[winswitch] Xpra for thin clients

Antoine Martin antoine at nagafix.co.uk
Fri Sep 12 05:07:44 BST 2014

On 12/09/14 10:52, Elliot Hallmark wrote:
> Thanks.  Those keys exist, but how would I get one? Nvidia website
> says I need to have a personal contact at nvidia already to be considered.
I'm sorry I can't comment on that any more than I already have in my
previous rant:

Only to say that the NVENC SDK version 4 is now out and that I will take
a look at it soon to see what broke:
> Yes, I forgot about virtualgl.  I had got a two head system working
> and forgot that not dealing with video connections on the card would
> free me up.
> I am fine with serving applications, though a virtual machine could be
> an application if that ends up being useful.  I intend to make a
> python based menu on the clients for choosing applications, rather
> than give clients the whole desktop.
That's what winswitch does, and more.
If you only care about xpra and access over ssh, you can easily write
something more simple.


> On Sep 11, 2014 10:14 PM, "Antoine Martin" <antoine at nagafix.co.uk
> <mailto:antoine at nagafix.co.uk>> wrote:
>     On 12/09/14 09:29, Elliot Hallmark wrote:
>     > I just want to check in and make sure I am thinking correctly. 
>     My aim is
>     > to serve hardware opengl accelerated applications to thin clients.
>     >
>     > I wanted to use nvenc from a gtx 660, but this requires a
>     developer key.
>     Those keys exist. I haven't tested them myself with GTX6XXs, only with
>     GTX7XXs, but I believe others have.
>     > So, for a prototype before investing in a $2000 grid card ( k1
>     and k2
>     > support nvenc through xpra without a dev key), I will use the
>     x264 encoder.
>     If you want to use a pro card to avoid the license key issue,
>     there are
>     cheaper options than the grid cards.
>     The NVENC chips on those cards are not faster than in the consumer
>     cards
>     (if anything slower because of the lower clock and older
>     architecture),
>     the only benefit of the grid cards is that they have multiple
>     chips per
>     card. (4 in a K1, 2 in a K2)
>     > Clients will run a stripped down linux that only runs xpra
>     client in full
>     > screen, ultimately with a python based application or session
>     selector
>     > interface.  Server will serve applications (potentially virtualized
>     > desktops) at the full screen resolution of the client.  The
>     server will
>     > render applications on the gtx 660 before encoding.
>     If I understand this correctly, you want to use xpra to serve a full
>     desktop instead of individual windows?
>     That would work but it would be less efficient than letting the
>     clients
>     manage the windows themselves.
>     >   I believe this
>     > requires some hacking to make each application in a common X
>     session (ie
>     > :100.1, 100.2, etc) inorder to "share" the gpu.
>     I'm not sure I understand this part.
>     If you want multiple server sessions getting accelerated OpenGL
>     rendering, you should look at VirtualGL.
>     If you want to share the NVENC encoding chip for multiple server
>     sessions, then it is just a permission issue on the video device.
>     > I can do the last bit with X, ie I had two monitors displaying
>     seperate
>     > hardware accelerated programs (like minecraft) from a single gpu
>     through
>     > creative use of xorg.conf, so I'm assuming it can happen with
>     xpra too.
>     This sounds like a client-side setup.
>     > Has anyone done this before? Any heads up would be appreciated.
>     Hope this helps!
>     Cheers
>     Antoine
>     >
>     > Thanks,
>     >   Elliot
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