For my Remote Pair Programming session with Alexandru Bolboaca, I wanted to work on our actual code, not toy programs. It was hard finding a technical solution to allow this (despite the many suggestions I received on Twitter; the biggest issue is sharing the entire development environment), but I finally settled on LogMeIn. LogMeIn basically lets you create an ad hoc VPN with them serving as a middle man. The great thing with it is that all the configuration is done on the client machines. There is nothing to change on firewalls (especially important for the other people that you are working with).
LogMeIn has a download that seems very simple to use… as long as you are under Windows. It also has a Mac OS X version and a Linux version, but they hardly come with any documentation. What’s worse, it is hard to find additional information on the support site.
So, for your eyes only, here are some instructions on how to get LogMeIn to run under Linux. (this applies only to the client machine; setting up the network can be done entirely on LogMeIn’s website)
My configuration: Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx 64 bits with LogMeIn Hamachi 126.96.36.199-1. (Hamachi is a protocal that creates a VPN that goes through their servers)
- First, create a login on http://www.logmein.com/
- Install their Linux client. Just double-clicking it after download should be enough.
- Configure the client in the command line :
- hamachi login
- hamachi attach <your email on logmein>
- hamachi set-nick <a human-readable user name for you; any should do>
- hamachi do-join <id of the VPN previously created on LogMeIn>
- The password is the one specified by the domain creator. This is not the password for your login.
- Wait for domain creator to approve your machine on the virtual network (you might need to send an email to remind her of that)
Done! From that point, you can use VNC or anything else to connect to a remote computer. Use something like ifconfig on the remote computer and use the IP address under the ham0 entry (ham is for Hamachi, obviously). The IP address has an unusual value such as 188.8.131.52.