VNC for Mac OS X?

Adrian Umpleby a.umpleby "at" ic.ac.uk
Wed, 13 Mar 2002 01:44:33 +0000


>Is there a Mac OS X port of VNC now? Or, is anyone working on one?

Xvnc will compile, with a little work, on OSX without any problems.
This will give you an independent X11 display.

However, if you want to export your Mac's actual desktop, there is
OSXVnc (www.osxvnc.com). It's been around for quite a while now.

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I personally think it could do with some of the simple enhancements
in ChromiVNC (intelligent decisions on which encoding to use for each
and every update, rather than just using one encoding the whole time.
And also a 'coarse-grain' update grid for working out efficient update
rects. -The Windows server uses a coarse-grain grid approach, I think.
Block size of 32x32 pixels IIRC?) This is especially so since OSX has
such a large amount of 'eye-candy' -it's very hard for VNC to keep up
with all the changes (esp. if you have somewhat limited bandwidth).
Think of all the subtle 'stripes' in the titlebars, menus, alerts and
dock -and then there's the translucency, and bouncing dock icons, and
the genie effect, and photorealistic icons everywhere...

Even better would be more intelligent encodings. (I think Jonathan
has some ideas about this.  -And, if I may throw in my own little
suggestion, I think it would be *very easy* to create a very simple
extension to *all* of the 'standard' encodings [RRE/CoRRE/Hextile]
to include 'transparent' rect regions -imagine Hextile encoding, but
with the ability to flag particular tiles as not needing updating.
This would fit extremely well with the 'coarse-grain' grid approach
used in both ChromiVNC and WinVNC... small price, big gain I suspect.
If I wasn't already maxed out on other projects, I'd be doing this
myself...)


Just by way of example, I used to use ChromiVNC to connect to my Duo230
over a 28k modem. It was a bit painful, but I did it from time to time.
(I use ~56k now - whoopee!)

I tried to connect over 10baseT to my G4 cube running OSXVnc.
It was not so much better than using the Duo over 56k!
100baseT was considerably better, but still not great, and nowhere near
as smooth as a regular Xvnc server.
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Hope that helps!

Adrian
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