Well, it’s been a little over a month since I first played around with VNC, and now I wonder how I got along without it. Mostly, I use it to access my Linux box in the basement office. For awhile I grabbed its main X11 display using the XFree86 VNC module. This works OK, but it’s still slow. Then, I tried starting a dedicated VNC server on the Linux box (it opens a new virtual X11 screen on
localhost:1), and the performance difference is like night and day. It’s so fast that sometimes I forget that I’m working on a remote desktop. It’s even fast when I access it from the Mac over the wireless.
The only issue with this setup is access from the Linux desktop itself. I have to open up a VNC client to access the desktop running on the same machine, and I have to remember to start apps that I’ll be accessing remotely (gnucash, etc) inside the VNC server. This seems a little inefficient/redundant, but it’s a worthwhile tradeoff considering the performance is so much better. Plus, I can re-enable direct rendering on the native X desktop now if I want.