Remote Display

xpra – multi-platform persistent remote display server

xpra (X Persistent Remote Applications) is ‘screen for X’. This application allows users to run X programs, usually on a remote host, direct their display to your local machine, and then to disconnect from these programs and reconnect from the same or another machine, without losing any state.

It therefore differs from standard X forwarding in that it allows disconnection and reconnection without disrupting the forwarded application. Another difference is that xpra is “rootless” i.e., programs run under it show up on the desktop as regular programs, managed by the standard window manager, instead of being confined inside a box.

Xpra uses a custom protocol that is self-tuning and relatively latency-insensitive, and is therefore usable over network connections that are too slow or unreliable for standard X forwarding.

Features include:

  • System tray menu for easy disconnection.
  • Memory Mapped data transfers for local connections.
  • JPEG and PNG image compression (optional), including adaptive JPEG mode (bandwidth constrained).
  • Non-US keyboard layout support.
  • Handles screen update storms and fast screen refresh rates.
  • Much lower CPU overhead in network code.
  • Support for password protection option for securing plain TCP connections.
  • Forwarding of system bell and custom application cursors.
  • Forwarding of application notifications (requires its own dbus daemon).
  • Support for Xdummy and the RandR extension which fixes a number of otherwise unfixable display bugs (ie: #1, #2).
  • Ability to disable pulseaudio and clipboard synchronization.
  • Clean client disconnection.

Developer: Nathaniel Smith, Antoine Martin
License: GNU General Public License v2.0


xpra is written in Python. Learn Python with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

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