[TUHS] X, Suntools, and the like

jsteve at superglobalmegacorp.com jsteve at superglobalmegacorp.com
Fri Mar 17 13:16:25 AEST 2017

Well there is xrdp

I’ve used this to ‘terminal server-ize’ our Oracle on Linux installs, as our DBA’s were used to Oracle on Windows (I know, I know, they also used to run it on Netware....) So the upshot is that on Windows you just fire up the rdp client, and connect into the Linux machine, and it’ll greet you with a login screen, login, and you have your desktop.  On the backend it’s the virtual X framebuffer, and xrdp does some vnc/mstsc type translation in the middle.

It’s great for sharing out desktops, or if you have those old ‘windows terminals’ that can at least talk to a MS Terminal server.  It’s incompatible with the citrix stuff, but it’s pretty cool.

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

From: Larry McVoy
Sent: Friday, 17 March 2017 8:14 AM
To: Josh Good
Cc: tuhs at minnie.tuhs.org
Subject: Re: [TUHS] X, Suntools, and the like

On Fri, Mar 17, 2017 at 12:04:57AM +0100, Josh Good wrote:
> On 2017 Mar 15, 09:40, Kurt H Maier wrote:
> > 
> > Your usage habits are not natural laws.  I'm a systems administrator
> > too, and I use X11 forwarding every single day, on dozens of different
> > programs.  
> > 
> > It's all very well for X11's networking tools to be useless for you.
> > That doesn't make them useless in general, and it doesn't mean the
> > functionality should be deleted.
> I don't use X11 forwarding because it works bad/slow over WAN links,
> but RDP/ICA works just fine over the same. Also, in X11 forwarding any
> network hiccup means the X11 app you are remoting just crashes, that
> does not happen in the RDP/ICA world.

I'm a huge X11 fan, use remote display all the time (I'm reading this
mail on slovax.mcvoy.com but I'm on a laptop so when mutt needs to
display a photo or a word doc or whatever, that's all remote X over
wifi, it "works" well enough that I use it a lot).

That said, whatever they did in RDP (which I'm guessing is Microsoft's
remote desktop protocol?) is awesome.  Way, way, way better than remote
display.  As Josh said, works quite well over a WAN.  I've used it to
get desktop access to windows machines in our build cluster and it works
great (I'm in the Santa Cruz mountains and my net connection is point to
point wifi to a tower, not the greatest).

> The real problem is that X11 predates the "GUI desktop metaphor". In X11
> forwarding you remote bitmaps (or vectors or primitives or whatever)
> which belong to an app, whereas in RDP you remote bitmaps (and only
> bitmaps, and never anything more than bitmaps) which belong to a "full,
> self-contained, GUI desktop".

Huh.  So is RDP better because it does bitmap to bitmap compression?

> In my opinion, X11 is not appropriate for desktops --it is designed more
> for a scientific workstation kind of thing--, but currently there is
> just no mature alternative in the Unix/Linux world (except for Mac OS X,
> of course).

I'd be stoked if X11 had an RDP extension or something.  I have no idea if
that makes sense but RDP is the shit.
Larry McVoy            	     lm at mcvoy.com             http://www.mcvoy.com/lm 

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