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I am trying to run a graphical application at home and display it on a it on a laptop which is located about six routing hops away. The problem is that the connection is so slow (or rather there is so much GOOEY being transfered) that the mouse is unresponsive and it takes a "long time" to redraw the window even at a resolution of 800x600 pixels. The connection speeds are 10MBit up at home and about 1MBit down on the laptop, which I think should be sufficient for looking at some GUI in (almost) real time.

Since this traffic is sent over over a secure shell, I have enabled Compression with highest CompressionLevel along with Ciphers set to blowfish-cbc. This has substantially improved the responsiveness of the application, making it nearly usable. However, my goal is to improve the performance even further by sacrificing colors and even frame rate.

The application to be displayed a Qemu SDL window with a graphically-oriented OS in it. This is not strictly relevant, but perhaps there are options to tweak the SDL output which I am not aware of.

A possible workaround would be to run the application in a "hidden" X server and enabling TigerVNC on that X server. This would automatically give me the benefits of an optimized VNC viewport, but the goal is to do without (reduce complexity).

The question I'm asking is what are my options for reducing the data-rate generated on the server in order to make the graphical application more usable on the client. As mentioned, colors are not important and I could probably work with 5-16 fps.

Both machines are running Gentoo with the software in question being:


  • X.Org X Server 1.10.4
  • OpenSSH_5.8p1-hpn13v10, OpenSSL 1.0.0e
  • QEMU emulator version 0.15.1 (qemu-kvm-0.15.1)


  • X.Org X Server 1.12.2
  • OpenSSH_5.8p1-hpn13v10lpk, OpenSSL 1.0.0j
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closed as too localized by Oliver Salzburg Nov 22 '12 at 13:16

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Seems like a valid question to me. Xpra does allow you to choose many more compression options than VNC (the accepted answer), including grayscale modes. – totaam Oct 29 '13 at 4:20
Neat. Thank you. – Ярослав Рахматуллин Oct 29 '13 at 15:56
up vote 0 down vote accepted

You're doing it wrong. VNC is the way to go.

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It's more efficient and uses less bandwidth, in case you were wondering why. – Ярослав Рахматуллин Nov 22 '12 at 11:37
Nice, thanks! I should have guessed. – Ярослав Рахматуллин Nov 22 '12 at 11:38

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