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Old 11-24-2005, 04:42 AM   #1
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Difference between vnc and ssh with GUI

I donīt understand what is the difference between vnc and ssh with GUI?
Could someone explain it to me?
Old 11-24-2005, 05:03 AM   #2
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IMHO, it's the crowd it's serving that differs more than anything else.

If you are remote connecting from multiple locations and multiple OS's, I'd probably find that VNC would be easier (though SSH clients exist on most (all?) OS's too...).

I'm pretty sure I've read that VNC is less secure, and poor performing than alternatives.


VNC offers the ability to have multiple windows with the same user. Something like virtual desktops, but without the switching. So, you could setup one "environment" and have 25 people VNC in and all have the same environment without having everyone's windows on their desktop (where I believe with SSH it's a remote view of the actual desktop).

What else...

X11VNC server is included as a module in the latest xorg, so it may feel easier to use for a first time user.

I feel vnc to be more sluggish, but that could just be me


Old 11-24-2005, 05:03 AM   #3
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With ssh X-forwarding you can start individual apps, and their output is forwarded to the local machine's X. Therefore you usually can't use a remote window manager or desktop environment (since they would both use the local X server and it would conflict with the one already running locally). Also, X is very inefficient over the Internet with modern apps, due to many request-response roundtrip.

With VNC, you can use the desktop environment and apps on the remote machine, which runs on the remote machine's VNC server, and the drawing instructions are sent over the network using the VNC protocol (which is much more efficient) to be displayed inside the VNC client.

A new technology that is like VNC but much faster is NX. There is a FreeNX server for Linux.
Old 11-24-2005, 05:09 AM   #4
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I've only used Xforwading through SSH which is different to VNC as you run the remote X app on the local machine, instead of a whole desktop view as per VNC.

For me this is a hell of alot faster, i have a 500 mhz, 256 ram, file/download/music server. Running vnc (vino-server) on that across a 10mbit connection is a right pain, even when i'm using fluxbox and no image for the wallpaper.

I don't know the details of VNC, but since i know proper use of keys keeps SSH pretty secure, so i'm happy with that.

Also to get VNC server to a point i could reboot the machine and log in graphically over a VNC client i had to have the machine auto login to a user and then start the server on login, this kinda irked me. I suppose it depends on your exact requirements but SSH seems faster to me.


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