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I'm looking for a program to remote desktop from my macbook pro to the ubuntu VM I have set up on my home computer. I've read chicken of the VNC works but after using it, it seems to be incredibly laggy. Is there a better solution out there or do I just have to deal with it?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Mar 4 '11 at 3:46

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If you just want a single program, you could also try ssh -X ubuntuVM and then run your programs, e.g.: firefox & –  sarnold Mar 4 '11 at 1:35
off-topic, should go to superuser.com –  mauris Mar 4 '11 at 1:36

5 Answers 5

up vote 9 down vote accepted

This site lists a number of servers, such as Vino and krfb. On the mac, you can just use the Screen Sharing client (in Finder's Go menu, click Connect to Server, then enter the address vnc:// or whatever IP address the Ubuntu system is on, making sure to retain the vnc:// portion).

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This seems promising. I've tried this but it just seems to spend forever trying to contact the ubuntu VM, even after I authenticate the connection on ubuntu. Is this screen sharing meant for this purpose? –  DamonKashu Mar 4 '11 at 1:44
Screen sharing is just a VNC client. It's definitely an issue with your server software (Chicken)…unless you have a slow network/router? –  Inspire48 Mar 4 '11 at 2:19

Consider using NX - it should be a lot faster than VNC.

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JollysFastVNC is reportedly the fastest VNC server available for OSX.

That said, in my experience slow connections in/out from Ubuntu often mean it's trying to do IPv6 when it shouldn't be.

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Just tunnel your X11 session over ssh. Nice and fast - because you're sending drawing commands, etc. Not whole bitmaps.

ssh -X user@hostname (or ip address)

And then just type the name of a program, eg:


You can run a whole desktop as well.

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On Ubuntu 12.04 you can use "Desktop Sharing" (type it into the search bar) as the server and take FeifanZ's suggestion for the Mac client. I set the whole thing up in 30 seconds.

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