idea: vncd

Peter C. Tribble ptribble "at" hgmp.mrc.ac.uk
Thu, 12 Mar 1998 16:19:07 +0000


First - VNC is great. We wanted Tarantella, but took one look at the
price and decided we didn't want it that much...

Ryan Kirkpatrick wrote:
>        Not all UNIX users are skilled enough to handle all of this
> flexiblity... Often reinventing the wheel to allow those "less than
> gurus" to use software efficiency is worth it. Either that, or I am
> not following what you are saying. Basically any method that saves a
> user from having to make a seperate telnet login to start up Xvnc
> (and then manually killing it) would be advantageous. Anyway, that is
> my two cents.

Well, they have to connect somehow. In our system the user clicks on a
"start a vnc session" link in their browser and, after a little bit of
fiddling about (the first time through they have to set up a password)
the vnc session is started for them and they can connect directly to
it.

We've bolted a bit of session management into it so that if they try
and start another one they're reconnected to the one that's already
running.

The X session itself has a simplified custom setup (no stipples!), and
a little Tk utility in the corner that has "LOG OUT" in big letters on
it, that they hit and it kills off the server.

This is integrated in with our web based application launcher so that
if they run an X application and don't have X we can start a VNC
session, get the right application running in it, and then connect them
to the VNC session. If they try and run another application, it gets
run in their old vnc session.

Of course, the way we have implemented this all this involves messing
around with our rather arcane WWW based application launcher.

It all works extremely well. It's a shame that our users with Windows 3
or Macs aren't really catered for, but handling those with Windows 95
is a big enough gain to make it worthwhile. I use it from home over a
33.6K dialup and it's pretty useable. I'm impressed!

-- 
-Peter Tribble
HGMP Computing Services
http://www.hgmp.mrc.ac.uk/~ptribble/