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The instructions below are for the bVNC vncviewer, which can be downloaded for free from the Google Play store. This supports SSH tunnelling, so it is not necessary to set this up manually.

Before opening the VNC viewer, you will need to SSH onto remote to start a VNC session on dataview, as described above. To do this, you will need an SSH app. These instructions are for the JuiceSSH app, which is also available for free from the Google Play store.


Front screen:

The front screen contains a link to the ‘Connections’ screen, a list of ‘Frequently Used’ connections, a link to ‘Unlock Pro Features’ (not necessary for remote observing), and a link to ‘Settings’ for the app.

There ate two options for making an SSH cpnnection: Quick Connect or New Connection. For both, start by choosing ‘Connections’ near top of screen to open the Connections screen:

Option 1:
The ‘Quick Connect’ button at the bottom-left of the screen brings up a quick connection dialogue with a couple of settings. You should leave Type:SSH and change [username]@hostmame[:port] to ⟨username⟩ (where ⟨username⟩ is your Arecibo username). If you leave the ‘remember connection’ box checked, this connection will be available in future from the Connections screen under the name ‘’.After filling in the fields, Hit ‘OK’ to connect.
Option 2:
The ‘New Connection’ button at the bottom-right of the screen brings up the connection settings screen. This allows you to give your connection a nickname, which will identify it on the Connections screen and under ‘Frequently Used’ on the front screen. Type should be left as SSH, Address should be, and Identity should be your Arecibo username. Once you have filled these in, hit the ‘Save’ button and you will be returned to the Connections screen, where your new connection will appear identified by the nickname you gave it (or as if you did not supply a nickname). You can tap this to connect.

If this is the first time you have connected to remote, you will be prompted to accept the SSH key. You have to accept this in order to continue connecting. You will get an ‘Authentication Failure’ dialogue box, where you will be prompted for your password. You can choose to remember your password for future use (this is probably only useful if you’ve saved the connection!). After successfully entering this, you will be connected. You can now SSH onto dataview to start your VNC session, as described above.

Managing Connections:

To connect to a saved connection (either from the Connection screen or under ‘Frequently Used’ on the front screen, simply tap it.

If you want to remove or edit a connection saved on the Connections screen, press and hold the entry on the Connections screen until the ‘Manage Connection’ dialogue appears. (It seems this can only be done from the Connections screen, not from ‘Frequently Used’.) ‘Edit’ brings up the connection settings screen (see Option 2, above), the other entries should be obvious.

If you need to clear an SSH key, this can be done from the ‘Settings’ screen off the front page using the ‘Clear known hosts’ button. This will clear all SSH keys; it does not seem to be possible to clear individual keys. You will then have to accept the new SSH key the next time you connect to remote, as if it was the first time you were making the connection.

bVNC Free:

If you haven’t used bVNC before, it should open with ‘New Connection’ at the top of the screen. If you have used it before, this will be replaced by the name of the last connection you used – if you do not want to use this, tap on the name to bring up a drop-down menu from which you can select New Connection (or the name of another connection you want to use).

Under ‘Connection Type’, you shoul select ‘Secure VNC over SSH’. Once selected, a section of ‘SSH Tunnel Settings’ will appear. Just below ‘Connection Type’, you can give your session a name, if you so desire.

Under ‘SSH Tunnel Settings’, enter as the SSH Server, your Arecibo username as SSH Username, and your Arecibo account password as SSH Password.

Under ‘VNC Connection Settings’, enter dataview as VNC Host (this may have defaulted to localhost, if so delete that first), 59NN as Port (this may have defaulted to 5900, if so delete that first), and your VNC password as the VNC Password. VNC Username can be left blank.

Once the settings have been filled in, hit the ‘Connect’ button at the top-right to make the VNC connection.

Navigating the VNC screen:

You can zoom in our out using the standard pinch/expand gestures, and can pan around the screen by swiping. Tapping sends a single left-click, double-tapping sends a left double-click, holding with one finger and tapping with a second or hitting the android ‘back’ button sends a right click, holding with one finger and tapping with two fingers sends a middle click, and swiping with two fingers emulates turning a mouse scroll wheel.

If you tap on the screen, a ghost image of a keyboard will appear on the right-centre of the window. Tapping this will open your normal soft keyboard.

At the bottom-centre of the screen, you will see a ghost image that looks a bit like an arrow-key pad. Tapping this will open the arrow keys on the right and special keys (ctrl, alt, etc.) on the left. Most of the special keys are toggles that you use with the keyboard. If you have special keys on your keyboard normally, they may not work with bVNC.,/p>

The menu button (three dots in a vertical line) at the bottom-right allows you to change various options, see help (under ‘More’) and disconnect the session (which returns you to the front screen). When on the front screen (not connected to a session) it allows you to save a copy of your current connection, delete the current connection, or to see help.