “customized” the desktop and panels makes it that much more frustrating. This all prompted me to search for a Remote Desktop application that I could reliably count on that was reasonably stable with which to remotely assist those that I have switched to openSUSE Linux. After dabbling with a few, I have come to find TeamViewer fits the bill.
TeamViewer allows you to remotely access another machine, interacting with it as though you were right in front of it. Even over poor internet connections it is still very responsive, not terribly laggy and is a surprisingly real good experience.
Remote access from one openSUSE machine to another.
You do have to register for the service and associate the computers you want to your account. Sure, some may give some heartburn to those that don’t like relying on other organization’s services but for me and my use case, this is fine. This will allow you to access your computers from your computers. It is super handy, no remembering serial numbers and passwords to access them.
An incredibly useful tool of TeamViewer is the ability to perform file transfers between the local and remote machine. If all the machines are on the same network, I would just do a file transfer over secure shell but computers that are in another location, this works splendidly. The ability to transfer some files is super, super useful. There are dozens of use cases for this.
A new use that I have for TeamViewer is the ability to use my very underpowered netbook to access my more capable machine remotely to use some particular program. This gives me a lot more flexibility as to what I am toting around with me to do work. I now have the freedom, once again to use this old piece of hardware and work much more efficiently with it at no additional costs to me.
I have also found that although my primary machine is a fairly compact laptop, it has somehow become larger over the years and I now have a netbook and Chromebook that are far less obtrusive to lug around. I also find that I often don’t need as much computing power as I once did. Now that I can access a remote machine, I can have that machine with the computing power do the work that needs to be done and I can just view the result on my little window into it.
Not so much an issue with the software, but I wish that the company had another way to contribute to the project. I don’t use TeamViewer for business purposes but I feel as though I owe the company something for giving me such a wonderful product to use. Even though this is a closed source project that is proprietary, they fully support Linux, it works great and I can use it for free for personal use. My only concern is that because it is a closed source project that uses a service you have no control over. This free TeamViewer program may end up being taken away and I will have to give a *sad face* and will have to find another Remote Desktop Solution.
TeamViewer is a nicely polished application that allows you to access your machines for either specific purposes or remote tech support for family and friends that may need a little help from time to time. Initially, my primary reason was for remote tech support but I find that I use it more often to leave my primary laptop at home and use a smaller, lighter, very minimal machine remotely and access my main machine remotely.
Some people have issue with the fact that TeamViewer for Linux is a Windows program wrapped in Wine instead of a built for Linux application. Personally, I have no problem with this at all, in this regard, the ends justifies the means. Would I prefer that it were written in Qt so that it matches my KDE Plasma Desktop but in the end, as long as the program works well and works reliably, I really don’t care what it’s written in.
Thankfully, for now, TeamViewer is free and I am truly grateful for it. I appreciate the generosity of the company to provide it for me to use and especially to use on openSUSE Linux. If you are a purist for open source software, this is probably not for you. I will continue to use TeamViewer for the foreseeable future. I highly recommend trying TeamViewer to anyone that has a need for remote desktop control. If you just want to table in remote administration, this is a quick and easy way to try it out. The creators of this software have done a phenomenal job and I truly appreciate all of their efforts and support of Linux.