VNC + Emacs *Without* a Window Manager

zt-vnc-list@tenletters.com zt-vnc-list "at" tenletters.com
Mon Apr 19 16:51:01 2004


> Yep. That's what I've ended up doing.  Using "ratpoison" in combination
> with Emacs pretty much does the trick. 

Do you need to use the mouse with Emacs?  If so, then you've probably got it 
as good as it's going to get.

If not, then you're just running terminal-based applications and VNC (a 
graphical application) is massive overkill.  Look into using "screen" instead.
It's a terminal-based application that creates a wrapper around other such 
apps (multiple), allowing you to detach and reattach to the screen application
without losing state.

http://www.guckes.net/screen/
(it's a GNU app, so you can find it on the GNU pages if the above is down)

My typical usage for screen is when I switch between working from home and the
office.

- Launch "screen"
- establish multiple sub-processes running each app of interest 
    (shell, ssh, telnet, vi, emacs, etc, etc, ...)
- Switch between apps using keyboard shortcuts
- work work work
- Leave work for the day; detach from screen (optional)
- at home, establish secured connection to work
- telnet to the server running my screen process
- reattach to screen from within a terminal
  (all my apps are still running and in the same state)
- launch VNC if I have to access some GUI-based app
- work work work
- detach
- at work the next day, reattach
- continue ad infinitum

One critical benefit of "screen" is that, being terminal-based, it's much 
faster (compare the bandwidth required to send five ascii characters 'emacs', 
compared to the bandwith needed to send a picture of the word 'emacs' in 
the font and colours of your choice).  I almost never use VNC for 
terminal-based apps, it's too laggy for me.

Zac