[lug] remote xterm question...

Peter Hutnick peter-lists at hutnick.com
Sat May 10 16:03:14 MDT 2003

Joseph P. Crotty said:
> I have a RH 9 box and would like to access it remotely from a Windoz
> box.  Can anyone suggest what software I should place on each to
> accomplish said task?  I read some online docs, but can't seem to
> ascertain the best open source solution.

The whole story:

First "xterm" is an X client (often incorrectly termed "X windows
program") that provides a shell.

Since Windows doesn't (normally) run X, you can't connect to an xterm
running on another box via Windows.

The easiest/best way to accomplish the functional equivalent is PuTTY
(http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/) which is a win32 ssh

The much harder way to actually accomplish connecting to an xterm would be
by installing X on your windows box.  For example the win32 port of
XFree86. (http://cygwin.com/xfree/)

It seems like you might /really/ mean that you want your Windows PC to
emulate an X Terminal (which is a piece of hardware).  VNC is far-and-away
the best way to do this.  Someone mentioned TightVNC.  As it happens
TightVNC is included with RH9.  "man vncserver" is a good place to start.

Someone mentioned VNC performance.  I find TightVNC to be quite good. 
"Just like being there" when operating over a LAN (with the exception of
video) and easily good enough over the Internet.  I routinely connect from
work to my home box (via a Comcast cable modem) at 950x525x16bit color and
the performance is acceptable to me.  Dropping to 8 bit color makes it
almost "just like being there."  640x480x8bit color (aka VGA) is quite
usable over a 33.6 modem.

Someone mentioned telnet.  There is no valid reason to run telnet. 
Period.  Telnet bad.  (If anyone would like to discuss the myriad of
reasons I'm more than happy to, but I'm not going to beat that dead horse
unprovoked ;-)  You will probably want to set up SSH even if you decide to
go with VNC, if for no other reason than so you can start new VNC sessions

There is also x0rfbserver (http://www.hexonet.de/software/x0rfbserver/) to
consider.  I have never used it, but it uses the same protocol that VNC to
export a /native/ X display (VNC uses its own, seperate X server).  I've
never found this that attractive, because if I need to get to something
that is going on on my VNC desktop from the hosting system I can always
just VNC to localhost.


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