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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:48 am
Posts: 6
Location: Waltham, MA
We have several Linode 1024 and 2048 systems, running CentOS 6 and Fedora 15. We now have a need to access some of our Linodes graphically because some of our users want to use some GUI applications, such as Firefox, gedit, KDevelop, Wireshark, GIMP, and MySQL Workbench. Ideally, we'd like some users to be able to access a graphical login screen and a GNOME or KDE login desktop, and then use whatever GUI applications they want.

How do you reccommend we do this?? Should we use VNC?? Should we use x2go?? What are the pros/cons of each?? How are other people implementing remote GUI access to their Linode systems??

Any help is really really appreciated.
Thanks a lot!!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:33 am 
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Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 3:29 pm
Posts: 1631
Location: Montreal, QC
VNC: Simplest, but slow due to polling graphics buffers and sending compressed images of content. Widest support on the client-side, even on smartphones and tablets.

XDMCP: Relatively simple, the slowest on high-latency connections due to blocking on round-trip requests, but relatively bandwidth-efficient because it sends only the X server draw requests. Low client-side support, rare on mobile platforms.

NoMachine NX: Least simple, but the fastest (both in responsiveness and bandwidth use) by a huge margin. Based on XDMCP, but uses a proxy cache to eliminate most round-trips. Proprietary (but free) server and client required. AFAIK, zero mobile support.

It comes down to personal preference. I tend to go for VNC when I need to set something up fast and dirty, and I go for NX when I need something longer-term with more performance.


Last edited by Guspaz on Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:52 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 4:09 pm
Posts: 594
Guspaz wrote:
VNC:
XDMCP:
NoMachine NX:


Excellent summary, I agree completely.

James


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:48 am
Posts: 6
Location: Waltham, MA
Guspaz, thanks a lot for your post. It was really helpful.

We would like to go with VNC because of the widespread client support and because it seems simple to get up-and-running on CentOS 6 and Fedora 15.

I think CentOS 6 and Fedora 15 have packages for TigerVNC.

I was able to do:
yum install tigervnc
yum install tigervnc-server

But then I tried the following, and I didn't get very far:
[root@myserver ~]# service vncserver start
Starting VNC server: no displays configured [FAILED]

So is my system ready to accept VNC connections?? Do I also need to install and run a graphical desktop environment, such as GNOME?? What do I need to do to get the VNC Server running??

Once again I need to reach out to the community for more help on this. Many thanks in advance!!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 4:09 pm
Posts: 594
BostonLinodeGuy wrote:
What do I need to do to get the VNC Server running?


Googling for

centos vnc

turned up this recent link:

http://wiki.centos.org/HowTos/VNC-Server

which looks like what you need.

James


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 Post subject: VNC versus RDP
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:36 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:48 am
Posts: 6
Location: Waltham, MA
Thanks to everyone for their help. I was able to follow the link mentioned above and get TigerVNC Server running on my CentOS 6.2 Linode.

But I want to ask a more general question: what are the pros and cons of VNC versus RDP?? Why use one or the other for remotely accessing my Linode graphically?? Guspaz's summary was very informative, but I'm trying to get a bigger picture, and understand what the majority of people are actually using in the "real world".

Thanks again for all your help!!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 3:29 pm
Posts: 1631
Location: Montreal, QC
RDP is a proprietary Microsoft protocol used as the basis for terminal services and remote desktop. It generally has excellent performance and is very easy to use (and with good mobile support), but it's only usefully supported as a host on Windows.

VNC is probably what most people use around here, since it's ubiquitous, but it's not what I'd use for actual remote user access. It's fine for getting into a remote machine occasionally when you need it, but the responsiveness for regular remote application use just isn't there (unless your users are on phat pipes close to the server).


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