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Light and fast program for remote control of a computer.

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Light and fast program for remote control of a computer with X11

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About

The project was created for its own use within the home network (you can use DeskX over the internet using port forwarding via ssh). I have a server at home with a large number of Linux virtual machines to which I needed remote access. All remote software I've tried had their problems - e.g., scrolling lags in the browser, dragging windows, etc. For this reason, a project was created focused on the fastest possible data transfer without paying much attention to image quality.

Functionality

  • Own compression algorithm that can be adjusted manually (read more)
  • Multiple Commands: Server Side Shutdown, Remote Control
  • Fullscreen or windowed mode
  • Two separate streams for transferring screen data and events
  • Linux & macOS & Windows support

An example of working with compression

Screen resolution

Controlling screen resolution and picture sizes is entirely dependent on the server-side resolution settings. To change it, use the standard utility xrandr. An update will be released later with automatic permission change.

Window or Fullscreen mode

Fullscreen mode is enabled when your screen resolution matches the server side screen resolution. Press the F7 key to exit fullscreen mode.

Getting started

  • Build it
# Debian/Ubuntu
sudo apt install libx11-dev libxtst-dev libxext-dev
git clone https://github.com/DeskX11/DeskX/
cd DeskX
make client
make server
# After these steps 2 files will be compiled: `dxc` (the client part, which must be launched on the
# computer from which the control will be carried out) and `dxs` (server part for a managed computer).

# MacOS
brew install sdl2
git clone https://github.com/DeskX11/DeskX/
cd DeskX
make client

# Windows
# To compile, you need to use Cygwin + MinGW. During the installation of Cygwin, you need to select
# the components g++, make, SDL2, git. After open Cygwin terminal and follow the instructions below:
git clone https://github.com/DeskX11/DeskX/
cd DeskX
make client
# If you want to use the program outside the Cygwin terminal, you need to put the necessary DLLs
# next to the exe file and then you can run DeskX without being tied to the environment:
# cyggcc_s-seh-1.dll, cygSDL2-2-0-0.dll, cygstdc++-6.dll, cygwin1.dll
  • Build the .deb packages
# Debian/Ubuntu
sudo apt install libx11-dev libxtst-dev libxext-dev
git clone https://github.com/DeskX11/DeskX/
cd DeskX
make deb-client
make deb-server
# After that, you will have the client and server .deb packages in the project's root folder.

Usage

Client

Usage: ./dxс [options]
Options:
	--ip			Ip address of the server
	--port			Port of the server
	--color-distance	Compression range (0 to 255) (default: 2)
	--cmd			Server side command (default: 0)

Commands:
	rat (0) 		Start remote control
	exit(1)			Command to shutdown the server side

Example:
	./dxс --ip=192.168.0.1 --port=4431 --color-distance=16 --cmd=0

Server

Usage: ./dxs [options]
Options:
	--bind-ip		IP address to listen on (default: all available IPs)
	--port			Connection port
	--display		Screen number (default: :0)
	--xauth			Path to .Xauthority file

Example:
	./dxs --bind-ip=127.0.0.1 --port=4431 --display=:0 --xauth=.Xauthority

How to get best performance?

Fast data transfer depends on two factors: the size of the transmitted packet and the transfer rate. To reduce the size of the batch, you can try changing the --color-distance parameter up. Also, the speed of the transmission channel plays an important role; it is recommended to use a router with a gigabit LAN. As a last resort, you can also try to disable unnecessary effects such as window shadows.

Can't open X-Display.

This error usually occurs when you try to start dxs via ssh. To solve it, you need to specify the --display and --xauth arguments.

  • xauth - path to .Xauthority file.
  • display - display number, default value should be :0 or :0.0.

For more information you can read xauth, Xsecurity and xhost man pages.

How to use it on macOS / Windows?

On macOS / Windows, you can use the client side of the program to connect to your linux server. To do this, you must have the SDL2 library installed. Download the already compiled version here.

Requirements

  • OS with x11 (SDL2 for macOS / Windows)
  • g++ make
  • libx11-dev libxtst-dev libxext-dev or sdl2