...From Scratch.

FAQ's, HOWTO's & Documentation

Application FAQ's

Why doesn't:

  1. Netmeeting
  2. MSN Messenger
  3. ICQ
  4. a online-playable game
  5. VNC

work correctly through Freesco and can I fix it?

1) IRC?

IRC (Internet Relay Chat) should work just fine through Freesco. If you are having problems it may be down to one of a few things that may need to be configured first.

IRC networks often require "IDENT" requests. An IDENT "daemon" usually runs on every computer that uses IRC (sometimes one is even integrated into the IRC software itself) and provides a username to the IRC server whenever it requests it. Back in the days when computer accounts were rare, IDENT was a good way to identify the user who was using the computer at the time, thus making it very reliable for such things as checking if you are indeed the "Fred Bloggs" who has some rights on an IRC channel rather than any "Fred Bloggs" who used your ISP. Nowadays, it's not relied on but it still acts as a semi-authentication scheme.

Freesco, by default, blocks IDENT requests and some IRC networks may refuse your connection if they cannot IDENT your computer. Others may refuse you access to your account if you do not IDENT correctly. Some channel-banning, auto-op and similar systems that rely not just on someone having a particular username may use IDENT.

Thankfully, this problem is easily solved using an official Freesco package. The Freesco package "oidentd" can be installed using the command:

installpkg oidentd

This installs a forwarding daemon which forwards any IDENT requests to the machine on the network that holds the connection, thus allowing normal IDENT operation.

Once this package is installed, IDENT requests are also logged into the Freesco system log, as well as the reply which was returned.

2) Netmeeting

Due to Netmeeting's reliance on the H323 protocol, which isn't well supported on Linux 2.0.x and therefore Freesco, Netmeeting doesn't have the full complement of features working correctly when running through Freesco. Most notably video, audio and whiteboard features will not work properly. Normal chat appears to work fine.

The H323 protocol has little or no support under Linux 2.0.x and it uses a wide range of port numbers. Simply forwarding all these port numbers will fix the problems, but it will leave the firewall wide-open and pretty much useless and only one computer on the internal network will be able to use NetMeeting. Until a proper kernel module for H323 can be found and compiled for Freesco, these other features of NetMeeting will not work.

3) MSN Messenger

MSN Messenger has similar problems to NetMeeting. Currently, MSN Messenger works fine for chat but not for file-tranmission or reception, or for audio.

4) ICQ

ICQ seems to work correctly through Freesco without problems. ICQ logins are logged in the Freesco system log.

5) an online-playable game

Most games that can be played over networks or the Internet require certain ports to be open. Many games developers sites will list the ports that you would need to forward to play them through a router such as Freesco. Some games have explicit support already within Freesco, namely the Quake series and games directly based on their architecture.

6) VNC

VNC (Virtual Network Computing) from AT&T Labs is a piece of software which allows machines to be remotely controlled across the Internet as if you were using them directly. Freesco by default will not allow connections on the VNC ports to penetrate the firewall from outside, thus VNC servers inside the local network will not be available to the outside Internet. To make this possible requires several TCP ports to be forwarded from Freesco's web control panel.

5500 For Listen mode to work correctly
5800 For Java applet access to display 0
5801 For Java applet access to display 1
... ...
5899 For Java applet access to display 99
5900 For display 0
5901 For display 1
... ...
5999 For display 99

The relevant port will need to be forwarded to the machine running the VNC server. You can perform some trickery here. For example, forwarding port 5900 to computer 1 port 5900, port 5901 to computer 2 port 5900 etc. will let you run all the computers serving display 0, and you can connect to up to 99 computers by connecting to the relevant "display" of the Freesco machine.

Thus "display 0" of computer 1 would appear as "display 0" of the Freesco machine. "display 0" of computer 2 would appear as "display 1" of the Freesco machine and so on.

Please be aware that VNC is a dangerous and insecure program to allow outside clients to access unless you are encrypting the traffic using SSH or similar. This instance may require further configuration to work correctly.

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