Have you ever had a need to connect to multiple machines of multiple types (RDP,SSH,VNC & more) simultaneously? Have you found that retyping the credentials is a pain? Take the HTG tour of mRemoteNG.
Image by Louish Pixel.
What is mRemoteNG?
Simply put, mRemote is a “remote connection aggregator”. That is, it handles the management of connection details, such as: credentials, hostname/IP, and type (I.E. RDP, SSH and so on), among others (I.E. port modifier, should local drive be redirected & etc’). When you open such a connection, it becomes a tab in the program’s window. This makes it easy to jump between the connections, just as you would between web pages in a browser. mRemoteNG is the “Next Generation” version of the original mRemote program. mRemote was a “remote connections manager, which was open sourced. mRemotNG, gives all the functionality that the original had and added some of its own, in addition to continually improving to give a smoother experience.”
In order to install the program, head over to its site and download it and install using the regular “next -> next -> finish” method. Once the installation finished, open the program and you should be greeted by a screen such as the one below.
Create a new connection by clicking on the icon as shown below.
Give the connection a name, and move on to configure it. The mRemoteNG program will always create an RDP type of connection, so if you need another type, you need to switch. For now, let’s walk through setting up an RDP connection.
Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)
The Remote Desktop Protocol is a way to remotely connect to Windows machines, which Microsoft has baked into its business grade OSes.
The settings for RDP are pretty straight forward, and while you can change them from the defaults, there isn’t a real need to.
You do need to fill in the information such as: UserName, Password & Domain (if applicable).
Once all the information is filled, you can double click on the connection name and you should be connected just as you would using good old MSTSC, with the only difference that the connection is contained in the program window (unless you specifically change that behavior), and never again will you have to re-enter the information.
Though you do not need to change anything from the default, it is recommended that you do turn on the following settings under “Redirect”, because they are very useful:
Key Combinations – This setting makes it so that key combos, such as “Win + E” and the like, are redirected to the remote machine, despite the RDP connection not being in in full screen.
Disk Drives – Turning this setting on makes it so the remote computer gets a “mapped network drive” to the computer you are connecting from. This makes it very easy to transfer files from your computer, but do note that it does impose an infection vector for viruses.
Use Console Session – This “Protocol” option should be used to state that you wish to connect to the same session as the one that goes to the machine’s screen and not just a regular one in the background (which MS limits the amount of concurrent connections to).
Virtual Network Computing (VNC)
To create a VNC type of a connection, create a generic RDP connection and click on the “Protocol” setting. This will reveal the arrow to open the drop-down selection menu.
Select the VNC type, and once you’ve entered the information for the computer you’re connecting to, you should be good to go.
Secure Shell (SSH)
The Secure Shell, or SSH, protocol is the most prominent method for connecting to Linux machines, which if you’re doing any sort of Linux administration, you’ve probably come across already. If you haven’t yet, you can check out this primer.
To create an SSH type of a connection, again create the generic RDP connection and click on the “Protocol” setting. This will reveal the arrow to open the drop-down selection menu.
Select the SSH version 2 type (unless you have a specific reason to be using version 1), and once you’ve entered the information for the computer you’re connecting to, you should be good to go.
The search function
Without a doubt, one of the most useful aspects of mRemote/mRemoteNG is the ability to search for a connection. Instead of trying to recall the exact machine name, you need only to remember a fraction of it and type it into the search field.
This becomes extremely useful when your mRemote profiles count in the tens and upwards.
We will be publishing some advance tips for mRemote soon.