Using RDP and VNC in Mobile Admin

Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is a communications protocol that allows you to connect securely to any server that is running Terminal Services or Remote Desktop. Mobile Admin acts as a Terminal Services or Remote Desktop client on your wireless device and processes keyboard and mouse data from the remote server.

RDP in Mobile Admin versions 8.0 and below is not compatible with Windows Server 2012 or Windows 8.

VNC is a client-server protocol. A VNC client connects to a VNC server to receive screen updates and to process keyboard and mouse movements. For VNC connections, Mobile Admin acts as a VNC client on your wireless device.

VNC connections are not supported on iOS devices.

Mobile Admin allows you to use your wireless device to view and control the desktop of any server, provided the following conditions are met:

  • The server is running Microsoft Terminal Services (on Windows 2000 or 2003) or Microsoft Remote Desktop (on Windows XP); or the computer has a Virtual Network Computing (VNC) server installed
  • You have permission to access the server

Detection

RDP/VNC is detected by looking for an open port on 3389(RDP) or 5900(VNC). The port number used can be modified in the Mobile Admin configuration.

Authentication

VNC supports password authentication.

RDP uses Windows Authentication. You must have "Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop" enabled on the Windows machine.

Communication method

RDP and VNC both use TCP/IP sockets to communicate with the server.

Troubleshooting

If you are on WiFi, try using the ip address of the server. Sometimes mobile devices will not use the local LAN's dns settings, this causes some dns lookups to fail for.

If your mobile device is not on the same network as the server, try enabling the Mobile Admin Proxy.

RDP/VNC security

Mobile Admin supports several RDP/VNC security options. If you are using a BlackBerry Enterprise Server, all data sent between the BlackBerry Enterprise Server and the BlackBerry smartphones is encrypted with TDES or AES. This applies to both Terminal Services or Remote Desktop and VNC connections. Microsoft Terminal Services and Remote Desktop connections are always secured through the use of RC4 encryption. In some cases, you may need to configure a computer’s firewall to connect with RDP.

Prepare for RDP/VNC connections

Prior to connecting with RDP/VNC, ensure the following conditions are met:

  • For Terminal Services or Remote Desktop connections, make sure that the server you want to connect to is running Microsoft Terminal Services or Remote Desktop, and is connected to the Internet.
  • For VNC connections, ensure that a VNC server is installed on the server that you want to connect to, and that the server is connected to the Internet. There are a number of VNC servers available for download on the Internet. Some VNC servers are free and others must be purchased. We recommend that you evaluate the various options available relative to your requirements.

In most cases, in order to connect to a server using RDP/VNC, the target server must be in your Mobile Admin Manage Hosts screen, or RDP/VNC must be listed in the Mobile Admin Manage Services screen.

Access a computer using RDP/VNC

  1. Log in to Mobile Admin.
  2. If required, select the server you want to access using VNC/RDP through the Manage Hosts screen and select the VNC or RDP icon. Alternatively, you may select the icon through the Manage Services screen.
  3. Enter the login credentials for the RDP/VNC computer in the Username (RDP only) and Password fields.

    Upon login, a blank screen is occasionally displayed on first-time VNC connections. If this happens, restart the VNC server and repeat this procedure.

  4. Select Connect on the menu.

After a few minutes of an RDP connection over a BlackBerry Enterprise Server, you may be logged out and receive an error message. This can occur because there is a setting on the BlackBerry Enterprise Server that limits the amount of data that is allowed to be transmitted to and from your device during a single connection. To prevent this from happening, you can contact your BlackBerry Enterprise Server administrator and request that your per-connection data limit be raised to the maximum allowed, or you can choose connection settings that use less data, such as a lower resolution.

Disconnect an RDP/VNC session

From within an RDP/VNC connection, select Disconnect on the menu. On iOS devices, press the “Disconnect” button located in the top left-hand corner of the screen.

Connection settings

You are able to manage the following connection settings:

  • Domain (RDP only)
  • Compression (VNC only)
  • Zoom (VNC only)
  • Resolution (RDP only)
  • Colors (RDP only)
  • Width
  • Height
  • Pan Position (VNC only)
  • Proxy use
  • Store Password
  • 3G settings
  • Security settings
  • Remote Program
  • Working Directory
  • Console Mode
  • Performance settings (Wireless and 3G)
    • RemoteFX
    • Desktop Background
    • Font Smoothing
    • Desktop Composition
    • Window contents while dragging
    • Menu Animation
    • Visual Styles

Manage connection settings

  1. Perform one of the following:
    • To manage connection settings from the RDP/VNC login screen, follow the procedure to access a computer using RDP/VNC.
    • To manage connection settings from within an active RDP/VNC connection, select Settings on the menu.
  2. Modify the following fields, as required:
    • Domain (RDP only, optional) – Enter the domain name to use with the account. If you use the iOS client, you cannot use domains that end in .local. See http://support.apple.com/kb/ts3389this Apple KB article for more information.
    • Encoding (VNC only) – Select the compression type from the drop-down menu:
    • Raw uses the most data and is the slowest because it does not perform any compression.
    • Hextile is the fastest but uses more data.
    • ZRLE is slower but uses much less data.
    • Zoom – Select the zoom level for the computer screen you are connecting to from the drop-down menu. Choose 1 to view it at full size, 2 to view it at half size, or 4 to view it at quarter size.
    • Resolution (RDP only) – Select the dimensions you want the desktop to be, in pixels, from the drop-down menu. A smaller resolution will result in a faster connection and less data being transmitted.
    • Pan Position – Select what part of the desktop screen you would like to be displayed initially from the drop-down menu: Top Left, Top Right, Bottom Left, Bottom Right or Center (when you first view the screen of the computer you are connecting to, you will only see a section of it on the smaller screen of your wireless device).
    • Mobile Admin Proxy - select this check box to use the proxy provided by Mobile Admin. The proxy is provided in order to facilitate RDP/VNC connections in network environments where direct paths between your device and the target server (such as networks with a BES) are not easily created. In order to use the proxy provided, a Mobile Admin administrator must configure the port.

      You can only use the Proxy option when you connect to a remote computer from the Mobile Admin server.

    • Store Password - select this check box to save the password to your device.

Server properties

You can manage the default server properties provided by Mobile Admin to better suit your needs. Default server properties are managed from the host page, or from the Add Services screen when the service is first being added to Mobile Admin.

Manage RDP/VNC port numbers

  1. Log in to Mobile Admin.
  2. Select the RDP or VNC server you want to access through the Manage Hosts screen. Alternatively, RDP or VNC ports can also be set when initially adding a RDP or VNC service to the Manage Services screen.
  3. Select Host Properties on the menu.
  4. Modify the port number fields as required.
  5. Select Save on the menu.

Use RDP/VNC

Move the mouse

On all devices with a touch screen, select the Touch Pointer from the menu. Place your finger in the circle with the mouse icon and drag your finger on the screen. The arrow pointer indicates the cursor position.

On BlackBerry smartphones or Android devices featuring a trackball, roll the trackball up, down, left or right.

On BlackBerry smartphones featuring a trackwheel, roll the trackwheel up and down. For left/right movement, hold down the ALT key while rolling the trackwheel up and down.

On iPhone/iPad devices, Android devices and BlackBerry smartphones featuring a touch screen, drag your finger on the screen in the direction you want to pan to.

On other devices, use the D-pad.

Left mouse clicks

On all devices with a touch screen, select the Touch Pointer from the menu. Tap the circle with the mouse icon. The arrow pointer indicates the cursor position.

On BlackBerry smartphones and Android devices featuring a trackball/trackwheel, press the trackball/trackwheel.

On iPhone/iPad devices, Android devices and BlackBerry smartphones featuring a touch screen, press the screen where you want to click.

On other devices, press the Action button (centre of the D-pad), or select Left Click on the menu.

Right mouse clicks

With the Touch Pointer, tap the icon with the right-button of the mouse highlighted.

Press ALT+SPACE on the device keyboard, or select Right Click on the menu.

On iPhone/iPad , touch and hold for 3 seconds.

Double mouse clicks

With the Touch Pointer, rapidly touch the circle with the mouse icon twice.

Select Double Click on the menu.

On iPhone/iPad and Android devices, rapidly touch the screen twice.

Keyboard Strokes on Devices with QWERTY and 12-Key Keyboards¶

On QWERTY keyboards, press the keys on the device keyboard. For additional symbols, press SYM.

On 12-key keyboards, select Send Input on the menu, input text, and select Send Text on the menu.

Extra commands

Press ALT+SYM on the device keyboard, or select Function Keys on the menu.

Send CTRL+ALT+DEL

BlackBerry/Android

Select CTRL+ALT+DEL on the menu. or open Function Keys and select the Ctrl, Alt, and Del keys.

iOS

With the toolbar showing, click the CTRL, ALT and then the DEL key. The CTRL and ALT keys are sticky, and will remain down until they are pressed a second time.

You can also open the Function Keys keyboard from the Touch Pointer.

Zoom out and zoom in

To zoom out, select Zoom Out on the menu. On iPhone/iPad devices, pinch and drag gestures on the touch screen zoom and pan the screen.

To zoom in, select Zoom In on the menu. On iPhone/iPad devices, pinch and drag gestures on the touch screen zoom and pan the screen.

View the total amount of data used (BlackBerry only)

Select Data Usage on the menu.

Enable or disable the soft keyboard

Select one of the keyboard or function keyboard icons from the Touch Pointer.

Select Keyboard or Function Keys from the menu or options.