Linux provides a plethora of remote-access tools. Text-based login protocols, such as Telnet and SSH, enable you to run text-based programs from a distance. Telnet has long been a popular tool, but its lack of encryption features makes it a risky choice for any but very insular environments. SSH adds encryption and many more sophisticated features, making it the text-based remote login protocol of choice. Among GUI tools, Linux's native GUI, X, is inherently network-enabled. X works well for Linux-to-Linux or Linux-to-Unix connections, but it can be awkward to use in some situations. It's also not as well supported outside of the Linux and Unix worlds as might be hoped. For such situations, VNC offers a good alternative. Ordinarily, normal users run the VNC server, but you can configure it to run in conjunction with Linux's normal GUI login tool, XDMCP. Neither X nor VNC provides encryption support by default, but you can combine either tool with SSH to tunnel connections in an encrypted manner. No matter how you enable remote login access, you should pay careful attention to encryption and other security concerns, lest a cracker invade your system.

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