Is the Raspberry Pi good as a graphical thin-client ?

Is the Raspberry Pi strong enough to run remote X sessions or do stuff like Xmove to share remote X apps?


Personal experience tells me it's pretty excellent. I have used X-forwarding over SSH and it performs well, as if executing natively. I've had multiple forwarded windows on the go at once, including Eclipse and Chromium.

I've also played with forwarding mouse and keyboard using from my desktop to the Pi using x2x which works by using the Pi X session as a second desktop to the existing session. I guess that's similar to xmove, which I havent used, but will look into.

With this setup I have had Eclipse open on my Pi Screen, forwarded from my desktop PC. I then controlled the mouse and keyboard of the Pi using my netbook with x2x. Thus I was typing code on my Desktop using my netbook keyboard, using the Pi to view the results.

Hope that helps somewhat.

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  • Thanks, that's very interesting. I suspect then that running Eclipse on a remote Linux box, cross compiling there but displaying the UI on the RasPi, could be rather faster than just running Eclipse locally. Have you tried this? – Mark Booth Jun 26 '12 at 10:28
  • I've done some cross-compiling, but not using Eclipse. I expect it would be a great deal faster though. – Jivings Jun 26 '12 at 11:37

If you got here because of the question's title (how do I use the Pi as a thin client) rather than the question's content (how does it perform as a thin client), it's probably worth having a look at the RPITC (Raspberry Pi Thin Client) project:


It comes with a choice of clients (VMWare View, RDP, Citrix, X2Go, ...). I've only used it for RDP so far (RDesktop and XFreeRDP), performance there is more than satisfactory.

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