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blocker 16th October 2008 17:59

VNC over SSH tunnel optimization

I have setup ssh tunnel from a linux workstation to a linux server to use secure VNC. It works so far good, the only problem is that it is a bit slow. I would like to ask you for suggestion on optimizing the the tunnel and/or the vnc server. Both computers have enough cpu power and very fast internet connections, so it would not be a problem if the optimization includes high cpu usage or high broadband usage...

here are my configs:

VNC server is started with the following options:

tightvncserver -geometry 800x600 -depth 15 :1

xrdb $HOME/.Xresources
xsetroot -solid grey
x-terminal-emulator -geometry 80x24+10+10 -ls -title "$VNCDESKTOP Desktop" &
gnome-session &

the ssh tunnel gets started from the workstation with the following options:

ssh -f -N -L 5901:localhost:5901 username@server

marpada 16th October 2008 21:45

You can try using flag -C in ssh for compression (read the man page warning). Maybe you connection is slow because your ISP is doing traffic shaping, you could also try to tunnel to another port (443).


-C Requests compression of all data (including stdin, stdout,
stderr, and data for forwarded X11 and TCP connections). The
compression algorithm is the same used by gzip(1), and the
“level” can be controlled by the CompressionLevel option for pro‐
tocol version 1. Compression is desirable on modem lines and
other slow connections, but will only slow down things on fast
The default value can be set on a host-by-host basis
in the configuration files; see the Compression option.

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