I’ve been searching for a good remote desktop client for a long time. My requirements are simple. It must:
- save passwords
- manage connections via the GUI
- support VNC and RDP
- work with our IP KVM
This last requirement is the kicker. When I change hosts on our Adderview IP KVM, it draws one frame at 0x0 resolution, and then changes to the resolution of the new host. This has crashed every VNC client I’ve tried except xvnc4viewer. Which of course, doesn’t save passwords or have a GUI (the raw X menu when you press F8 does not count).
I have tried KRDC, Vinagre, xtightvncviewer, and a number of simpler command-line VNC clients. They all seem to be designed to support the “my Mom needs tech support” problem, not the “I manage remote servers” problem. KRDC won’t even login to my KVM; it just hangs after authentication. I suppose that’s better than crashing, but it is still a show stopping bug for me.
Over a year ago, I hacked up a scripted solution involving zenity GTK dialogs, saved password files, and xvnc4viewer, but I’m not going to release that. Instead, meet the last remote desktop client you’ll ever need: Remmina.
Remmina meets all of my requirements, has tons of useful features, and works flawlessly. Not only that, it is extremely responsive. Key presses are limited only by the round-trip time, with no added delay from VNC itself. There are no redrawing or tearing problems. It supports full-screen mode and scrolling inside a view port. It can forward over SSH and will use SSH keys files or your SSH key agent. It can synchronise the clipboard between host and remote server; this is the first time I’ve actually seen that feature work reliably. It can even open a standard SSH or SFTP session, or host a VNC server.
Installation is easy. An older release is available in the Ubuntu Lucid Universe repository, or get the latest version from their PPA.