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X2go

I’m going a little esoteric here. I remember when I heard of the existence of Linux in high school (circa 1997). Everyone’s reaction was “wow, you could have your own Unix server and do whatever you want!” I promptly tried out multiple distributions when I got my own desktop PC in college. One of the things I really wanted to do was run windowed applications transparently across the network. I wanted to run a window on my dorm machine and have it show up seamlessly on the MS Windows PC in the school’s computer lab.

Fast forward 22 years -> I’ve worked on this problem off and on, never with really great results. I’ve tried it at summer jobs, residency, real jobs. I’ve tried VNC-based and NX-based solutions and they’ve never done precisely what I wanted.

But in the last 2 years I finally got a good configuration of x2go. It’s FOSS to boot. I never liked that NX (its predecessor) was always trying to sell me something.

Now at work I run Chrome, my password manager, a terminal window etc. on my work PC’s Windows 7 desktop. The remote Linux windows behave the same as the local ones. It’s like having 2 operating systems on the same desktop.

The only slowdown is that video ads can be a bit choppy. All other animation, scrolling, etc works great. Having gigabit fiber helps, I’m sure. 🙂 Come to think about it, when I signed up for gigabit, I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do with it. This is probably a good example for a home user.

Matt

This is my site!

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