Remote activity is something that usually done by a system administrator. The remote protocol that might be used is SSH and/or telnet. When he has a lot of remote screen to manage, then it is very likely that the screens will piled each other. We already seen that a program like ClusterSSH can save time to manage the screens. Now we will show you a program called Gnome Connection Manager to manage remote screens.
What is Gnome Connection Manager
Gnome Connection Manager is a tabbed SSH Connection for gtk+ environment. With this, remote screens can be manage to make the administrator easier to operate them.
- Gnome Connection Manager is licensed under the GNU General Public License version 3
- It's designed in Glade and written in python, so it just need PyGTK to run in any linux environment
- Can store passwords for easy access to hosts
- Supports multiple ssh tunnels for each host
- Unlimited vertical/horizontal window splitting. You can have as many visible consoles as you want
- Drag&Drop tabs between consoles
- Connect to multiple hosts with just one click
- Grouping hosts
- Cluster mode. Work on several hosts at the same time
- Customizable shortcuts
- Send custom commands to hosts
- It's free, and the source is included in the download
Gnome Connection Manager can be download from kuthulu.com. At the moment this article is written, the latest version of Gnome Connection Manager is 1.1.0. It is available in two type of files. A .deb file, which is a package for Ubuntu / Debian based, and the tarball file for Linux generic.
In this installation, we will use a .deb package. Here are the steps :
- Download the Gnome Connection Manager file installer
- Install it using dpkg command
$ sudo dpkg -i gnome-connection-manager_1.1.0_all.deb
If you found no error, then you can access it through your Gnome Menu
On my Zorin Linux which Ubuntu, I found some errors. Here’s the error that I found and its solution.
Package expect is not installed
When I tried to install expect package, Linux showed me another error. Expect is depends on tcl8.5 package. Apt-get gave me a suggestion how to solve it.
$ sudo apt-get -f install
The apt-get command above will install tcl8.5 as expect dependencies. Once it finished, I re-ran the Gnome Connection Manager again.
Run Gnome Connection Manager
As we mention before, we can call Gnome Connection Manager from Gnome menu. But if you can’t find it, you can also call it from your console. By default, Gnome Connection Manager will located in /usr/share/gnome-connection-manager/ folder. Go to that folder and type :
Or type this from anywhere :
This application is written using Python language. Then make sure that you have python installed on your system. To check it, just type :
How to use it
On the main window of Gnome Connection Manager, you will shown a sleek window with 3 area.
The menu and buttons which located in the top area, the list of Servers on the left pane and the screen on the right pane. At the first time, there are no Servers is listed. Actually we can press Local button there, to pop-up the local console.
But since Gnome Connection Manager true power is about managing SSH screen, then it is better to add some Servers on the left pane.
To add host server, just click the +Add button or right click on the left pane and choose +Add Host. Then fill your server properties.
Connecting the host
The next step is to connect your SSH profile to the server that has been defined. To do this, just select the profile you want then click Connect button. The SSH screen will appear on the right pane.
Splitting the screen
When you do a lot of SSH to some machines, by default Gnome Connection Manager will put your SSH screens in tabbed form. In tabbed form, you can only see 1 screen at the same time. If you want to see some screens at the time, you can split the view of your screens.
Just click on the button beside the Remove button above to split it Horizontally and Vertically.
To reset the view, click the last button called Unsplit all consoles.
Send commands to all consoles
When you need to sync your command to some / all consoles, you can use Cluster mode. In this mode, a typed command in 1 console will echoed to another consoles.
You can select which console that you want to put in the cluster. The tabs which inside the cluster will be marked yellow. After that, you can type command in the box named Enter text to send to hosts.
Gnome Connection Manager also provide some simple settings. You can access it by clicking the Settings button beside the Unsplit all consoles.
Gnome Connection Manager might not the best software for managing multiple remote activities. But its simplicity offer us a straight forward functions that might be useful for daily operation.