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Standup 2/4/2010: What remote screen sharing VNC clients are you using


What remote screen sharing or VNC clients are people using for remote pairing?

Chad described his optimal remote pairing setup in 2008, but since then Apple removed the ability to do true full-screen sharing in the included Screen Sharing application with the 10.5.8 update. We’ve been looking for other solutions since. Apple’s Remote Desktop does this, but it gets expensive on a per seat basis and isn’t focused on solving our simple use case.

We’re interested in finding out what you’re using? Do you have a favorite VNC client?

  1. Hussein Morsy says:

    Besides iCaht we have tried Teamviewer and Skype, but none of the programs was satisfactory.

    Maby we will try vim over gnu-screen.

  2. Sean Cribbs says:

    Tim Dysinger leads a 100% remote dev team at Sonian and shared their technique with us this week at lunch.

    1) Everyone uses the same editor (emacs, although vim would work).
    2) Devs use SSH to connect to a central server and then screen to connect back to their laptops, where they run their editor in the session.
    3) They the editor is open to the pair partner via the established SSH connection.

    You have to use a terminal-friendly editor (no TextMate or Eclipse), but it works very well for them, and you’re not forced to share your whole screen, just the work.

  3. Chad Woolley says:

    I still like Mac Screen Sharing best. The main thing I missed when they disabled full-screen was the ability to command-tab on the remote box.

    However, a recent update seems to have fixed that by allowing you to cmd-tab on the remote box even in windowed mode – as long as both ends (client and server) have the update. This update also seems to have fixed some very annoying bugs with mouse click-and-drag actions jumping to the top/bottom of the screen.

    The other thing they disabled was the color resolution slider (down to 256 or greyscale), which can be the only way to make things tolerable on a very slow/high-latency connection.

    Some people miss full screen, but now that I have a cmd-tab option, I don’t really care. I prefer to be able to control my local box all the time anyway – so I run windowed. It isn’t a problem – the remote iMac screen with almost-maximized window is perfectly legible on my secondary 24″ monitor.

    As for non-Gui options that others mentioned (gnu screen) – that doesn’t work at Pivotal because we use RubyMine and always need the ability to pair on design/css/firebug/etc…

    — Chad

  4. Glenn Rempe says:

    Apple Remote Desktop is *very* good, albeit pricey.

    Jolleys Fast VNC for pure VNC.

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