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My University doesn't let me browse their article database if I am not behind their firewall. But I want to read some papers while not at home. So I want to find some way of remote browsing.

My laptop is a Mac and I plan to have this with me when I am on holidays. My ordinary computer which is stationed in my apartment, and from which I can access the database of my University, is running Ubuntu.


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Is there no way you can dial into a VPN? Can you install (e.g. remote desktop) software on your university computer? Can't you download the papers in advance, hoping to get all the important ones? – Daniel Beck Apr 9 '11 at 10:51
If I can install software on my uni's serverboxes? I did not ask them... Although I know some chinese students was able to approx. 1.5 years ago. And don't ask me how I know that. – r4. Apr 9 '11 at 17:12
Since then CS students are only allowed to play with solaris machines. (Yes I know Sun as a brand is now bought by the database company). Really, we use plenty of solaris and it is actually pretty educational. They are slow but who cares? Ether that or bring your own computer. Here in sweden we are a bit after the rest of the world. My uni's main merit is physics research, not cs. – r4. Apr 9 '11 at 17:18
Same goes for non CS students. Like myself. – r4. Apr 9 '11 at 23:36
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Now since your desktop is also behind a firewall you won't be able to ssh or rdp into it from the outside (since they propably won't setup the nat for you)...

what you can try is using a free vpn service like LogMeIn-hamachi This service is free and works in a way that both your desktop and laptop would connect to a logmein server and the server would then link you up.

This way you can connect to your desktop by entering the ip that logmein gave to you.

Now what you want to do to get connected to it might require you to also run ubuntu on your laptop since I don't know if mac supports this.

You need to setup an ssh server on your desktop by installing openssh-server

In console: [aptitude install openssh-server]

Then on your laptop you can connect to your desktop's ssh server and use it as a proxy...

In console: [ssh -D 8080 logmeinip] (replace logmeinip with the ip that your desktop has on logmein)

Then you need to set your browser proxy to localhost or on port 8080 (also do this for local ip's)

Ans now you should be able to browse the database without limitation.

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since your desktop is also behind a firewall you won't be able to ssh or rdp into it from the outside — good thinking! – Arjan Apr 9 '11 at 11:09
Thanks. Very helpful. – r4. Apr 9 '11 at 17:08

Can you ssh into the university server? If so, then you should be able to set up an ssh tunnel:

ssh -N -p 22 -L 2025/localhost/25

Here's a breakdown of the command:

  • ssh - the actual SSH command

  • -N tells SSH we don't want to execute a remote command. Not terribly necessary, but makes it safer.

  • - account and SSH host info. user name will at server

  • -L 2110/localhost/110 This one creates the tunnel. It tells SSH to forward traffic from port 2110 on the local machine to port 110 on the remote machine.

After running the command, you can set your web browser's proxy settings with (in this case):

  • host: localhost
  • port: 2025
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As he said he's unable to connect to the university server from the outside :/ – HTDutchy Apr 9 '11 at 10:46
@s4uadmin All we know is that he cannot "browse their article database". This does not necessarily mean that there is not a suitable server, somewhere in the university network, that allows incoming ssh. – sblair Apr 9 '11 at 11:01

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