Where is a Free/Libre Teamviewer?

I have been looking for convenient ways to remotely support other people with computer help. The challenge is penetrating NATs and proxies.

On the Linux side is the usual geek relish of SSH, VNC, and VPNs. These valuable tools do not lend well at all to a simple point-and-click connection.

The proprietary software side has several options. The most popular is TeamViewer. While to my knowledge there have not been any independent audits of the security, allegedly connections are secure using RSA 2048. Yet nobody really knows whether there are back door capabilities since all connections are made through a central server system.

That said, TeamViewer is convenient and easy to use. The TeamViewer tool is fully point-and-click at both ends of the connection. One person connects first and is provided a one-time user ID and password. That user phones another person and provides the one-time information. The second person then connects using that information.

Just brain-dead point-and-click simple. Something Linux developers are not well known for.

The key to this process is a central server. The central server portal is the means to bypass NATs and proxies.

A free/libre solution could mimic this exact process.

On the geek side, configure a central server.

The client side needs a full point-and-click app. No terminal or command line. Use Python and some GTK and QT bindings to provide a native look-and-feel. Both widget libraries are supported in Windows too as is Python.

Central servers would need to be installed and maintained by the people providing the tech support. Possibly with sufficient donations a common central server could be maintained by project members.

In the end, nothing like TeamViewer exists for free/libre software users.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: General

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