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Open Source Guacamole Puts VNC On the Web

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the there's-an-app-for-that dept.

IT 180

tbitiss writes "A new open source project dubbed Guacamole allows users to access a desktop remotely through a web browser, potentially streamlining the requirements for client support and administration. Guacamole is an HTML5 and JavaScript (Ajax) VNC viewer that makes use of a VNC-to-XML proxy server written in Java. According to its developers, Guacamole is almost as responsive as native VNC and should work in any browser supporting the HTML5 canvas tag. Supporting 10 Linux desktops in 10 browser tabs? I like the sound of that."

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Offtopic (-1, Offtopic)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32100808)

"I like burritos, but they sure don't like me!" ::diarrhea::

"That was my squeezing arm. They took my squeezing arm! WHY MY SQUEEZING ARM! WHY!"

Sorry, the whole guacamole thing made me think of it, lol

Re:Offtopic (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32101476)

As Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda says, "Slashdot is like an omelette." Denver omelete? Spanish omelette? Nope, Havana omelette. A big smelly pool of liquid feces. Chow down!

Slashvertisement? (1, Insightful)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 4 years ago | (#32100872)

Actually, I have not problem with Slashvertisements that would obviously interest the slashdot community, such as this. Just tag it as such!

Re:Slashvertisement? (4, Informative)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 4 years ago | (#32100908)

Ack! TFA (yeah, I went for it) splashes some ad that didn't make it past my hosts file. You might want this link instead, which goes to the sourceforge page and not the techworld blog:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/guacamole/ [sourceforge.net]

DevShed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32101336)

Stay in the DevShed forums, Cohen...

Hmmm... (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 4 years ago | (#32100880)

Where's GuacamoleAnalogyGuy when you need him???

Re:Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32101142)

At least it's an open source solution, not a closed proprietary product at which your solely at the mercy of your supplier.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101404)

And once an open source project is abandoned by it's primary developers how many of those aforementioned projects actually get revived after that point? I doubt you'll find it's more than few percent or so.

Re:Hmmm... (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 4 years ago | (#32102550)

Who know? I don't and likely you don't either. However, personally, I've never had an open source project that I've relied on cease development and leave me in a lurch as a result.

At least with open source, you have the option of continuing development either on your own or hiring people to do it for you. What do you do when a closed source project is abandoned by its developers?

bucng of layers (3, Funny)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 4 years ago | (#32100884)

Please, can't we have some more abstraction layers? My machine is just so fast I can't handle it. (Yeah, I know, we use the extra performance to services which were unfeasible earlier blah, blah...)

Re:bucng of layers (4, Funny)

c++0xFF (1758032) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101110)

Please, can't we have some more abstraction layers?

Maybe we should make a new project called "BeanDip" ... it has 7 layers, including Guacamole.

Re:bucng of layers (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101290)

7 layers, sounds like it should be called Boxxy.

Re:bucng of layers (1)

WillDraven (760005) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101556)

Damn, is anyone else getting hungry? I think I have some coupons for Mexican restaurants around here somewhere..

Re:bucng of layers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32101938)

Happy Cinco De Mayo!!

Layers? (4, Funny)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101314)

Would you prefer a seven-layer Guacamole dipswitch?

I'm sorry, but I must not be the only one who's facepalming over a post about Guacamole being posted on Cinco de Mayo.

Re:Layers? (1)

Svpernova09 (978812) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101738)

You're not, I lol'd hard.

Re:bucng of layers (1)

Seth Kriticos (1227934) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101432)

Please, can't we have some more abstraction layers?

..well, actually you could use recursive abstraction layers!

Happy to be of service. I'm here all day.

Re:bucng of layers (1)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 4 years ago | (#32102086)

Recursive Abstraction [wikipedia.org]

Apparently, such a thing exists.
-l

Re:bucng of layers (4, Informative)

physburn (1095481) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101470)

Yes please, lets turn all the screen output to XML, before turning it back to screen output, because XML, is so cool. That would be so much faster than streaming X11 (not).

Re:bucng of layers (1)

arose (644256) | more than 4 years ago | (#32102048)

It just might be that JavaScript security features restrict what it can take as an input... Either way I look forward to your HTML5 X11 client!

Re:bucng of layers (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#32102188)

Yeah, this technical approach is firm evidence that XML is like violence: if using it isn't solving your problem, you're not using enough.

10 desktops (2, Interesting)

macbuzz01 (1074795) | more than 4 years ago | (#32100888)

Eavesdropping 10 Linux desktops in 10 browser tabs? I like the sound of that.


There, fixed it for you

HTTP has benefits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32100920)

You could serve classroom instructions both local and across the Internet through a Varnish proxy.

Re:HTTP has benefits (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101524)

Why is it you always hear of something new in bunches? I was trying to get on the internet on my train yesterday and an error came up about Varnish proxy. And now today, a reference here.

Having not bothered looking anything up about it, what is the big benefit of using it over any other proxy, such as squid?

Tom...

Re:HTTP has benefits (2, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101788)

Well apparently version 1.0 was released in 2006 so it's not that new.. but I've definitely noticed that too.. like I'll have never heard a word before in my life and then it'll turn up two or three times in as many weeks..

Old news (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 4 years ago | (#32100924)

It's called LogMeIn.

Re:Old news (2, Interesting)

cbuosi (1492959) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101030)

Yeah, but LogMeIn is an private, non-free app. Wake me up when an zero config behind-router to behind-router VNC-like app hit the road. The remote desktop integrated app used in MSN (live or whatever is its name now) is very good, but have some flaws (send EVERY FRAME of the remote desktop, becaming slow very fast) and its Windows/MSN only.

Re:Old news (1)

darth dickinson (169021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101312)

Bomgar. Based on VNC and has never failed, so long as the end user has internet access.

Now, this costs real-world money, so that may knock it out of consideration.

Re:Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32101852)

Consider yourself woken up: http://sourceforge.net/projects/remotevnc/ [sourceforge.net]

Re:Old news (1)

cbuosi (1492959) | more than 4 years ago | (#32102202)

will take a look when i get home, thanks!

Re:Old news (1)

deroby (568773) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101862)

GBridge does quite a decent job too IMHO ... tries to be much more than just what you ask for, but so far I've only used it for about 2 weeks, solely for remote access to "all my pc's all over the world" so I can't comment much it's other capabilities but it allows me to connect from work (megafirewall) to home (non-configured NAT) without any problem. It's using a "built-in" Ultr@VNC which is great for my XPHome pc, but can also work with Remote Desktop (which I prefer on the XP Pro machines)

http://www.gbridge.com/ [gbridge.com]

It's free (at least current version is); but not open source I guess judging by the fact that it's Windows only...

Re:Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32102264)

crossloop has a free version and it works for windows and mac at least. Not sure about linux. I used it for fix my father-in-laws-girlfried's computer in an act of desperation. It worked flawless from behind-router to behind-router as you put it.

Re:Old news (1)

fluffernutter (1411889) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101148)

As a person that is considering logmein as a support tool there are three things I don't like about it:
1) It doesn't support linux
2) Requirement to install an agent on the target machine is an unnecessary complication for the end user
3) It is third party

Of course a good thing about it is the encryption, although I could not see from the logmein site whether that is end to end or merely encrypting across each internet leg.

If this project addresses any of the three points above I will be very interested in it.

Re:Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32101230)

I hope #2 stays necessary... do you really want a web page to be able to capture your desktop? I thought not...

Re:Old news (1)

fluffernutter (1411889) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101354)

What I mean is, it should be a single .exe that opens up your machine; think portable app. Going through a windows install process and having a service running on the machine forever after until uninstall may be appropriate for a machine that needs to stay online but for one shot support there is no need for all of that. User should download an .exe and run it and click OK to open their desktop and close the app to lock it back up again.

Re:Old news (1)

greyspectre (1114091) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101670)

Not to look like an advertising shill, but LogMeIn has a product called Rescue which creates a one-time session for support agents to control the end-user's PC. I never used it beyond the free trial because I couldn't justify the cost to the bean counters (being an IT administrator in the jewelry industry makes it hard to justify *anything* to the bean counters right now).

Re:Old news (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101956)

Well there's the free UltraVNC single-click exe. You upload your server targets to their generator and it spits out a tiny exe that has the server hardcoded, so the user need only run it and optionally select a server. I use it with a VNC repeater running on my end, so they can select from any one of 5 sessions that I can connect to. It's free and it works but I haven't tested it under WINE.

Re:Old news (1)

GreenEnvy22 (1046790) | more than 4 years ago | (#32102350)

Team Viewer 5 does this. You send the person a link, or verbally tell them the URL over the phone. It downloads an EXE file, they run it. The program gives them some numbers they read off to you, and you connect using those numbers. Done! I use it a lot for helping friends/family.

Re:Old news (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101622)

I had the impression that stuff like LogMeIn allow users to go to some website, and then voluntarily allow OTHER people to control their computer by also visiting that same site. This is quite convenient when you can't or do not want to reconfigure the firewalls and NAT devices.

Does Guacamole do that?

It's not the same thing if Guacamole involves users running a VNC server and then configuring firewalls, NATs etc to allow remote access to their computer.

In which case you can already do the same thing with existing VNC servers: http://www.realvnc.com/support/javavncviewer.html [realvnc.com]

Great.... (5, Insightful)

macintard (1270416) | more than 4 years ago | (#32100946)

"Almost" as responsive as VNC? So it sucks even more?

Re:Great.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32101720)

Duh of course its gonna suck. Its written in java.

Back ... TO THE FUTURE! (5, Informative)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101000)

Plain old vncserver had this capability since at least 1998. I remember using it once at a customer site and their staff gathered around gawking. "He's got xterms in Netscape!"

Re:Back ... TO THE FUTURE! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32101128)

Yeah, but not with XML, Javascript and HTML5. That was a Java applet. So not cool.

Re:Back ... TO THE FUTURE! (2, Insightful)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101220)

This piece of crap is a JavaScript/HTML5 hack plus a server-side Java process. The worst of both worlds!

Guacamole is a HTML5 and JavaScript (Ajax) VNC viewer, which makes use of a VNC-to-XML proxy server written in Java.

Re:Back ... TO THE FUTURE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32101590)

Is it worse than a Java Applet plus a server-side JavaScript process? Then it can't be the worst of both worlds.

Re:Back ... TO THE FUTURE! (1)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101722)

OK you got me there. That would indeed be worse. Does anyone even do server-side javascript any more? I know you used to be able to do that with Netscape Enterprise Server back in the dark old days but I haven't heard of people doing it lately.

Re:Back ... TO THE FUTURE! (1)

hax0r_this (1073148) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101890)

I keep hearing about a thing called Node.js, some sort of V8 (the Chrome javascript engine) powered Javascript web framework. I've never used it, but my impression is its not something you would want to use in production.

Re:Back ... TO THE FUTURE! (5, Interesting)

hax0r_this (1073148) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101644)

How is that the worst of both worlds, or a hack? This uses Java and Javascript both in the environments in which they work best. And I'm not even sure why you would call this a hack. Do you have a problem with working with XML in a Java server? Java is far from my language of choice, but thats hardly a hack. Or is it the drawing in an HTML5 canvas that you consider a hack? Because thats exactly what its for.

Re:Back ... TO THE FUTURE! (2, Insightful)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 4 years ago | (#32102292)

But it's open source, so stop whining and go rewrite it in Python, or Perl, or Assembly or something. Or Brainfuck.

Re:Back ... TO THE FUTURE! (2, Interesting)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 4 years ago | (#32102508)

Javascript's gotten fast/mature enough to be taken seriously as a real programming language. Google in particular have made some truly impressive progress [geek.com] with Chrome.

Although the server-side Java applet seems annoying to have, and indeed hack-y, it's awesome that we're starting to see "real" applications in the browser.

We'll hopefully start seeing lots more of this sort of thing, thanks to Apple's "war on flash."

Re:Back ... TO THE FUTURE! (1)

solevita (967690) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101158)

Indeed.

I've not RTFA, but I often visit http://some-pc:5800/ [some-pc] - what's so special about this? HTML5?

Re:Back ... TO THE FUTURE! (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101366)

Oh well, I'm finding this story pretty informative just for the collected wisdom of all the different VNC-over-HTTP solutions described by the replies. It's actually pretty hard to put that kind of information together.

Re:Back ... TO THE FUTURE! (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101632)

And that would be why no one on Slashdot RTFAs.

Re:Back ... TO THE FUTURE! (1)

brufleth (534234) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101446)

Glad to know I didn't imagine using this throughout college to access my dorm computer from any computer on campus. Normally the viewer is small enough and requires no install so you can just use that anyway. The web interface was/is only really needed when it is a machine you can't or don't want to put the viewer on.

Unencrypted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32101004)

VNC is an unencrypted protocol. If you type passwords into a VNC session, you definitely want to tunnel it through something secure.

Re:Unencrypted (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101112)

If you type passwords into a VNC session, you definitely want to tunnel it through something secure.

Fortunately, HTTP has been tunneled over TLS [wikipedia.org] since TLS was called SSL.

NX (3, Interesting)

blkwolf (18520) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101026)

I'd like to see something like this using the NX protocol as the response time is much faster than VNC.

Re:NX (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101184)

You want an X11 server written in HTML5 and JavaScript?

And you thought X was slow before. . .

I second that (1)

Burz (138833) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101266)

VNC is slow. Having multiple VNC sessions in a broswer sounds like torture to me.

When is X11 going to get modern support for sharing displays over a network? Is anyone talking with Nomachine to work on a more integrated solution using NX technology?

Re:NX (1)

caseih (160668) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101270)

Already does that. NX has supported proxying VNC via the NX protocol for some time. Just make a new connection, set the Desktop to "VNC" and then tell the NX server which machine you want to connect to over VNC. Works like this:

NX client --nxprotocol--> NX Server --vncprotocol--> someotherhost

Now we just need a web-based, fast NX client! Guess I could run nxclient in a x11vnc session via guacamole. haha

As for Guacamole, this is cool technology, but being Java-based is a huge minus. I'm certainly not going to deploy an entire heavy-weight app server on my VPS just to have this functionality. Thanks to the parent poster for reminding me that I already have NX and it can do VNC!

Re:NX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32101730)

Sure, but why would you want it in a web browser? why not just a tab capable NX client?

UltraVNC (1)

Zantetsuken (935350) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101032)

So they took UltraVNC from a couple of years ago, which includes its own webserver with a Java interface accessible from a browser - and added a conversion program to change the Java into Javascript w/Canvas?

TightVNC too (1)

g8oz (144003) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101168)

TightVNC had a similar feature as well. I guess we are supposed to be impressed that this uses HTML 5.

Re:TightVNC too (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32101758)

Actually, the javaVNC daemon was included in the original AT&T Proof of Concept. However, VNC and the Java applet use TCP ports 58xx and 59xx -- the whole thing about this version is that it can pass data over the HTTP stream on TCP 80 and TCP 443 -- meaning you don't have to punch holes in your router's firewall. They run the java app on the server side and translate the output so it can be pushed via HTTP instead of the proprietary VNC data stream blocks.

Personally, I think it would be easier to add some new encodings to VNC that happen to be SOAP/HTML5/JS etc. compatible; then all you'd have to do is inject the VNC feed into an HTTP datafeed, without having to worry about all this abstraction and translation. Since the Java server contains an HTTP server anyway, they could even push it directly to this feed, bypassing the traditional VNC data feed/java applet combo.

Re:TightVNC too (1)

deroby (568773) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101936)

Frankly, it was in the "original' VNC 10+ years ago ... (now real-vnc I believe)

Re:UltraVNC (1)

Megaweapon (25185) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101200)

So they took UltraVNC from a couple of years ago, which includes its own webserver with a Java interface accessible from a browser - and added a conversion program to change the Java into Javascript w/Canvas?

And you read about it on Slashdot! Ready to become a subscriber yet?????/??/11

Supporting 10 linux machines in 10 tabs? (1)

Peaker (72084) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101068)

Sounds horrible to those of us who don't regularly support users :-)

I guess if you have "apt" installing a VNC client is not so bad, so I'm not sure I appreciate the advantages that much...

Gee, what are the chances... (5, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101072)

that Guacamole would be announced on Cinco de Mayo?

Re:Gee, what are the chances... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32101422)

that Guacamole would be announced on Cinco de Mayo?

When will the next Cinco de Mayo be? I can't get away from work today. ~

Re:Gee, what are the chances... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101548)

The American Cinco de Mayo occurs on July 4, while the Irish Cinco de Mayo doesn't happen until March 17.

Re:Gee, what are the chances... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32101568)

Cinco de better have your fuckin papers

Re:Gee, what are the chances... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101614)

No thanks. I'd rather have a cinco de tequila than a cinco de mayonnaise.

Re:Gee, what are the chances... (1)

rnelsonee (98732) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101606)

What better incentive for a deadline than a day famous for drinking? If they missed the target release, they'd be stuck working 12 hours today to rush it out.

Re:Gee, what are the chances... (1)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101648)

Apparently it has more of a chance than being announced on National Guacamole Day, Sept. 16th, or National Spicy Guacamole Day on Nov. 14th. Either of those dates would have been more impressive seeing as Guacamole is an Aztec food.

Re:Gee, what are the chances... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101704)

Wait, there's a National Guacamole Day?!? What country do you live in?

Re:Gee, what are the chances... (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101822)

Wait, there's a National Guacamole Day?!? What country do you live in?

Probably yours. [thenibble.com]

I have been known to argue that food is the second most important thing in life, but this is going a bit far.

Re:Gee, what are the chances... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101868)

Not going too far... without food, you'd have no energy for sex!

Re:Gee, what are the chances... (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 4 years ago | (#32102108)

Not going too far... without food, you'd have no energy for sex!

Sex is third... (maybe fourth... books > sex?)

Any guesses on first?

Re:Gee, what are the chances... (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101910)

How exactly does one go about proclaiming a National Blueberry Popsicle day? That has got to be one of the most specialized special interest groups I've ever heard of!!!

What's old is new (4, Interesting)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101082)

Heh, all the way back since the late 90's I've been logging in to my VNC sessions via the built-in java client (just go to http://vnchost:5801/ [vnchost] instead of vnchost:1 ). I guess that means that HTML5 + JIT compiled Javascript is the new Java?

If you like Guacamole, you'll probably also like AJAXterm, which can give you a webpage-based shell. It works well with GNU screen. It's nice for workplaces that block SSH but have an HTTPS proxy. Can't find a definitive webpage for it, but it's not too hard to set up from the debian repository. But it does seem to work a bit better than Mindterm (the Java ssh client from the 90's).

For mobile phone use, I've been fairly content with the java MIDPSSH [xk72.com] . Unless your smartphone has a native ssh client, of course.

Re:What's old is new (2, Insightful)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101350)

The difference between a 4-digit user ID and a 7-digit user ID becomes increasingly clear.

carde: VNC and RDP via Apache httpd module (1)

ewg (158266) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101086)

Searching for this capability a couple of weeks ago turned up carde, a project with similar goals. Nothing released yet, but they mention RDP as well as VNC, supported via an Apache httpd module.

http://code.google.com/p/carde/ [google.com]

Is it just a client? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32101132)

So, is this just another vnc client, or does it do more? The article doesn't tell you much, and the documentation at sourceforge or in the tgz is almost non-existent.

After all, tightvnc can already serve up a java applet for in browser control.

Same speed as VNC.... (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101206)

So it'll be slow as hell? Perfect! *ducks*

Re:Same speed as VNC.... (1)

blahbooboo (839709) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101554)

So it'll be slow as hell? Perfect! *ducks*

So true! VNC no matter the "flavor" (tightVNC, ChickenoftheVNC,etc) is painfully slow compared to others I use such as Windows Remote Desktop or Citrix. The latest version of Windows 7 Remote Desktop is fantastic in features and speed.

Re:Same speed as VNC.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32102436)

True. If only there was an open NX client that actually works... (Win7 Remote Desktop really doesn't fit my choice of OS)

Guacamole is almost as responsive as native VNC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32101362)

So it's not very responsive?

Desktop access. Really? (1)

pdxaaron (777522) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101508)

Supporting 10 Linux desktops in 10 browser tabs? I like the sound of that."

or you know you could just be a good unix admin and use ssh.

Re:Desktop access. Really? (1)

Tsunayoshi (789351) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101948)

which is awesome until you need to launch that one single GUI app and due to enterprise level policies you can't run an Xserver of some type on your Windows desktop in order to tunnel the display back to your PC.

Personally, I think remote admin cards on the servers (ala Dell DRAC) or KVM consoles you can hit remotely via a browser are a better choice since it is just like you are the physical keyboard/monitor and can access BIOS, your RAID cards, etc.

Why is this filed in Linux? (1)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101560)

I mean, /. does have an "xwindows" section.

I suspect it works on other things that are -- gasp -- !linux.

What are the benefits of this? (2, Insightful)

_bug_ (112702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101684)

The client (read:web browser) doesn't need Java installed. That's about it.

If you have Java installed on your machine you can run a Java-based VNC client. The Java-based VNC client could be stored on a web server. So the benefits of cross-platform compatibility or use-anywhere accessibility aren't new or unique to the HTML5 client.

But you don't need Java. But you do need an HTML5 capable browser. Both solutions require you install an application of some kind. But everyone has a browser, you say. Well, HTML5 isn't set to be ratified until 2012. Changes to the spec could still happen. Changes that might break this HTML5-based client. Whereas the Java-based client, I know, will work right now and will continue to work.

What's worse, you're introducing a new point of attack/failure into the system. If you're paranoid enough to want an encrypted VNC connection you now have to worry whether or not the VNC/XML server is encrypting it's connection to the VNC server. You can't prove that it is, you just have to trust that it is. Whereas with a Java-based client you can setup a tunnel through any number of means and know that your direct connection to the VNC server is safe.

You might argue the HTML5 client approach is more user-friendly; a less-technical user would find this solution far more convenient. A system admin might like the solution too as there's no need to worry about installing a JVM on the client or teaching the client how to start a Java application. But those arguments don't fly. Whether it's a JVM or a browser you will have to install some piece of software on the client machine. And a Java application can be delivered and launched over the web just as easily as some embedded HTML5 client. The ease-of-use to the end-user is the same.

It's a nice hack to showcase what HTML5 can do, but that's all it is.

Re:What are the benefits of this? (1)

GravityStar (1209738) | more than 4 years ago | (#32102590)

It enables people to bypass the corporate firewall. Lots of places only allow access to the internet via a proxy server.

MIME multipart JPEG (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101686)

Would accomplish this better in every way imaginable, sans invoking all the gratuitous web 2.0 buzzwords.

Name? (4, Insightful)

DaFallus (805248) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101772)

Why do so many open source projects have the dumbest names? Whats next? Ketchup? Towel? Come on guys, put the bowl down for five minutes and come up with a name that isn't related to the munchies in front of you or the stains on your shirt.

Re:Name? (5, Funny)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 4 years ago | (#32102156)

Dude, your username is DaFallus.

Re:Name? (3, Insightful)

TheQuantumShift (175338) | more than 4 years ago | (#32102474)

Would you prefer "Remote Access Desktop Professional Ultimate - Browser Edition 9 (SP4)"

Of course there is a happy medium, descriptive plays on words and acronyms (Rhythmbox, Gnumeric, Gedit, etc.) But why not have totally off the wall names like Pidgin, Gimp, Bluefish, etc. It makes things distinctive. Open source is about having fun (usually) so why box it in?

A decade late? (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 4 years ago | (#32101922)

Didn't VNC used to come with the ability to go to host:5900 or :5800 (whichever isn't the default) with a browser and get a Java viewer, like, forever ago?

But is it firewall friendly? (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#32102024)

Why we use Logmein is because we can tunnel through the firewall and do remote support even if the person standing at the terminal at the other end is a non tech. They just go to a website, download the Logmein Rescue installer, we can log in, and after the session is over the program deletes itself.

The only problem is that we can only use it from Windows and only on Windows and Macs. That leaves clients who would like to use BSD or Linux out in the cold.

Names (0, Troll)

FatJuggles (1206940) | more than 4 years ago | (#32102514)

We've talked about this before but why do people in OSS community accept odd names? Guacamole? Would you consider this to be a serious product for home use even?

What's the use-case? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 4 years ago | (#32102578)

I understand why you'd want to develop apps natively for the browser. I understand why you'd sometimes want native apps.

But this really seems odd. Why would I ever want to do this from anything other than a native VNC app? KRDC already has a tabbed interface anyway. The only place this seems useful is if you want remote access to your desktop from any random, untrusted terminal, which is a bad idea to begin with.

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