[UFO Chicago] remote desktop software
jordanb at hafd.org
Fri Nov 6 15:05:03 PST 2009
On Fri, Nov 06, 2009 at 12:46:13AM -0800, John Bulger wrote:
> That said, I was looking into the possibility of using something like
> VNC to operate a desktop machine remotely on a lightweight, low cost
> laptop. My hope is that this way I can purchase the best hardware most
> cost effectively and still enjoy mobility. Anyway, I came across the
> site below:
I think any solution you try to use for this will be a
disappointment. Remote desktop using any technology is fairly high
bandwidth and latency-sensitive. Responsiveness is going to heavily
depend on the network to which your connected. Public
cafe/airport/whatever wifi is guaranteed to suck.
> Windows XP is being used. I personally would prefer recommendations
> based on UNIX, if that makes any difference. Some on the site would
> suggest using Microsoft's Remote Desktop. I may decide to maintain a
> copy of Windows on a partition of my machine, in which case Remote
> Desktop may be considered an option I suppose and comments on that are
> also welcome.
You need to specify if you're going from unix to windows, unix to
unix, or windows to unix.
In any case, VNC will work because there are compatible VNC clients
and servers for any combination above. However, VNC is the most
primitive of the options and will have the worst performance.
Windows remote desktop is reasonably performant. Probably the best
actually. ISTR using it from a linux client at one point but I can't
recall what I was doing. In any case, you'll be restricted to going
something -> windows.
If you're doing Unix to Unix or Unix to Windows (with cygwin) you can
take advantage of the fact that X11 is built to be
network-transparent. Meaning it's just part of the protocol to have
programs run on one machine and have the window appear on
another. This is also dead simple to do using ssh (just do ssh -X,
actually -CX would be best).
> LogMeIn and UltraVNC appear to be the other favorites. Hamachi, an
> add-on to LogMeIn was also recommended for avoiding any issues with
> firewalls though someone also suggests that they may just as easily be
> avoided by using a non-standard port for RDP and VNC clients. Again,
> anyone care to agree or disagree?
If you're doing Unix to Unix it's pretty easy to tunnel vnc over
ssh. Xvncviewer even has an option to make this dead simple.
> Finally, if anyone wishes to recommend a laptop suitable for this
> purpose, please let me know.
It doesn't matter. No matter what you choose, it'll feel like you're
using a pentium II.
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