Linux Administrator must have been familiar with Telnet and SSH. These tools will help them to connect to the server remotely. But on their laptop / computer, they may not use a console based operating system. For those who use Linux on their laptop, there is another tool named PAC Manager.
What is PAC Manager?
PAC Manager is an open source GUI based tool for configuring and managing remote SSH/Telnet connections. It supports RDP, VNC, Macros, Cluster connections, pre/post connections, local executions, EXPECT regular expressions and much more. It can displays the connections in tabs or separate windows and it gives a notification icon for easy access to your configured connections.
Installation of PAC Manager in Linux
Since it’s basically a GUI interface, you may need to install SSH client and Telnet client on your computer. You may download the latest PAC Manager software at this URL:
PAC Manager is available in RPM, DEB and TAR.GZ packages. Both in 32 bit and 64 bit version. On Debian, Ubuntu and Linux Mint you may install it using dpkg command.
$ sudo wget -c http://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/pacmanager/pac-4.0/pac-126.96.36.199-all.deb $ sudo dpkg -i pac-188.8.131.52-all.deb
On RHEL, Fedora and CentOS you may install it using rpm command.
On 32 bit Systems
$ sudo wget -c http://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/pacmanager/pac-4.0/pac-184.108.40.206-2.i386.rpm $ sudo rpm -ivh pac-220.127.116.11-2.i386.rpm
On 64 bit Systems
$ sudo wget -c http://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/pacmanager/pac-4.0/pac-18.104.22.168-2.x86_64.rpm $ sudo rpm -ivh pac-22.214.171.124-2.x86_64.rpm
On my Linux Mint, I found error like this. If you also get similar error.
$ sudo dpkg -i pac-126.96.36.199-all.deb Selecting previously unselected package pac. (Reading database ... 141465 files and directories currently installed.) Unpacking pac (from pac-188.8.131.52-all.deb) ... dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of pac: .....
To fix it, you should run.
$ sudo apt-get -f install
The -f parameter tell apt-get to fix-broken dependencies. Then to make sure that the error has gone, I re-run the installation using dpkg command
pungki@mint15 ~/Downloads $ sudo dpkg -i pac-184.108.40.206-all.deb (Reading database ... 142322 files and directories currently installed.) Preparing to replace pac 220.127.116.11 (using pac-18.104.22.168-all.deb) ... Unpacking replacement pac ... Setting up pac (22.214.171.124) ... Processing triggers for man-db ... Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils ... Processing triggers for gnome-menus ... pungki@mint15 ~/Downloads $
PAC Manager Features
Here, we discuss some useful features with screenshots.
PAC supports multi protocol from FTP, SSH, RDP, VNC and many more. Please ensure the protocol that you need is already installed before create a connection with PAC Manager. For example on my Linux Mint, I have to install rdesktop package before creating a Remote Desktop (RDP) connection entry.
Once rdesktop installed, I can use RDP to remote Windows machine.
If you run multiple remote connections using PAC Manager, those connections will be shown in Tabs. PAC Manager can also display a local console in it’s Tab. Just click a terminal icon on the bottom. So you can manage remote connections and local console in the same Window.
You can also split connections display Just right click on the connections tab name, and choose Split > Horizontally with TAB or Vertically with TAB.
When you are behind proxy server, PAC provide proxy parameter to be set. Proxy parameter can be set globally or for each connections.
If you manage multiple servers and you have the same task to do on those servers, you can use the Cluster connections feature. Cluster connection will open a window with multiple connections to specified hosts inside. Any text typed into one of the hosts will be replicated to all other connected and active hosts.
This feature will be useful if you need to run the same commands on each host. Performing these commands will ensure that all hosts are kept synced.
To add a cluster, you need to click on the Cluster tab which located on the left pane. Then click Manage Clusters to display PAC Cluster Management.
First, you have to create a Cluster name. Click Add button and give it a name. Next you can assign cluster members from Running Clusters, Saved Clusters or Auto Clusters on the right pane.
A list of available connections will appear in the left pane. You can choose them and click Add to cluster button. Then click OK to save it.
To run the cluster, you can back to Cluster tab. Choose the cluster name and click Connect button which available on the bottom.
Managing multiple servers mean managing multiple credentials. It is not easy to remember all credentials. For those who use KeePass Password Safe will happy to know this. PAC Manager can use KeePass database password to avoid user inputting credential manually.
PAC Manager can take credentials from KeePass database and load it automatically for you. Of course you have to supply KeePass master password to open the database.
To enable KeePass integration you must have KeePass software installed first. After that, you can select Infer ‘User / Password’ from KeePassX where parameter.
By default title field will be a reference to be checked by PAC Manager. The available fields are comment, created, password, title, url and username.
The next step is you need to provide a Perl Regulars Expression pattern to be checked inside the KeePass database. Then press Check button to see the result.
Of course there are many other interesting features in the PAC Manager such as Wake On LAN and scripting support via Perl script. This article simply peels the features that may be used in day-to-day needs.
That’s it for now, I will be come-up again with another great article, till then stay tuned to TecMint.com for more such great howto’s. Please don’t forget to share and give your valuable comments.
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