Ok, I'm having problems answering this because I can't figure out how to word it. Most questions about "remote desktop" and "ec2" focus on remoting into an ec2 instance, which isn't necessarily what I want.

Here's what I have:

  • Computer A: Windows 7 w/ Linux VMware session
  • Computer B: Amazon EC2 Ubuntu 12.4 headless server
  • Computer C: Windows 7, behind a router/NAT to which I do not have admin rights

Computer A and Computer C are not on the same network.

I can use Computer A to ssh to Computer B (ec2). I've used PuTTY, but prefer to just do it from the Linux VMware player.

From Computer B, I can use CLI to set up a LAN interface that communicates with Computer C (or, at least, I'm able to ping it).

What I want to do is communicate with Computer C from Computer A using remote desktop. For various convoluted reasons, I'm unable to create a direct connection. I'm trying to get Teamviewer to work, but am having problems with user access. And while I've successfully accessed Computer C from Computer A using UltraVNC Single Click, I found it so slow that it was unusable.

So until I can get all that figured out, I'm trying to figure out how to somehow leverage Computer B.

The only way I can think of is to install a GUI desktop onto the ec2 instance, and then connect to it from Computer A. From there, I'll install some sort of remote desktop application to access Computer C through the LAN connection. So it'll essentially be a remote desktop session within another remote desktop session.

In the past, I've installed LXDE onto an EC2 server and accessed it from Windows using Remote Desktop. However, I found the LXDE GUI extremely slow and clunky, and I hesitate to go that route again.

So my question is whether there's a better way to do this? Is there something I can install on ec2 that wouldn't require a GUI? For example, something I could install on ec2 and then access through a web browser instead? Or something that would allow me to hook Computer A into the LAN interface created on ec2? I installed squid on ec2, but haven't figured out how to get it to do things for me from Computer C.

Obviously, the simplest thing to do is to cut out Computer B altogether, and I'm working on that. I'd just like to have a back up plan.

  • If system "B" really has sufficient connectivity to "C" then your simplest and by far best performing option is to use PuTTY to build an ssh tunnel from A to B and use that tunnel to connect from A to C. (C will see the connection as originating from B, not A). – Michael - sqlbot Dec 20 '14 at 10:26
  • What Michael said. At one of my previous workplaces, the terminology they used was "jump box." As in B is the "jump box" for C. I don't know that anyone elsewhere uses the term, though. – Katherine Villyard Dec 20 '14 at 19:06

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