Technology-LiveWe're two 20 year olds building free open source software and we just launched our new project Ulterius: a brand new way to access your computer from any web browser. AMA!
Sep 6th 2016 by codeusasoft • 30 Questions • 1099 Points
Who We Are
Just two people who love FOSS.
- Andrew Sampson (/u/codeusasoft/) - Built the core server
- Evan Banyash (/u/frobthebuilder/) - Built the HTML5 client
What the heck is Ulterius
Ulterius is an open-source, free software utility that provides users with complete access to their computer, all from their browser. You can do everything from remote-desktop to web cam streaming and we're getting more features by the day. You can find more information on our blog here
Want to help out?
We are always looking for more contributors, even the smallest commits make a difference.
Official site: https://ulterius.io/
Source code: https://github.com/ulterius
You can also follow the development on Twitter
Ask us anything!
Are you concerned that your project name looks a lot like "uterus"?
I embrace it
You've stated that it's a brand new way to access your computer from a browser. But in what ways?
The focus of the project is to create a simple to use solution that gives you instantaneous access to various parts of your machine. So if you just need to start a process or download a file, you can do that without actually needing to do a full remote desktop session, of course you still have that option.
Seconded. These two cover just about everything I could imagine wanting to use.
Well just to give you and /u/Dudebromancer a heads up Google is killing Chrome apps on every OS except ChromeOS so Chrome Remote Desktop will be losing support soon.
Um .... Teamviewer have a web client, I almost exclusively use it for machine access
TeamViewer is simply a remote desktop application, Ulterius focuses more productivity and ease of access. While Ulterius has screen share abilities, it gives you the tools needed to avoid needing such a session.
So this lets you do the same things that remote desktop solutions or SSH let you do?
Or does the tool give you some special UI for specific tasks, on top of being a remote desktop solution?
It isn't just remote desktop. you can check it out for yourself right here https://blog.ulterius.io/meet-ulterius/
We have a lot more administration features planned for this month.
Is any information collected? If your servers were to get "hacked" would that give the hackers the ability to remotely use your desktop easier? What measure do you guys take to ensure safety from these type of threats?
We ask to collect hardware information for development reasons, it helps us better understand the types of systems running Ulterius and in some cases fix rare bugs. You can deny the request, you get a prompt when you first run the software.
Nothing routes through our servers, so even if our servers got hacked, your computer would still be fine. You can control if Ulterius can even be connected to outside your local network. All traffic is encrypted and is only ever between you and your computer.
Speaking of bugs where do we report? My install was unsuccessful, error said "Ulterius Server setup ended prematurely because of an error."
You can open an issue here
How is safety on this in terms of Security? :) This sounds neat btw. I love seeing new project ppl are working on. Any views on how this will change current ways to remote desktop? Ill give it a try and read up more on it. Good luck!
**Reading the blog helped a lot lol. This sounds pretty awesome!
Ulterius uses AES/RSA to encrypt traffic, nothing is in plaintext. It uses a similar handshake to TLS. Instructions for installing a certificate will be on the wiki very soon. The login currently supports local and domain account authentication. There are plans to make it extendable into custom methods of validation (say by your own api). 2-FA authentication is coming in the next major update.
Hopefully it encourages people to move away from overpriced solutions as we start rolling out more and more commercial features.
What core problem do you believe you're solving by creating this software?
As an experienced coder, I can ssh into my own computer at any point and do the things you're saying you can do. As a non-coder, what do I gain by having this access?
Remote desktop lacks innovation, all the major solutions you see do the same thing, however with Ulterius you're able to do more using less; I can kill an unresponsive process, I can turn on a webcam to see what my cats up to, I can flush my dns, all without ever remoting into the actual desktop. Because it works in the browser, you never have to worry about losing access. You may not always have an SSH terminal on hand, but you will always find a web browser.
How does Ulterius handle multiple monitors on remote machines?
That seems to be the main falling-down point for remote desktop software, IMO.
Monitor switching is coming in the next patch, right now it defaults to the primary. With the next patch you should be able to quickly go from monitor to monitor.
This seems like a really cool project. Is the login method independent of the current network that the server computer is on? For instance, if my computer is connected to an internal University network, a typical FTP setup won't work unless I got the University IT department to do some port forwarding. Will I run into any issues like this when using Ulterius?
This attempts to use UPNP to give you public address access, I would say your best bet is to try and if it doesn't work I will add it to the TODO list for the week.
Can I open and edit files on my computer with the application that is installed? Example: Editing and saving an Adobe Illustrator files from the web browser. Follow up question: Can I also use all of the short cuts I have set up?
If you use the screen share feature, yes.
I'll be sure to check out your project, I love seeing other peoples solutions. We started seriously working on Ulterius about 8 months ago, it started as a media remote and became this.
First off, this is awesome! I'm very excited to try this out.
Secondly, have you done any experiments using this through nginx or other reverse proxy setups?
Obviously some of us aren't keen on straight port forwarding and would prefer an ssl encrypted reverse proxy.
You can find an example reverse proxy config on our blog post here
I'm a software engineer at a data firm.
Really interested in this product. Can you provide me with an example of how this is helpful. And also there is a company with the EXACT same name, advertising you as a data cloud service/ routers. Can you explain?
This is a complete administration solution that allows a multitude of different things. In addition some features coming out this month include job/script scheduling, plugin support and a more advanced remote terminal. The benefit of Ulterius is that you're able to take advantage of your computer, without needing to completely remote inside it thus saving bandwidth and increasing productivity.