Rich Freeman on 16 Aug 2011 16:06:07 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Remote KDE Session

On Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 5:44 PM, Casey Bralla <> wrote:
> I also tried "startkde" but got an error message "$DISPLAY is not set or
> cannot connect to the X server."  Unfortunately, DISPLAY is set, and even if I
> changed it, I could not get KDE to start remotely.

If you do get it running you are likely to find performance to be
abysmal - X11 does not handle being over high-latency connections well
at all.

Your best bet is to run something like x11vnc or NX.  The first starts
a headless X11 session on the remote computer, which you can connect
to via VNC.  That cuts down on the round trips, but isn't very
efficient (screen painting) and isn't very locally responsive.

NX is probably your best bet.  This is an X11-aware protocol that cuts
down on the round trips and emulates the client to the server and the
server to the client to make the performance a lot better.  There are
a few free implementations of the server - neatx (a Google
implementation) is the one I use.

Another option is something like xrfb, which lets you connect remotely
via VNC (or something else) to your regular :0 session.  This has the
advantage of playing nicer with stuff that doesn't handle multiple
DISPLAYs at the same time (like Firefox or Chrome).  Performance isn't
always great, and anything that renders direct to hardware will
probably show up as a black region.  I've found the biggest pain is
the resolution - chances are you have a high-resolution desktop on
your monitor at home, and that often isn't how you want to run on your
remote session to be displayed on a laptop.  With x11vnc or NX you are
starting a new session and you can pick a reasonable resolution for

Just some random thoughts there.  NX is one of those topics that could
easily warrant a talk...

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