TigerVNC

Posted on December 09, 2014 in IT • 2 min read

I started using TigerVNC about two months ago, when a M$ update destroyed the remote desktop server that I had got running on my system. Historically, I’d preferred RDP to VNC due to the fact that the connection is encrypted, and the performance and responsiveness is much better. Additionally (on Windows at least) it’s hard to find anything that integrates well with the operating system and provides a comparable features set without requiring a lot of work (and therefore frustration) on the part of a systems administrator.

Enter the Tiger(VNC)

TigerVNC is a fork of the unreleased VNC 4 version of TightVNC, which was likely the snappiest FOSS VNC client for Windows that I’d used. It was forked from inside the development community due to a lack of re-contribution from the parent company, and also a desire to incorporate new features from other outside projects.

I won’t spend a lot of time going into the new features in TigerVNC (one does simply walk into their website) but there is one feature that’s very important that deserves pointing out, and that’s native ad-hoc TLS support. That means TLS support without certificat distribution. Drop a TigerVNC server on a M$ box and log into it remotely using this and you’ll be able to simply password your way into a secure connection. This is far superior in terms of quick usability to having to set up SSH tunnels to route your VNC connection over, or distributing client certificates around your systems. Drop it in and connect.

Of course, if security is actually important, you SHOULD be using two-factor (certificate and password) authentication regardless.

Cons…

My experience thus far has been that you want to use the beta installer, not the current stable version, if you are on Windows. Ironically, the beta version was for me (at least at the time of writing) more stable, in that the “run as a service” functionality actually worked. This is in contrast to the “run as a user” functionality. This is my only real complaint thus far. Otherwise, TigerVNC is proving to me to be a richly featured, effictive remote desktop solution.

I recommend giving TigerVNC a try. Solved my problem, might solve yours.

Feel free to drop me a line if you want some help!

Jason R.