What Is VNC?

The acronym VNC (an abbreviation for Virtual Network Computing) is in my opinion the best Open Source client/server software package for allowing remote network access to graphical desktops/applications. With VNC, you can access your machine from everywhere provided that your machine is connected to the Internet. VNC is free (released under the GNU General Public License) and it's available on most platforms. Original VNC distribution can be obtained at this site.

Here you can find an embedded version of VNC, called eVNC, which includes some new features, improvements, optimizations  over the original VNC version, see the list of features below. Note that eVNC is still free, cross-platform and compatible with the standard VNC.

eVNC can be used to perform remote control and administration tasks in Windows, Unix and mixed network environments. It can be very helpful in distance learning and remote customer support. Finally, you can find a number of additional VNC-compatible utilities and packages that can extend the areas where eVNC can be helpful.

eVNC is a project maintained by Russ Bates. Many other individuals and companies participate in development, testing and support.

How eVNC Differs from Other VNC Products?

In short (more information is likely to appear here soon):

  • We are trying to gather all the useful features, while keeping eVNC free, stable and protocol-compatible with other RFB-compliant VNC software.

Compatibility and Interoperability

eVNC is fully compatible with the standard RFB protocol (version xxxx) used in VNC, so you can use eVNC viewer with the standard VNC server and vice versa. But note that protocol enhancements implemented in eVNC will work only if these enhancements are supported on both sides of the connection.

eVNC Features

Here is a brief list of eVNC features absent in the standard VNC.

  • Local cursor handling. Cursor movements do not generate screen updates any more, remote cursor movements are processed locally by the viewer, so you do not see slow remote cursor movements behind the local cursor.
  • Efficient compression algorithms. New Tight encoding is optimized for slow and medium-speed connections and thus generates much less traffic as compared to traditional VNC encodings. At the same time, eVNC supports all the standard VNC encodings, so it can operate efficiently over fast networks, too. Thus, with eVNC you can work remotely almost in real time in most network environments.
  • Configurable compression levels. You can choose any appropriate level of compromise between compression ratios and coding speed, depending on your connection speed and processor power.
  • Optional JPEG compression. If you don't care too much about perfect image quality, you can use JPEG compression which will compress color-rich screen areas much more efficiently (the image quality level is configurable too).
  • Support for two passwords (full-control and read-only). The server allows or disallows remote keyboard and mouse events depending on which password was used for authentication.
  • Flexible configuration options. Unlike the standard VNC, eVNC allows you to choose arbitrary port numbers for TCP/IP connections, in addition to display numbers traditionally used in VNC.
  • Automatic SSH tunneling on Unix. The Unix version of eVNC viewer can tunnel connections via SSH automatically using a local SSH/OpenSSH client installation (provided that an SSH/OpenSSH server is running on the server as well).

And more. eVNC features a number of other improvements, performance optimizations and bugfixes, see change logs for more information.