Photo by Karsten Würth on Unsplash

Photo by Karsten Würth on Unsplash

Self-hosted remote support

Direct Line

Article from ADMIN 80/2024
RustDesk supports self-hosted cross-platform remote support and maintenance. The client and optional basic server are open source and available free of charge.

RustDesk software [1] for remote support and maintenance is a recommended alternative to the established relay servers from commercial vendors. The relatively new project offers source code on the GitHub platform [2] under the GNU Affero General Public License version 3 (AGPLv3). In this article, I look at the free version's basic feature set.

Relay Servers

Depending on the operating system, Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), Apple Remote Desktop (ARD), and Virtual Network Computing (VNC) have all proven their value as protocols for accessing the graphical user interface (GUI) of remote computers on local networks. However, in today's world, with remote work becoming increasingly common, remote maintenance software that communicates securely and reliably over public networks is becoming indispensable for companies.

Regardless of whether users are looking for help on private company networks, family and friends need assistance in the home office, or someone runs into problems while on the move on a mobile network, contacting devices securely over the Internet is not easy. The established providers of remote maintenance software solve this dilemma by running publicly accessible relay servers.

Clients log on to the relay server, which typically assigns them a random identification number (ID) and establishes a secure connection by exchanging the ID and password. As a rule, however, the known players charge a monthly or annual fee and keep the source code of their software a secret. Besides the costs, you also need to trust the provider.

Cross-Platform, Free, Open Source

Development of RustDesk started in 2020 and has gained significant momentum since 2023. According to GitHub, the main developer of the

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