Remote desktop access on SuSE: Cygwin, X, XDMCP and SSH? Nope. FreeNX!

This post is also available at my personal web site: http://milosophical.me/blog/2007/03/22/remote-desktop-acces-suse-cygwin-x-and-xdmcp.html


MJL20080827 — Update:  I Just realised that this is one of my top-visited pages and it’s a totally disorganised and incongruent pile of… What’s worse is, I’ve never updated it since the promised update back in March 2007!

Let me clear things up (and save you wading through the whole article): If you want remote access to your openSUSE desktop from a networked thin client, then forget about X11, XDMCP, VNC or tunneling X through SSH. Use the NX protocol. You’ll need to do the following:

  1. Install FreeNX on your openSUSE host. Some (slightly outdated, but usable) instructions are in Chapter 9 of the openSUSE 10.2 Reference manual. If you’re using openSUSE 11.0 or newer, get the latest FreeNX package from the openSUSE Build Service (there are one-click install buttons)
  2. Install an NX client on your remote terminal(s). Nomachine has free NX clients for Linux, Mac, Windows and Solaris (even some experimental ones for PlayStation 2 and Zaurus!). If your remote terminal is running openSUSE, you could alternatively get an open-source NX client from the build service (or ask yourself: I’m running X locally, so why don’t I just use good ole SSH and X11?)
  3. Configure your NX client to connect to the openSUSE host, then log in and enjoy!

The upshot: I’ve done this with a FreeNX server and Nomachine’s NX client for Windows XP, and it all “just works”, except maybe for some font issues with older X clients like emacs (install extra font packages from nomachine to fix that), and some transparency effect issues I noticed in kwin4, probably to do with X11 extensions missing in the NX client. Not a big deal.

Read the rest of this article for the boring background and laughable false-starts in my quest for remote desktops in X… <blush/>

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Radeon Performance Enhancement

Place these settings in your xorg.conf:

The RADEON driver (man radeon) supports the following options for the RV280 chip (which is found on RADEON 9200 boards). The default values are in red:

  • Option "AGPMode" "1"
    (driver currently supports up to x4)
  • Option "AGPFastWrite" "off"
    (only used when DRI is enabled)
  • Option "BusType" "AGP"
    (if driver's bus type detection is wrong)
  • Option "DisplayPriority" "AUTO"
    (set to "BIOS" or "HIGH" to fix tearing)
  • Option "EnablePageFlip" "off"
    (turn "on" 3D page flipping for better performance)

The biggest wins would come from APGMode and EnablePageFlip. APGFastWrite may help DRI. DisplayPriority may help KDE. Don't use BusType unless the log shows the driver has selected a PCI bus for the card…

Note:- when playing with Xorg 6.5 I got X crashes with EnablePageFlip turned on.