NX vs VNC

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NX and VNC are remote desktop control protocols widely available on open source operating systems.

NX allows users to create new X11 sessions and forwards all X communication to the remote client.

VNC simply forwards what a logged in user sees on the desktop similar to how video would be transmitted.

Contents

[edit] Platforms

Because NX is based on X, it only works on servers where X is present, namely, *nix operating systems (including Mac OSX with X11.app). NX does not run as a server on Windows but can run as a client on Windows.

VNC works on all servers because it simply images the desktop and sends it as pictures instead of X11 calls.

[edit] Performance

NX performs faster than VNC because it works at a higher level, requiring less data to be transmitted. VNC communicates through compressed bitmap screenshot updates of the desktop while NX communicates through compressed X11 calls. For low bandwidth connections - such as some internet connections, mobile broadband, etc. - NX can display in real time in cases where VNC is too slow to be a feasible option.

While this is true for remote, low bandwidth connections, VNC is quite a bit faster in a local area network. NX has considerably more computational overhead.

[edit] Multiple clients

Because NX logs into the server as a session, multiple clients would each get their own session.

VNC support multiple clients in the same session only which is very useful for training purposes.

[edit] Audio

VNC does not support audio; NX does.

[edit] Security

VNC is not a secured protocol (although it could be tunnelled) , while NX may use SSH natively in order to establish a connection

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