Compare TightVNC to RealVNC

Calvin Webster cwebster "at" ec.rr.com
Sun Sep 3 08:07:01 2006


For those who have used TightVNC, could you offer a comparison to
RealVNC (Free, Personal, or Enterprise Editions)?

Someone in a recent post suggested TightVNC as an alternative to
RealVNC. This was the first I'd heard of TightVNC so I checked it out on
their web site to see if it would be a viable alternative. After looking
over the site I was impressed by the list of features, many of which are
available in the paid versions of RealVNC. However, there was some
information missing or vague and no one on the TightVNC mailing list has
yet answered my questions.

TightVNC might be great for some folks, but it may not be compatible
with our RHEL 4 (soon RHEL 5) and Fedora Core 5 (soon Core 6) platforms
with the latest Xorg X11 X-Windows. If I'm going to consider switching I
want to be sure that I'm not going to loose any of our existing
functionality. RealVNC has been very reliable and low maintenance in
terms of upgrades. I don't want to trade that for something requiring
constant attention.

Here are 3 key issues I posted on the TightVNC list. Maybe some of you
can shed light on them.


=================[Any 2.6 Linux Kernels?]=================
I've been looking over the web site and have not seen any mention of
Linux distributions using the 2.6 kernels. I've seen RHL 7.x and Fedora
Core 3, both of which are unsupported. There will be no further
development on RHL 7.x, 8 and 9 or Fedora Core 1 and 2 by year's end
(http://www.fedoralegacy.org/). Fedora Core 3 legacy support will likely
end next year.

I'm curious why even development versions of TightVNC are being built
for an already obsolete distribution? Are there problems building or
running on the 2.6 kernels? More importantly, are there any issues
running TightVNC with the latest open source X servers (RHEL 4 uses
xorg-x11-6.8.2-1.EL.13.37)?

I like some of the TightVNC features missing from Free RealVNC, but I'm
a little skeptical about compatibility and/or usabilty on the latest
RHEL and Fedora platforms. Fedora Core 6 is scheduled for release on 9
Oct this year. RHEL 5 is due for release in December. What are the
development team's plans in terms of Linux server/client platforms?
=================[/Any 2.6 Linux Kernels?]=================


This next one is a big deal for our sites. Remoting the local display
keeps me from traveling to each building and allows local administrators
to follow or join-in what I'm doing at the Linux consoles. Having
multiple, private, concurrent connections at selectable resolution and
color depths allows developers full, unshared, sessions in which to
work.

===============[Native and Virtual Displays]===============
        I've got VNC 4.1.2-1 installed on all of our Linux and Windows
machines. The Linux machines are setup to run the native X server (:0)
with the "vnc.so" module installed and configured in the Xorg.conf file.
They also run "Xvnc" services out of xinetd for 8 different
geometry/color depth combinations. Each of these services supports
multiple client connections.

1. I don't see any "vnc.so" module in the tightvnc-server RPM. Does
TighVNC not support remote native X display? In other words, can I
connect to display :0 on a server and control the local console
remotely?

2. Am I likely to have problems with my multiple vnc services if I
switch to TightVNC? I'm using XDM (GDM) for these. Here is an excerpt
representing one of the high-resolution virtual displays from my RHEL 4
/etc/xinetd.d/vnc file (watch for line-wrap in your message).

-----------------------------------------------------
## [73] Color Depth: 24-bit Geometry: 1280x1024
service vnc1280x1024x24
{
        flags           = REUSE
        protocol        = tcp
        socket_type     = stream
        wait            = no
        user            = nobody
        server          = /usr/bin/Xvnc
        server_args     = -inetd -query localhost -once -geometry
1280x1024 -depth 24 -securitytypes=none
        disable         = no
}
-----------------------------------------------------
===============[/Native and Virtual Displays]===============


===============[RealVNC -> TightVNC Versions]===============
The main TightVNC home page says the it is "derived from the popular VNC
software. Is this a forked development effort or does it track directly
with RealVNC releases?

Is there a way to correlate the RealVNC version upon which a TightVNC
release is based?

What is the typical delay between a RealVNC release and an update to
TightVNC?
===============[/RealVNC -> TightVNC Versions]===============


--Cal Webster