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Linux Journal: Virtual Network Computing

Aug 18, 2001, 13:45 (10 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Choong Ng)

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"Virtual network computing (VNC), a remote access application from AT&T Laboratories Cambridge, is a great tool for remote desktop viewing and manipulation. Its core function is to allow the user to use the VNC client to connect to a host running the VNC server and remotely use the server's desktop. Keyboard and mouse updates are sent to the server, and snapshots of the server's desktop are compressed and sent back to the client via the VNC protocol. A few of VNC's most compelling features are: excellent platform portability, an open-source code base, conservative bandwidth usage and excellent pricing (free!).

For this review I have evaluated VNC primarily in three areas: stability, performance and portability. Below, I also compare VNC to X to illustrate the domain of usefulness for each.

I tested using all machines involved as both server and client under all operating systems installed. Under Linux my test applications were xterm, Netscape 4.7, KDE, StarOffice 5 and the GIMP. Under Windows my test applications were command.com (or cmd.exe when applicable), Internet Explorer 5.5, Microsoft Word 2000 and Adobe Photoshop. Both platforms used unmodified copies of the current versions of VNC, 3.3.3r2/3.3.3r9 (Linux/Windows), both available on the web site. The results were somewhat predictable."

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