A subjective comment about VNC vs. set display

A couple weeks ago, I used set display and foward a rich client application’s display across a very long distance network, it was a very painful experience. Today, I used VNC server to do essentially the same thing over the same distance. The difference was night and day. I was able to use the remote application with no significant lag. I am much happier with the current experience. I am not sure if the difference was caused by network or not and that’s why I titled this post as subjective. So, your milage may vary. You have any similar/different experience?

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2 thoughts on “A subjective comment about VNC vs. set display

  1. X11 is quite ineffective protocol on networks with delay. Bandwidth often isn’t even the issue.

    In an article about NX (dunno if I can find it again), it was mentioned that just unfolding a simple menu sometimes requires tens of messages and acknowledges (!) back and forth to complete the operation. If you have a delay (read: ping time) into the hundreds of milliseconds, you can image what happens.

    VNC does transfer plain pixels, which may be ineffective, but will usually give you a lot of gain, because not every pixel change is transferred.

    Compressed X11 (such as inplemented by DXPC or LBX-Proxy), and ultimately NX, is even much better. You get X11 communication again (not pixel-by-pixel transfers), but properly cached and compressed. If you like VNC across slow, long links, you will love NX! I just blogged about this today:

    http://everythingido.wordpress.com/2007/02/14/remote-x11-computing-vnc-is-great-but-have-you-tried-nx/

    Kind regards,
    e.

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