vncviewer ported to cygwin32

Edward Avis EPA "at"
Mon, 16 Mar 1998 18:59:35 +0000

VNC is very cool and very useful for remote access, especially on Windows 
where the lack of some remote windowing protocol like X can be a great 
annoyance.  However, there is one disadvantage, and that is that the client 
machine must run vncviewer (Unix or Windows) or a Web browser.  Not much of 
a problem, since vncviewer is free software, and should be easily portable 
to any system that has a reasonable version of X.  But what if you have an 
X terminal you'd like to hook up to your Windows boxes?  You'll need a Unix 
machine as piggy-in-the-middle, running vncviewer and effectively 
translating from VNC's protocol to X protocol.  Similarly, what if you have 
an obscure Unix variant that runs some version of X, but you can't compile 
vncviewer?  There are a fair few systems that have an X server but may not 
be trivial to port vncviewer to (eg VMS, the Mac).

Ok, that's enough justification :-) .  I've compiled the X version of 
vncviewer with Cygwin32 beta 19 (, which is 
also GPLed free software. It required compiling sort of "by hand", since 
xmkmf didn't work properly (not the fault of the VNC people, I should add). 
 However, the whole process was fairly painless and quite fast.

You can now run both WinVNC and vncviewer on one machine, and display the 
results on your Unix box or X terminal without needing any new software at 
the client end.  I hope somebody will find this useful, and maybe come up 
with a nice "packaged" solution.  I don't have an FTP site, but if you want 
the vncviewer.exe binary (and/or the cygwinb19.dll Unix API layer, how I 
compiled it), feel free to mail me.  Perhaps somebody could put it up for 
FTP themselves.

There are bound to be problems - ATM the main one is with the desktop 
appearing grey until it is redrawn (but that seems to happen also with the 
Windows viewer).  However, in the long run I don't see why this shouldn't 
work just as well as running vncviewer at the client end.

Next step is to get Xvnc to compile using Cygwin32 - since together with 
the Windows VNC viewer, that would make a free X server for Windows.

Ed Avis
epa "at"