I have looked at bunch of different remote protocols lately. I’m trying really hard to find something that could compete with Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol but so far, I’m having no luck.
I manage Win 2003 servers and XP pro machines at work. Funny thing, I can essentially do everything without getting up from my desk. Thanks to the excellent rdesktop client I don’t even have to run windows on my machine. I can connect to any windows machine straight from my Ubuntu laptop, and essentially see a full screen desktop session. I found that the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) just can’t be matched with respect to speed over a LAN connection. I use it on a daily basis to connect to various machines in the office, and I essentially experience no lag, slowness or display artifacts.
I have tried various VNC servers and clients but they are all essentially the same: slow as molasses. Compared to RDP, the Remote FrameBuffer (RFB) protocol is just sluggish and unresponsive – especially if you use full screen, true color display on the client side. There is just no comparison.
In fact, I have noticed that on the same LAN RDP will actually preform faster than straight X-forwarding. But then this might just be because I was forwarding X over an SSH connection when RDP is unencrypted.
Recently I started looking at the NX technology. It is supposed to be built on top of X and offer really high speed, and high quality connections comparable to RDP. The NX server is only available for linux and unix platforms, but there are clients for all platforms including Windows and OSX. I haven’t had a chance to test it yet, but it sounds like a really viable solution for connecting to linux machines.
Unfortunately, it is proprietary software so if NoMachine does not support your system, you won’t be able to use it.
There is not much else out there, excluding bunch of proprietary services – most of which use the slow RBF technology anyway.
Do you have a favorite remote protocol? Is it better than sluggish VNC? Let me know! I would love to try it.
Sorry – it turns out that I have been wrong about NX. The core libraries are released under GPL, and there exist open source versions of the software such as FreeNX. Thanks for the corrections Ulf.
[tags]remote desktop, rdp, remote, vnc, remote framebuffer, framebuffer, rbf, nx, nomachine, x, x-forwarding[/tags]