Presentation and Inquire

Pekka Paalanen ppaalanen at
Wed Apr 1 11:18:30 UTC 2020

On Tue, 31 Mar 2020 18:29:01 -0300
Matías Emanuel Denda Serrano <matutetandil at> wrote:

> So, my idea was simple, I get a cloud server, I install my favorite Linux
> DIstro a Web Desktop Environment, and I access that machine for any place
> in the world with a Web Browser... My surprise was: "There is No Web
> Desktop Environment" or at least I couldn't find anything, probably because
> no one thinks a server the way I think a server.
> Summarizing, I'd like to develop and here is where I need your help or
> starting point, something that lets me render the "screen" within a
> browser. I'm VERY open to suggestions but basically my vision is to open a
> browser enter to, I will be asked for my username and
> password, and after the validation, I'll see the SAME Desktop Environment
> that the server has. For Instance, if I installed GNOME, then I will see
> GNOME (of course if Gnome supports Wayland).
> Btw, using VNC, is not an option, it is very slow and is not what I want.
> My idea is the browser to be the screen so I can minimize the traffic to
> the minimum. Also, I don't care about moving files from the machine where
> the browser is open.


unfortunately, VNC-like (remote screen, sending lots of pixels over the
network instead of drawing commands + data) is more or less the only
option today. Many applications and most of the popular toolkits
already work this way: they render huge images in-process and send
those to the display server. So as long as you run the application
process in a remote server, you will always be shuffling huge amounts
of pixels over the network.

See also this whole thread:

Therefore I think what you want cannot be achieved the way you want it.
Applications and desktops just don't work that way. You need to rewrite
everything as web applications, or you need to use a remote file system
as your home and maybe even as your root file system to run everything
(desktop, display server, apps, etc.) in your client machine.

Btw. the efficiency and fluency of VNC, RDP, etc. varies hugely
depending on which exact server and client implementations you happened
to pick, and which settings you used. I suspect not all of them even
expose the settings you would want to tweak to get the best out of it.
The optimal settings naturally also depend on the available network
bandwidth, packet loss, and latency. So I believe the remote display
performance could be pretty good, if one just could tune everything,
even with existing tech like RDP.

However, if you want things to feel as snappy as running everything
locally, then I suppose using a remote file system and actually running
everything locally is the only way. And even then you may get stalls
when programs access files and need to wait for network to deliver.

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