RT Cunningham

Blogging For As Long As I'm Able

X2Go Versus VNC

Tagged with computers, linux, raspberry pi, ssh, vnc, x2go on April 17, 2024

X2Go Versus VNC As I briefly mentioned when I wrote about my google drive alternative, I didn’t like exposing the attack surface for VNC. Even after I discovered I could route it through RealVNC’s cloud service the very next day, I still didn’t like it.

I searched for an alternative. After reading for hours, I found X2Go. It creates a display using an SSH connection. My SSH connections are secure, using public key authentication. My VPN connections are also secure, almost obviously.

Setting Up Raspberry Pi OS

The default desktop environment for Raspberry Pi OS is called “PIXEL”, based on LXDE, which I’ve never liked. I installed Raspberry Pi OS Lite this time, so I that I could select the best desktop environment to use with X2Go. After trying out every desktop environment available, I settled on Xfce, but not because I like Xfce. It just happens to be the only desktop environment that worked with X2Go without any issues cropping up.

I read and followed some advice at Raspberry Pi Tips, but the page is already outdated. Installing and activating Zram was a better idea than activating Zswap. I did not install a bunch of applications I will never use.

Setting Up X2Go

The first thing I had to do was go into “raspi-config”, select “Advanced Options”, and then “Wayland” to make sure I was using X11 instead of Wayland.

I installed the X2Go server on the Raspberry Pi 400:

sudo apt install x2goserver

I installed the X2Go client on my laptop computer:

sudo apt install x2goclient

When setting up my first session, starting with the “Session” tab, I entered my dynamic host name and my username on the server. I checked the “Try auto login” box, and selected “XFCE” in the dropdown list. I increased the connection speed to “LAN” on the “Connection” tab since I’m testing on a fiber connection. It’s easy to change if I end up with a horrible connection while connecting remotely.

With the “Input/Output” tab, I set the custom size to 1920×1080 to match my laptop computer’s display. I unchecked the box for “Set display DPI” since it didn’t make a difference. With both the “Media” and “Shared Folders” tabs, I unchecked everything.

Using X2Go Instead of VNC

X2Go isn’t as snappy as VNC, but it’s fast enough for me. It’s just an alternative to doing everything at the command line through SSH, especially when it saves me time. I seriously doubt I’ll use it very often, if at all.

Although I prefer X2Go, I still have VNC available.

Image by X2Go

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