How to Use KCM

User Guide - Launching Connections


A connection can be launched by either clicking "Launch" or clicking on item from the list.

Launching a Connection

When you launch a connection, you will be instantly connected to the remote display from your web browser. You can interact with this display as if your mouse and keyboard are connected directly to the remote machine.

The remote display will take up the entire browser window, with no buttons or menus to disturb the view. With the intent of providing a seamless experience, options specific to remote desktop are hidden within the Keeper Connection Manager menu, which can be opened as needed.

The Keeper Connection Manager sidebar menu provides many features that you can use during your remote session.

To show or hide the menu, use the keystrokes below:

On Windows or Linux: Use Ctrl+Alt+Shift

On Mac: Use Ctrl+Option+Shift

If you are using a mobile or touchscreen device that lacks a keyboard, you can also show the menu by swiping right from the left edge of the screen.

The Keeper Connection Manager menu provides many features including:

  • Reading to and from the clipboard on the remote device

  • Switching between connections and joining multiple connections

  • Navigating back to the Home Screen

  • Disconnecting from the current connection

  • Sharing the current connection (if external sharing is configured)

  • Changing keyboard input method

  • Zooming in and out of the remote display

  • Selecting alternative mouse emulation methods

Clipboard Management

At the top of the Keeper Connection Manager menu is a text area labeled “Clipboard” along with some basic instructions:

Text copied/cut within Keeper Connection Manager will appear here. Changes to the text below will affect the remote clipboard.

The text area functions as an interface between the remote clipboard and the local clipboard. Text from the local clipboard can be pasted into the text area, causing that text to be sent to the clipboard of the remote desktop. Similarly, if you copy or cut text within the remote desktop, you will see that text within the text area, and can manually copy it into the local clipboard if desired.

Switching and Tiling connections

If you have access to more than one connection, clicking the current connection name at the top of the Keeper Connection Manager menu will open a drop-down menu containing a list of your other available connections. Clicking on the name of another connection in this drop-down menu will immediately switch to that connection.

The previous connection will remain running as a thumbnail within a panel attached to the lower-right corner of the screen. This panel updates in real-time and remains visible as long as you have multiple active connections, even if you navigate away to another part of the Keeper Connection Manager application:

Clicking on any connection within the panel will navigate back to that connection, while clicking the “X” icon in the upper-right corner of the connection thumbnail will immediately close the connection.

Tiling Connections

Multiple connections may also be opened simultaneously within the same view by clicking the checkboxes next to the names of those connections in the connection menu. All connections opened in this way are automatically arranged in equally-sized tiles to fill the available area.

With multiple connections displayed as tiles, keyboard interaction and the Keeper Connection Manager menu will only affect the currently focused connection, as indicated by the blue title and border. Clicking or tapping within another connection will change the focus and allow keyboard interaction with that connection.

Typing with Multiple Connections

By holding down Ctrl (to select an individual connection) or Shift (to select a rectangle of connections), multiple connection may be focused at the same time. While multiple connections are focused, each key pressed will be broadcast across each focused connection:

This is particularly useful for running the same series of commands on multiple computers. Further, since Keeper Connection Manager automatically translates between the user’s local keyboard layout and the keyboard layout of the remote server, this will work as expected even if the keyboard layouts of focused connections do not match.

Disconnecting and Navigation

When you are done using the current connection, or you wish to navigate elsewhere temporarily, options to do so are within the user menu inside the Keeper Connection Manager menu:

The user menu within the Keeper Connection Manager menu provides an additional “Disconnect” option that allows you to explicitly close the current connection only. Clicking “Logout” will also implicitly disconnect all active connections, including the current connection.

Navigating back to the home screen or to the settings screen will not disconnect you: your connection will continue running in the background while you change settings or initiate another connection, and you can resume any active connection by clicking on it within the home screen.

Transferring Files

You can transfer files back and forth between your local computer and the remote desktop if it is supported by the underlying protocol and enabled on the connection. Currently, Keeper Connection Manager supports file transfer for VNC, RDP, and SSH, using either the native file transfer support of the protocol or SFTP.

Files can be transferred to the remote computer by dragging and dropping the files into your browser window, or through using the file browser located in the Keeper Connection Manager menu.

While transferring files, a dialog on the lower right will display the status.

Using the File Browser

If file transfer is enabled on the connection, you will see one or more filesystem devices listed within the Keeper Connection Manager menu. Clicking on one of the filesystems opens a file browser which lists the files and directories within that filesystem.

Double-clicking on any directory will change the current location of the file browser to that directory, updating the list of files shown as well as the “breadcrumbs” at the top of the file browser. Clicking on any of the directory names listed in the breadcrumbs will bring you back to that directory, and clicking on the drive icon on the far left will bring you all the way back to the root level.

Downloads are initiated by double-clicking on any file shown, while uploads are initiated by clicking the “Upload Files” button. Clicking “Upload Files” will open a file browsing dialog where you can choose one or more files from your local computer, ultimately uploading the selected files to the directory currently displayed within the file browser.

The state of all file uploads can be observed within the notification dialog that appears once an upload begins, and can be cleared once completed by clicking the “Clear” button. Downloads are tracked through your browser’s own download notification system.

When you are done browsing the filesystem and transferring files, click “Back” to return to the Keeper Connection Manager menu.

The RDP Virtual Drive

RDP provides its own native support for file transfer called “drive redirection” or “RDPDR”. Keeper Connection Manager provides support for this mechanism by emulating a virtual drive. Typically, this virtual drive will appear as a network drive within the RDP session. Files uploaded and downloaded will be preserved within this drive, even after disconnecting.

Files can be downloaded from this drive using the file browser in the Keeper Connection Manager menu or using the special “Download” folder within the virtual drive. All files dropped into this folder will automatically begin uploading to the client, and thus downloading through the browser.

guacctl / guacget

In addition to using the traditional drag-and-drop and the file browser, Keeper Connection Manager SSH support can be used with the guacctl utility. The guacctl utility is a simple shell script included with Guacamole (and supported by Keeper Connection Manager) which allows you to use and configure file transfer directly from the command line within the SSH session:

$ guacctl
guacctl 0.8.0, Guacamole SSH session control utility.
Usage: guacctl [OPTION] [FILE]...

    -d, --download         download each of the files listed.
    -s, --set-directory    set the destination directory for future uploaded 
$ guacctl -d FILENAME
$ guacctl -s DIRECTORY

For convenience, you may also create a symbolic link or alias to guacctl called guacget. When run as guacget, the utility behaves as if the --download option were supplied and initiates a download for each file specified on the command line.

On-screen Keyboard

Certain key combinations are impossible to press within a web application like Keeper Connection Manager because they are reserved by the operating system (Ctrl+Alt+Del or Alt+Tab, for example) or by the web browser. If you press one of these reserved combinations, the effect will be observed locally, not remotely, and the remote desktop will receive only some of the keys.

Keeper Connection Manager provides its own, built-in on-screen keyboard which allows keys to be sent to the remote desktop without affecting the local system. If the device you’re using does not have certain keys which the remote desktop depends on, such as the arrow keys or Ctrl, you can use the on-screen keyboard for this, too. You can show the on-screen keyboard by selecting the “On-screen keyboard” option from the menu.

Clicking (or tapping) the buttons of the on-screen keyboard has the same effect as pressing the same buttons on a real keyboard, except that the operating system and browser will not intercept these keypresses; they will only be sent to the remote desktop.

Scaling the display

Keeper Connection Manager will default to shrinking or expanding the remote display to fit the browser window exactly, but this is not necessarily ideal. If the remote display is much larger than your local display, the screen may be impossible to see or interact with. This is especially true for mobile phones, whose screens need to be small enough to fit in the average hand.

You can scale the display on touch devices by using the familiar pinch gesture. Place two fingers on the screen and bring them closer together to zoom out or further apart to zoom in.

If your device lacks a touch screen, you can also control the zoom level through the menu. The controls for zooming in and out are located at the bottom of the menu. The current zoom level is displayed between two “-” and “+” buttons which control the zoom level in 10% increments.

Mobile or touch devices

Keeper Connection Manager is designed to work equally well across all HTML5 browsers, including those of mobile devices. It will automatically handle input from a touch screen or a traditional mouse (or both, if you happen to have such a gifted computer), and provides alternative input methods for devices which lack a physical keyboard.

Mouse emulation

In the case that your device has a touchscreen and lacks a mouse, Keeper Connection Manager will emulate a mouse for the sake of interacting with remote desktops that expect mouse input. By default, Keeper Connection Manager uses “absolute” mouse emulation. This means that the mouse pointer is positioned at the location of each tap on the screen.

In both absolute and relative modes, you can click-and-drag by tapping the screen and then quickly placing your finger back down. This gesture only causes the mouse button to press down, but does not release it again until you lift your finger back up.

Absolute mode (touchscreen)

Absolute mouse emulation is the default as it tends to be what people expect when using a touch device to interact with applications designed for mouse input.

Each tap on the screen is translated into a left-click at that position. Right-clicking is accomplished through pressing and holding your finger on the screen. If parts of the remote display are off-screen, you can drag your finger around the screen to pan the off-screen parts back into view.

Although absolute mouse emulation works generally well, a finger makes for a very inaccurate pointing device. To address this, Keeper Connection Manager also provides “relative” mouse emulation. Relative mouse emulation provides a way to deal with the need for accurate pointer control, when a true pointer device is not present.

Relative mode (touchpad)

Keeper Connection Manager's relative mouse emulation behaves similarly to the touchpad present on most modern laptops. You drag your finger across the display to move the mouse pointer, and tap the display to left-click. The pointer moves relative to the motion of your finger. Right-clicking is accomplished with a two-finger tap, and middle-clicking with a three-finger tap. The mouse scroll wheel can be operated by dragging two fingers up or down.

Because the relative mouse emulation reserves so many gestures for the different mouse buttons and actions, common touch gestures like panning and pinch-to-zoom will not work while relative mouse emulation is enabled. Instead, the screen will automatically pan to keep the mouse pointer in view, and you can zoom through the buttons in the menu.

Typing without a physical keyboard

Many mobile devices lack a physical keyboard entirely, and instead provide their own on-screen keyboards. As these are not true keyboards per se and do not produce key presses, Keeper Connection Manager's text input mode is required for typing on these platforms.

“Text input” allows input of keystrokes based on the input of text. Choosing “Text input” tells Keeper Connection Manager to infer keystrokes by tracking text entered, rather than relying on actual key presses. Keeper Connection Manager will instead determine the combination of keypresses necessary to produce the same pattern of input, including deletions.

If you wish to type via an IME (input method editor), such as those required for Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, text input mode is required for this as well. Such IMEs function through the explicit insertion of text and do not send traditional key presses. Using text input mode within Keeper Connection Manager thus allows you to use a locally-installed IME, without requiring the IME to be installed on the remote desktop.

Changing preferences

User preferences can be changed within the settings screen under the "Preferences" tab. These preferences are stored locally within the browser, so if you use multiple computers to access Keeper Connection Manager, you can have different settings for each location. The settings screen allows users to change the language of the Keeper Connection Manager interface, to change the default input method used by Keeper Connection Manager connections, and to change the default mouse emulation mode for if a touch device is used. If you have sufficient permissions, you may also change your password, or administer the system.

Display language

The Keeper Connection Manager interface is currently available in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, and Russian. By default, Keeper Connection Manager will attempt to determine the appropriate display language by checking the language preferences of the browser in use. If this fails, or the browser is using a language not yet available within Keeper Connection Manager, English will be used as a fallback.

If you wish to override the current display language, you can do so by selecting a different language within the “Display language” field. The change will take effect immediately.

Changing your password

System administrators can restrict the ability of individual users to change their own passwords, so this section may not always be available. If your account does have permission, the preferences screen will contain a “Change Password” section.

To change your password, you must provide your current password, enter the desired new password, and click “Update Password”. You will remain logged in, and the change will affect any future login attempt.

Default input settings

Keeper Connection Manager provides multiple keyboard input methods and multiple mouse emulation modes. Many of these settings are specifically useful for touch devices, while others are aimed mainly at traditional desktop use. By default, Keeper Connection Manager will use the keyboard and mouse modes most commonly preferred by users, but you can change these defaults if they do not fit your tastes or your current device.

The choices available mirror those within the Keeper Connection Manager menu discussed earlier in this chapter, and changing these settings will affect the default values selected within the Keeper Connection Manager menu of future connections.

Sharing Connections

In order for a connection to be shared, an admin must first create a sharing profile. See the admin documentation for more details.

To initiate a connection share, from within a connection session first open the connection menu using Ctrl+Shift+Win (Ctrl+Shift+Cmd for Mac). When at least one sharing profile exists for the connection, the "Sharing" menu will appear next to the user's name.

Click "Sharing" to see a list of the sharing profiles for this connection.

Select which profile to use and click it to create a sharing URL which can be shared to give anyone access to this connection session.

When someone without an account in this Keeper Connection Manager system connects to the session, they will have full access to the connection (unless "Read Only" was selected in the sharing profile settings) however they will not have a user menu, or sharing menu.

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