Think about a classroom equiped with a linux-KVM server and some tiny PCs (Raspbery Pis, Odroid, and such).

I would like to control a desktop VM on the linux-KVM server from a tiny client with screen, mouse and keyboard.

But I want to do it without installing X on the clients, to keep them as light as possible. Some applications can output full hd video, use mouse, keyboard and network, all without X. Xbmc or RetroArch can. So why not a VNC client ?

Is it only possible ? Does any software allows that ?

1 Answer 1


Use VNC Viewers Compiled for Other Graphics Libraries

You need a VNC viewer that uses an alternative graphics library rather than functioning as an X11 client. I'm not aware of any actively-maintained versions that do this, but historically you could use:

  • DirectVNC, which uses the Linux framebuffer via DirectFB. This port is available in Debian Sid, so it's probably your best bet.
  • svncviewer, which relies on svgalib. This port has been out of circulation for a while, and was dropped from Debian a long time ago.

There may be other, more programmatic options as well such as go-vnc or Net::VNC. In general, though, VNC is a graphics-oriented protocol that requires a suitable graphics driver to be usable as a point-and-click client.

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