freenx rules!

I use VNC quite heavily. In the office here, I work on a WinXP machine (not my choice…), and always have at least one VNC session open to the local server, ls1 (“Linux Server 1” – not imaginative, I know 😉 ). I sometimes connect to a local MacOSX box as well, when I’m trying to get something to work in Safari.

The biggest problem I have, though, is when I access my home machine, Monolith. The screen refreshes take about 10 seconds to complete through VNC!

There is an improved server/client protocal out there, though – the NX protocol. It is incredible how much improvement there is, when I connect to my home machine with it!

To try it out yourself, either grab a copy of the FreeNX package and build it yourself, or if you’re using Fedora, follow this list of instructions (which, handily, you can just paste into a tmp file and run as a script).


  1. You realise X ismore efficient to local stuff? ssh -X linux-server and ‘xterm’ will be far lighter than VNC, or even NX over a LAN.

  2. At home, I can do the ssh -X trick, but that’s not an option here in work, as far as I know (I’m working through WinXP).

    For plain-text work, I use Putty, a free SSH client for Windows.
    But, for graphical work (Konqueror, Kontact), I need something such as VNC/FreeNX if I’m working from Windows.

    One other benefit of VNC-like systems is that you can close down your local connection to the session, and pick up where you left off on another machine. This is not possible with direct connections to programs, as far as I know.

    I would be glad to be proven wrong 🙂

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