Xvnc Remote Framebuffer

Chris syseng at gfsys.co.uk
Tue Oct 25 16:03:53 UTC 2016


I think you should be fine with 11.0. I did an install from
the ftp site 11.0-Release iso around 22/09, but it seems that
was a bit premature, since that was updated a few days later
because of some last minute changes. Anyway, stuck with the
initial version for now and it seems pretty solid. Did a kernel
rebuild with all the sound, wireles, usb and also IPV6 removed,
as I don't need any of that for a V215 and in the case of IPV6,
dont want it cluttering up the system when it's not going to
be used in the forseeable future.

Have been working through the various Sparc releases since
June, building packages and trying to find a way to get some
sort of graphics capability working. Haven't tried all of them,
but the drivers (radeon etc) won't build at all for Sparc and
not sure the infrstructure to to support it is there. The
lightbulb moment was to think, remote frame buffer and get
vnc built and working. Xvnc takes several hours to build on a
V215, (V245 is same m/b, 2u box, but builds without issue.
Package is: /usr/ports/network/vnc and have it configured under

On remote client access, I get a blank grey vnc screen. Next
thing was to get xdm (X login) built, no problem, configured,
not so easy. Whatever I thought I once knew about X internals,
was long forgotten. Not so much info on Xvnc either, but dug
out some early X books and it seems that for vnc (network
access) xdmcp is used via localhost to talk to xdm. Xvnc
isn't just a vnc server, but also has a built in X server.
tcpdump run against localhost shows the packets between the
two quite clearly. Once we had the login screen, built twm to
start, which worked, then IceWM and FVWM, both of which build
and work without issue. Next step may be the mate desktop,
which is based on gnome two and thus perhaps less bloatware,
but there are dozens of dependencies and initial attempts
threw up loads of showstoppers. Right now i'm trying to build
Firefox, just to see how far I can get. Again, dozens of
dependencies and showstoppers, which i'm working through.

As proof of concept, seems like Xvnc is a valid alternative
to a local framebuffer. Plenty fast enough for everyday use
and more convenient for development than console, multiple ssh
and vi sessions. Have built a few other packages: xterm, rxvt,
fr (file runner file manager) and my favourite f/s editor, nedit,
which also builds the Motif library. Most of the issues getting
this working were due to lack of knowledge and configuration
issues for the various packages, but once sorted, seems pretty
solid. Have had an IceWM session running here for a couple of
weeks now and currently in use.

There's a running log file of the various steps and workarounds
etc to get this far and happy to mail to anyone interested.
Would be good if someone else could run with this, repeat and
verify, as well as build and test related packages...



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