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Interactive X Linux desktop rendered to TTY and streamed over SSH
By Thom Holwerda on 2018-01-05 23:45:15

I'm travelling around the world and sometimes I don't have very good Internet. If all I have is a 3kbps connection tethered from my phone then it's good to SSH into my server and browse the web through elinks. That way my server downloads the web pages and uses the limited bandwidth of my SSH connection to display the result. But it lacks JS support and all that other modern HTML5 goodness. Texttop is simply a way to have the power of a remote server running a desktop, but interfaced through the simplicity of a terminal and very low bandwidth.

Why not VNC? Well VNC is certainly one solution but it doesn't quite have the same ability to deal with extremely bad Internet. Texttop uses MoSH to further reduce the bandwidth and stability requirements of the connection. Mosh offers features like automatic reconnection of dropped connections and diff-only screen updates. Also, other than SSH or MoSH, Texttop doesn't require a client like VNC. But of course another big reason for Texttop is that it's just very cool geekery.

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wow!! This is great!
By sergio on 2018-01-06 00:43:07
Coolest open source project I've seen in a very long time!! :D

Clever as hell, very nice really. Kudos to the creator and to you Thom for let us know it.
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RE: wow!! This is great!
By Alfman on 2018-01-06 02:16:08
sergio,

> Coolest open source project I've seen in a very long time!! ;)

Clever as hell, very nice really. Kudos to the creator and to you Thom for let us know it.


It was kind of deja-vu for me because I did something similar in college. I was capturing webcam and desktop images, converting them to text and streaming them to an IBM PS2 laptop running a standard ANSI terminal emulator over serial port. I'm not sure if I have a video of it or not, the camera I would have used to record it was part of the project, haha. One of these days I'll have to go back and watch all the random footage I took, man do I miss those university days before I had a boring job :)
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So aatext on an xdpy?
By Carewolf on 2018-01-06 14:25:02
Only it looks a little less advanced than aatext.
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Does not look that usable
By rener on 2018-01-08 11:26:30
ssh + text apps probably are way more faster and reable, ... probably quite a pain and slowish to get anything done for real, ...
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sure - that is the "normal" way
By cybergorf on 2018-01-08 12:14:09
And that is what the author of this little thingy usually does.

But yes: sometimes you need a browser with html5 and latest JS - and at the same time you have a terrible slow internet connection in some lost area.

In this case this is a very neat workaround.

and of course it is simply cool :-)))
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RE: sure - that is the "normal" way
By Alfman on 2018-01-08 16:03:40
cybergorf,

> And that is what the author of this little thingy usually does.

But yes: sometimes you need a browser with html5 and latest JS - and at the same time you have a terrible slow internet connection in some lost area.

In this case this is a very neat workaround.

and of course it is simply cool :-)))



It seems like he did it because he could, rather than because it was actually practical, haha. Not that there's anything wrong with this but I wonder if in those cases he could have used opera mini. They reoptimize pages and even video on the server side for exceptionally low client bandwidth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f...

My biggest gripe with these things is being dependent upon 3rd party infrastructure. For better or worse, people who prefer to be in control of their own servers are being marginalized by "cloud" vendors.
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RE[2]: sure - that is the "normal" way
By darknexus on 2018-01-08 19:45:26
Maybe he could have, if he didn't mind Opera tracking his every move.
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