Is remote X still popularly used? - Xwindows

This is a discussion on Is remote X still popularly used? - Xwindows ; Hi, I was just wondering if remote X connections are still popularly used? Given alternatives like VNC etc... why would someone still prefer to use remote X? I am just trying to set up an office environment and am a ...

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  1. Is remote X still popularly used?

    Hi,

    I was just wondering if remote X connections are still popularly used?

    Given alternatives like VNC etc... why would someone still prefer to
    use remote X? I am just trying to set up an office environment and am
    a bit confused about which solution to use.

    On what critria should I choose between remote X and VNC? Why are
    others, in any, still using remote X over VNC or other similar
    solutions?

    Is there any article etc... which discusses this in detail?

    Thanks,
    Sachin Garg

  2. Re: Is remote X still popularly used?

    schngrg@yahoo.com (Sachin Garg) writes:

    >I was just wondering if remote X connections are still popularly used?


    Depends on how "remote" remote is; I use it a lot for local systems because
    I find it convenient to run a remote xterm which behaves exactly like
    a local xterm.

    For other "remote" uses I use "ssh" and tunnel X over that.

    >Given alternatives like VNC etc... why would someone still prefer to
    >use remote X? I am just trying to set up an office environment and am
    >a bit confused about which solution to use.


    VNC is far slower and much more haevy weight if all you want to do is
    start a single X application on a remote system.

    Casper
    --
    Expressed in this posting are my opinions. They are in no way related
    to opinions held by my employer, Sun Microsystems.
    Statements on Sun products included here are not gospel and may
    be fiction rather than truth.

  3. Re: Is remote X still popularly used?

    Sachin Garg wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > I was just wondering if remote X connections are still popularly used?
    >
    > Given alternatives like VNC etc... why would someone still prefer to
    > use remote X? I am just trying to set up an office environment and am
    > a bit confused about which solution to use.


    I don't know what you mean by "remote" but I think it's safe to say
    that lots of folks who rely on served compute power from *nix machines
    also rely on X's intrinsic remote display capability.

    For example, I have a Win2K box on my desk with an X server (X/Win32)
    installed so that I can sit here and work on the various *nix boxen
    that are available to me.

    >
    > On what critria should I choose between remote X and VNC? Why are
    > others, in any, still using remote X over VNC or other similar
    > solutions?


    Again, the remote capability of X is intrinsic to many systems. If you
    have X you don't need VNC, unless you need some functionality of VNC
    that goes beyond just sharing a display+keyboard+mouse.

    If you don't have X everywhere or you need extra functionality you look
    for a solution like VNC.

    I suggest you first nail down your requirements and then consider the
    solutions available in that context.

    -- ced

    >
    > Is there any article etc... which discusses this in detail?
    >
    > Thanks,
    > Sachin Garg



    --
    Chuck Dillon
    Senior Software Engineer
    NimbleGen Systems Inc.

  4. Re: Is remote X still popularly used?

    schngrg@yahoo.com (Sachin Garg) writes:

    > Hi,
    >
    > I was just wondering if remote X connections are still popularly used?


    I use it more or less daily, both over the local LAN and over ssh
    tunnels to more distant locations.

    --
    Måns Rullgård
    mru@kth.se

  5. Re: Is remote X still popularly used?

    Casper H.S. Dik wrote in message news:<40a0d656$0$61616$e4fe514c@news.xs4all.nl>...
    > schngrg@yahoo.com (Sachin Garg) writes:
    >
    > >I was just wondering if remote X connections are still popularly used?

    >
    > Depends on how "remote" remote is; I use it a lot for local systems because
    > I find it convenient to run a remote xterm which behaves exactly like
    > a local xterm.
    >
    > For other "remote" uses I use "ssh" and tunnel X over that.
    >
    > >Given alternatives like VNC etc... why would someone still prefer to
    > >use remote X? I am just trying to set up an office environment and am
    > >a bit confused about which solution to use.

    >
    > VNC is far slower and much more haevy weight if all you want to do is
    > start a single X application on a remote system.


    I thought VNC was faster as it supports compression etc... (Tight VNC)
    whereas X just sends full Bitmap images.

    > Casper


  6. Re: Is remote X still popularly used?

    schngrg@yahoo.com (Sachin Garg) writes:

    > Casper H.S. Dik wrote in message news:<40a0d656$0$61616$e4fe514c@news.xs4all.nl>...
    >> schngrg@yahoo.com (Sachin Garg) writes:
    >>
    >> >I was just wondering if remote X connections are still popularly used?

    >>
    >> Depends on how "remote" remote is; I use it a lot for local systems because
    >> I find it convenient to run a remote xterm which behaves exactly like
    >> a local xterm.
    >>
    >> For other "remote" uses I use "ssh" and tunnel X over that.
    >>
    >> >Given alternatives like VNC etc... why would someone still prefer to
    >> >use remote X? I am just trying to set up an office environment and am
    >> >a bit confused about which solution to use.

    >>
    >> VNC is far slower and much more haevy weight if all you want to do is
    >> start a single X application on a remote system.

    >
    > I thought VNC was faster as it supports compression etc... (Tight VNC)
    > whereas X just sends full Bitmap images.


    X over ssh -C is compressed.

    --
    Måns Rullgård
    mru@kth.se

  7. Re: Is remote X still popularly used?

    Chuck Dillon wrote in message news:...
    > Sachin Garg wrote:
    >
    > > Hi,
    > >
    > > I was just wondering if remote X connections are still popularly used?
    > >
    > > Given alternatives like VNC etc... why would someone still prefer to
    > > use remote X? I am just trying to set up an office environment and am
    > > a bit confused about which solution to use.

    >
    > I don't know what you mean by "remote" but I think it's safe to say
    > that lots of folks who rely on served compute power from *nix machines
    > also rely on X's intrinsic remote display capability.
    >
    > For example, I have a Win2K box on my desk with an X server (X/Win32)
    > installed so that I can sit here and work on the various *nix boxen
    > that are available to me.
    >
    > >
    > > On what critria should I choose between remote X and VNC? Why are
    > > others, in any, still using remote X over VNC or other similar
    > > solutions?

    >
    > Again, the remote capability of X is intrinsic to many systems. If you
    > have X you don't need VNC, unless you need some functionality of VNC
    > that goes beyond just sharing a display+keyboard+mouse.
    >
    > If you don't have X everywhere or you need extra functionality you look
    > for a solution like VNC.
    >
    > I suggest you first nail down your requirements and then consider the
    > solutions available in that context.



    I am a bit concerned about bandwidth requirements. What all does the
    decision between choosing X over other alternate technologies depends
    upon?


    > -- ced
    >
    > >
    > > Is there any article etc... which discusses this in detail?
    > >
    > > Thanks,
    > > Sachin Garg


  8. Re: Is remote X still popularly used?

    schngrg@yahoo.com (Sachin Garg) writes:

    >I thought VNC was faster as it supports compression etc... (Tight VNC)
    >whereas X just sends full Bitmap images.


    Well, VNC represents the entire desktop as bitmaps; that is inefficient
    for single applications like Xterm or other text based applications:
    the server sends the keypress/mouse events and the applications
    draws *characters* which the Xserver converts into bitmaps.

    I don't have much use for remote graphics I'm sure that for such applications
    VNC might well be (much?) faster.

    Casper
    --
    Expressed in this posting are my opinions. They are in no way related
    to opinions held by my employer, Sun Microsystems.
    Statements on Sun products included here are not gospel and may
    be fiction rather than truth.

  9. Re: Is remote X still popularly used?

    schngrg@yahoo.com (Sachin Garg) writes:

    > Given alternatives like VNC etc... why would someone still prefer to
    > use remote X? I am just trying to set up an office environment and am
    > a bit confused about which solution to use.


    You have to do extra work to have VNC on your UNIX boxes. SSH servers
    are more or less standard these days (even if they weren't, you would
    want to have them anyway - including to protect VNC, whose own network
    protocol is just as insecure as raw X), and X is of course a part of
    UNIX already.

    In your opinion, what does VNC do that SSH+X does not?

    --
    Atro Tossavainen (Mr.) / The Institute of Biotechnology at
    Systems Analyst, Techno-Amish & / the University of Helsinki, Finland,
    +358-9-19158939 UNIX Dinosaur / employs me, but my opinions are my own.
    < URL : http : / / www . helsinki . fi / %7E atossava / > NO FILE ATTACHMENTS

  10. Re: Is remote X still popularly used?

    schngrg@yahoo.com (Sachin Garg) writes:

    > > VNC is far slower and much more haevy weight if all you want to do is
    > > start a single X application on a remote system.

    >
    > I thought VNC was faster as it supports compression etc... (Tight VNC)
    > whereas X just sends full Bitmap images.


    What makes you think "X just sends full Bitmap images" and not
    instructions on how to draw the screen? It's not M$ RDP, you know...

    VNC supporting compression is a non-issue. If you wanted to, you could
    use the lbxproxy to achieve compression within X, and since you have to
    protect both VNC and X with SSH anyway, SSH can do the compression part
    for you.

    "Faster" and "compression" only go in the same sentence in this context
    when your computers are reasonably fast and your network lines are
    _really_ slow. If you have just a 10 Mbps Ethernet between the machines,
    forget compression. It adds so much computing overhead that any speed
    gain gets more than adequately compensated for.

    --
    Atro Tossavainen (Mr.) / The Institute of Biotechnology at
    Systems Analyst, Techno-Amish & / the University of Helsinki, Finland,
    +358-9-19158939 UNIX Dinosaur / employs me, but my opinions are my own.
    < URL : http : / / www . helsinki . fi / %7E atossava / > NO FILE ATTACHMENTS

  11. Re: Is remote X still popularly used?

    In article , Atro Tossavainen wrote:
    > schngrg@yahoo.com (Sachin Garg) writes:
    >
    >> Given alternatives like VNC etc... why would someone still prefer to
    >> use remote X? I am just trying to set up an office environment and am
    >> a bit confused about which solution to use.

    >
    > You have to do extra work to have VNC on your UNIX boxes. SSH servers
    > are more or less standard these days (even if they weren't, you would
    > want to have them anyway - including to protect VNC, whose own network
    > protocol is just as insecure as raw X), and X is of course a part of
    > UNIX already.
    >
    > In your opinion, what does VNC do that SSH+X does not?


    You can reconnect to an existing desktop, you can share desktops and
    it performs way better on networks with long latency (like ADSL
    connections). In a LAN always use X itself.

    --- Jan

  12. Re: Is remote X still popularly used?

    Atro Tossavainen writes:

    >"Faster" and "compression" only go in the same sentence in this context
    >when your computers are reasonably fast and your network lines are
    >_really_ slow. If you have just a 10 Mbps Ethernet between the machines,
    >forget compression. It adds so much computing overhead that any speed
    >gain gets more than adequately compensated for.



    And "generic compression" often doesn't work quite as well as
    "protocol specific compression". lbx is using protocol specific
    compression.

    Casper
    --
    Expressed in this posting are my opinions. They are in no way related
    to opinions held by my employer, Sun Microsystems.
    Statements on Sun products included here are not gospel and may
    be fiction rather than truth.

  13. Re: Is remote X still popularly used?

    Jan Wielemaker writes:

    >You can reconnect to an existing desktop, you can share desktops and
    >it performs way better on networks with long latency (like ADSL
    >connections). In a LAN always use X itself.


    ADSL doesn't need to have high latency (my VPN tunnel over ADSL seems
    to have a latency of around 17ms; but perhaps you consider that high :-)

    Casper
    --
    Expressed in this posting are my opinions. They are in no way related
    to opinions held by my employer, Sun Microsystems.
    Statements on Sun products included here are not gospel and may
    be fiction rather than truth.

  14. Re: Is remote X still popularly used?

    Casper H.S. Dik writes:

    > Jan Wielemaker writes:
    >
    >>You can reconnect to an existing desktop, you can share desktops and
    >>it performs way better on networks with long latency (like ADSL
    >>connections). In a LAN always use X itself.

    >
    > ADSL doesn't need to have high latency (my VPN tunnel over ADSL seems
    > to have a latency of around 17ms; but perhaps you consider that high :-)


    I'd consider it high. My ethernet connection has 3 ms ping time
    within the city.

    --
    Måns Rullgård
    mru@kth.se

  15. Re: Is remote X still popularly used?

    Sachin Garg wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > I was just wondering if remote X connections are still popularly used?


    Absolutely.

    > Given alternatives like VNC etc... why would someone still prefer to
    > use remote X? I am just trying to set up an office environment and am
    > a bit confused about which solution to use.
    >
    > On what critria should I choose between remote X and VNC? Why are
    > others, in any, still using remote X over VNC or other similar
    > solutions?


    Only in quite narrow circumstances does such a choice exist. They are
    really at different levels of the user interface. An X server
    multiplexes a set of input and output devices between multiple
    applications (clients) in a network-transparent manner by windowing. A
    VNC server is a virtual set of input and output devices that can be
    controlled by a single VNC client at a time over the network. (Please
    excuse the simplification).

    So if you run an X server inside a VNC server (a la Xvnc), multiple X
    applications from all over the network can use that X server as a
    display. Additionally, a VNC client can connect from anywhere on the
    network in order to take control of the whole session. And remember
    that vncviewer for Unix is written as an X client..

    Referring back to your specific question, you would probably only
    benefit from involving VNC under special circumstances. For example, is
    the network unreliable? (take advantage of VNC's statelessness). Do
    users need to "hotdesk" mid-session? (ditto). Are the desktop machines
    running MS Windows? (X not integrated with OS, and vncviewer.exe
    available as tiny executable).

    In summary, it's probably more helpful to think of "remote X" and VNC as
    complementary technologies than as alternatives to one another, and the
    optimum configuration for your office will depend on a lot of local
    factors that you haven't (yet?) told us about.

    best wishes,
    Tom.

  16. Re: Is remote X still popularly used?

    Jan Wielemaker wrote in message news:...
    > In article , Atro Tossavainen wrote:
    > > schngrg@yahoo.com (Sachin Garg) writes:
    > >
    > >> Given alternatives like VNC etc... why would someone still prefer to
    > >> use remote X? I am just trying to set up an office environment and am
    > >> a bit confused about which solution to use.

    > >
    > > You have to do extra work to have VNC on your UNIX boxes. SSH servers
    > > are more or less standard these days (even if they weren't, you would
    > > want to have them anyway - including to protect VNC, whose own network
    > > protocol is just as insecure as raw X), and X is of course a part of
    > > UNIX already.
    > >
    > > In your opinion, what does VNC do that SSH+X does not?

    >
    > You can reconnect to an existing desktop, you can share desktops and
    > it performs way better on networks with long latency (like ADSL
    > connections). In a LAN always use X itself.
    >
    > --- Jan


    Better to see it than just to hear!

    Try Xmanager 2.0 downloadable from http://www.netsarang.com/ and
    compare with RealVNC downlaodable from http://www.realvnc.com.

    RealVNC server only forwards the current screen to its client while
    Xmanager as an X server can independently handle all X clients resided
    in the remote host. It means the current user in the remote host is
    important for using RealVNC while Xmanager does not need to care who
    the current user is. It also menas RealVNC needs to create so much
    heavy network traffic to forward the current screen all the time while
    X server and X clients only needs to generate a little traffic for
    their communication.

    --- Young

  17. Re: Is remote X still popularly used?

    heeyung@hotmail.com (H. Ronald Yang) writes:

    > Jan Wielemaker wrote in message news:...
    >> In article , Atro Tossavainen wrote:
    >> > schngrg@yahoo.com (Sachin Garg) writes:
    >> >
    >> >> Given alternatives like VNC etc... why would someone still prefer to
    >> >> use remote X? I am just trying to set up an office environment and am
    >> >> a bit confused about which solution to use.
    >> >
    >> > You have to do extra work to have VNC on your UNIX boxes. SSH servers
    >> > are more or less standard these days (even if they weren't, you would
    >> > want to have them anyway - including to protect VNC, whose own network
    >> > protocol is just as insecure as raw X), and X is of course a part of
    >> > UNIX already.
    >> >
    >> > In your opinion, what does VNC do that SSH+X does not?

    >>
    >> You can reconnect to an existing desktop, you can share desktops and
    >> it performs way better on networks with long latency (like ADSL
    >> connections). In a LAN always use X itself.
    >>
    >> --- Jan

    >
    > Better to see it than just to hear!
    >
    > Try Xmanager 2.0 downloadable from http://www.netsarang.com/ and
    > compare with RealVNC downlaodable from http://www.realvnc.com.
    >
    > RealVNC server only forwards the current screen to its client while
    > Xmanager as an X server can independently handle all X clients resided
    > in the remote host. It means the current user in the remote host is
    > important for using RealVNC while Xmanager does not need to care who
    > the current user is. It also menas RealVNC needs to create so much
    > heavy network traffic to forward the current screen all the time while
    > X server and X clients only needs to generate a little traffic for
    > their communication.


    This is just plain wrong. My copy of RealVNC creates a new X server
    without a physical screen for the clients to connect to. The VNC
    viewer receives the content of this virtual screen using an efficient
    protocol. Using it over an ADSL connection is quite smooth.

    --
    Måns Rullgård
    mru@kth.se

  18. Re: Is remote X still popularly used?

    Måns Rullgård wrote in message news:...
    > heeyung@hotmail.com (H. Ronald Yang) writes:
    >
    > > Jan Wielemaker wrote in message news:...
    > >> In article , Atro Tossavainen wrote:
    > >> > schngrg@yahoo.com (Sachin Garg) writes:
    > >> >
    > >> >> Given alternatives like VNC etc... why would someone still prefer to
    > >> >> use remote X? I am just trying to set up an office environment and am
    > >> >> a bit confused about which solution to use.
    > >> >
    > >> > You have to do extra work to have VNC on your UNIX boxes. SSH servers
    > >> > are more or less standard these days (even if they weren't, you would
    > >> > want to have them anyway - including to protect VNC, whose own network
    > >> > protocol is just as insecure as raw X), and X is of course a part of
    > >> > UNIX already.
    > >> >
    > >> > In your opinion, what does VNC do that SSH+X does not?
    > >>
    > >> You can reconnect to an existing desktop, you can share desktops and
    > >> it performs way better on networks with long latency (like ADSL
    > >> connections). In a LAN always use X itself.
    > >>
    > >> --- Jan

    > >
    > > Better to see it than just to hear!
    > >
    > > Try Xmanager 2.0 downloadable from http://www.netsarang.com/ and
    > > compare with RealVNC downlaodable from http://www.realvnc.com.
    > >
    > > RealVNC server only forwards the current screen to its client while
    > > Xmanager as an X server can independently handle all X clients resided
    > > in the remote host. It means the current user in the remote host is
    > > important for using RealVNC while Xmanager does not need to care who
    > > the current user is. It also menas RealVNC needs to create so much
    > > heavy network traffic to forward the current screen all the time while
    > > X server and X clients only needs to generate a little traffic for
    > > their communication.

    >
    > This is just plain wrong. My copy of RealVNC creates a new X server
    > without a physical screen for the clients to connect to. The VNC
    > viewer receives the content of this virtual screen using an efficient
    > protocol. Using it over an ADSL connection is quite smooth.


    Although I admit that RealVNC is "using an efficient protocol", I
    still think that PC X server solution is faster/better than RealVNC
    solution for most of people who need to work in that environment for a
    quite while.

    I strongly recommend anybody reading this to try both solutions, then
    he will know what he needs.

  19. Re: Is remote X still popularly used?

    heeyung@hotmail.com (H. Ronald Yang) writes:

    > Although I admit that RealVNC is "using an efficient protocol", I
    > still think that PC X server solution is faster/better than RealVNC
    > solution for most of people who need to work in that environment for a
    > quite while.


    On a LAN a regular X server is to be preferred. Over low bandwidth
    or high latency links VNC may perform better.

    --
    Måns Rullgård
    mru@kth.se

  20. Re: Is remote X still popularly used?

    Tom JONES wrote in message news:...
    > Sachin Garg wrote:
    > > Hi,
    > >
    > > I was just wondering if remote X connections are still popularly used?

    >
    > Absolutely.
    >
    > > Given alternatives like VNC etc... why would someone still prefer to
    > > use remote X? I am just trying to set up an office environment and am
    > > a bit confused about which solution to use.
    > >
    > > On what critria should I choose between remote X and VNC? Why are
    > > others, in any, still using remote X over VNC or other similar
    > > solutions?

    >
    > Only in quite narrow circumstances does such a choice exist. They are
    > really at different levels of the user interface. An X server
    > multiplexes a set of input and output devices between multiple
    > applications (clients) in a network-transparent manner by windowing. A
    > VNC server is a virtual set of input and output devices that can be
    > controlled by a single VNC client at a time over the network. (Please
    > excuse the simplification).
    >
    > So if you run an X server inside a VNC server (a la Xvnc), multiple X
    > applications from all over the network can use that X server as a
    > display. Additionally, a VNC client can connect from anywhere on the
    > network in order to take control of the whole session. And remember
    > that vncviewer for Unix is written as an X client..
    >
    > Referring back to your specific question, you would probably only
    > benefit from involving VNC under special circumstances. For example, is
    > the network unreliable? (take advantage of VNC's statelessness). Do
    > users need to "hotdesk" mid-session? (ditto). Are the desktop machines
    > running MS Windows? (X not integrated with OS, and vncviewer.exe
    > available as tiny executable).
    >
    > In summary, it's probably more helpful to think of "remote X" and VNC as
    > complementary technologies than as alternatives to one another, and the
    > optimum configuration for your office will depend on a lot of local
    > factors that you haven't (yet?) told us about.
    >
    > best wishes,
    > Tom.


    Totally agree with you.

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