Why is x11vnc garbage on newer Debian based installs?

Everything about X, Gnome, KDE, ... and everything running on it

Why is x11vnc garbage on newer Debian based installs?

Postby blazini36 » 2020-04-04 19:42

I run a small PC that is basically a machine controller for....well a machine. I started some time ago with Linux Mint, and I always used ssh/VNC with x11vnc to do work on this machine. VNC was always perfect on it, hard to tell you were't connected directly to it. I never really update that machine since machine control PCs really shouldn't be updated (linux or not). I ran into an issue I couldn't sort out and decided to update, which went fine yet VNC became very slow and laggy.

Debian typically seems to be be preferred for this type of thing and it's LinuxCNC's supported distro and I'd been meaning to switch anyway.....so I did. Using the stock Gnome3 DE I disabled wayland and installed x11vnc, with the same bad performance. I tried gnome-remote-desktop setup through gnome gui settings, with wayland re-enabled. It worked better but not perfect. I then ran into a bug where the GUI setup would constantly set the password blank and it couldn't be reconnected to unless using the option to ask for connection everytime, but I cannot use it like that.

I then re-installed Debian10 with cinnamon as the DE, but again X11vnc is too slow to use. I have several other machines, including some very modest ARM CPU's that run x11vnc just fine, but they are on older LinuxMint/Debian installs and have not been updated in some time. So something changed, it's not a hardware or network issue because it's all the same hardware as before. I don't know if it's the packages, or debian, or the kernel. I am using kernel 5.4-rt-preempt from backport (need the realtime kernel) but it is just as bad with the stock 4.19 kernel.

I've tried other vnc servers but I can't really get any of them to work, and honestly x11vnc has been fine for years so I'd just like to figure out what the problem is.
blazini36
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 2020-04-04 17:24

Re: Why is x11vnc garbage on newer Debian based installs?

Postby pcalvert » 2020-04-05 02:45

I used x11vnc about three years ago on Debian Jessie, and it worked OK. Not great, but it was usable. I also used TightVNC, and xrdp plus xorgxrdp. Of those three, xrdp plus xorgxrdp gave me the best performance. Xrdp can also be used with a VNC server, but I don't recall if I tried doing that (since it seemed pointless).

Phil
“Property is the fruit of labor; property is desirable; it is a positive good
in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become
rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise.”
— Abraham Lincoln
pcalvert
 
Posts: 1895
Joined: 2006-04-21 11:19
Location: Sol Sector

Re: Why is x11vnc garbage on newer Debian based installs?

Postby blazini36 » 2020-04-05 04:33

I did try xrdp but using Remmina and KRDC as clients both gave me some error about "could not determine name" or something like that. Again X11vnc used to work perfectly, no reason to switch other than for whatever reason it's terrible now.

I settled on using Nomachine/NX for now and that works well. It would be nice to get the more general protocol working (right) though.
blazini36
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 2020-04-04 17:24

Re: Why is x11vnc garbage on newer Debian based installs?

Postby trinidad » 2020-04-12 13:19

Sorry missed this post. What you need is a minimal install with Xorg and an SSH server. No need for x11vnc at all. Use SSH x11 forwarding instead. The controller interface is probably dated enough to give newer GTK stuff a problem so don't bother with a DE, or alternatively if you must have a DE use LXDE. The way you're working (especially using gnome with x11vnc) installs a lot of unneeded software just to run a machine controller interface.

TC
You can't believe your eyes if your imagination is out of focus.
trinidad
 
Posts: 129
Joined: 2016-08-04 14:58

Re: Why is x11vnc garbage on newer Debian based installs?

Postby blazini36 » 2020-07-19 22:39

trinidad wrote:Sorry missed this post. What you need is a minimal install with Xorg and an SSH server. No need for x11vnc at all. Use SSH x11 forwarding instead. The controller interface is probably dated enough to give newer GTK stuff a problem so don't bother with a DE, or alternatively if you must have a DE use LXDE. The way you're working (especially using gnome with x11vnc) installs a lot of unneeded software just to run a machine controller interface.

TC

Again, this isn't a hardware thing and it never was. I probably shouldn't have mentioned "machine control" because you got the idea that it's some HMI or it's running a shop tool on some old piece of hardware, The "interface" is a custom application that Me and a couple others are actively developing and it does require a full blown DE, and it's running the full Debian10 image so there really isn't all of this "unneeded software" being installed. The ARM SOCFPGA running Debian is a slightly different story and it actually runs LXQT and it used to handle VNC like a champ. None of that really matters, the point is that all of it did work perfectly fine with VNC just as I described. Since I try not to update these often, I really didn't notice the trend of how bad VNC was getting until I decided to migrate a machine from an older Mint release, to a newer Mint release and VNC was borked. I'd been meaning to migrate that machine to Debian anyway so I threw Debian 10 on it instead and again, VNC is no good.

I've pretty much moved away from VNC and use NoMachine for everything now. I prefer to use a generic service like VNC but I don't really have time to chase down whatever is going on with it. Another Debian user actually messaged me that he ran into the same exact issue. So I'm not using it anymore, doesn't really bother me.....But suggesting that "it's old hardware", "the DE is too heavy", or "I really don't need to use VNC cuz XXX", none of that is really the case. It wen't from running perfectly with 0 performance issues, to being completely unuseable on the same hardware with only distro changes with fresh official packages.
blazini36
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 2020-04-04 17:24


Return to Desktop & Multimedia

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests

fashionable