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VNC to Origin2000

Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:03 pm
by Dodoid
Hi Nekochan,

I'm currently trying to get a VNC connection to my Origin2000 working. The system is running IRIX 6.5.30, and I've installed neko_tightvnc. It's on the network, and I have command line access via the serial console. How do I make tightvnc actually work as a VNC server? I've done this before, with my Octane, but it was close to a year ago and I forget every last detail of how it was done past installing the software. Presumably I have to configure it to run at startup and set some config files? Maybe also enable XWindows since it's headless right now?

Thanks!
-Dodoid

Re: VNC to Origin2000

Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:17 pm
by praetor242
You need to setup X since VNC grabs X11 frames and transmits them. I know on Linux you can have a virtual framebuffer device for VNC, but I don't think IRIX has anything like that.

Re: VNC to Origin2000

Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:24 pm
by Dodoid
praetor242 wrote:You need to setup X since VNC grabs X11 frames and transmits them. I know on Linux you can have a virtual framebuffer device for VNC, but I don't think IRIX has anything like that.


So how do you set up X? Do I have to install it? Turn it on in a config file? I have no experience with headless SGIs, as even when I did this with my Octane, X was already running.

Re: VNC to Origin2000

Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:49 pm
by praetor242
I've never dealt with a headless IRIX install. I always do a default install which includes X. I'd imagine if you install the IRIX Interactive Desktop components from your Foundation CD, you can install it that way.

Re: VNC to Origin2000

Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:50 pm
by Dodoid
I think I installed it normally, so I presume X is there. Do I have to start it somehow? Sorry for being so clueless, I really just have no experience with headless IRIX.

Re: VNC to Origin2000

Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:53 pm
by praetor242
What happens if you run xinit. That's how you generally start X.

Re: VNC to Origin2000

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:19 pm
by Dodoid
I get "X: windowsystem not enabled".
Managed to turn that on using chkconfig, now it says "X: /usr/gfx/gfxinit not found".

Re: VNC to Origin2000

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:12 pm
by praetor242
You proably also have to chkconfig visuallogin too because that X's session manager.

Re: VNC to Origin2000

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:18 pm
by Dodoid
That appears to be on. It appears that the Origin is expecting itself to have graphics, which, being an Origin, it doesn't.

Re: VNC to Origin2000

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:31 pm
by praetor242
Then your guess is as good as mine. I don't _see_ why it wouldn't work without a graphics board (it's super easy to do in on other *nixes). All X11 really is a rendering engine for graphical components. SGI's is a little more than that. So IDK.

Re: VNC to Origin2000

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:48 pm
by robespierre
X11 is a protocol between clients (applications) and servers (that manage the display). Display support is compiled into the Xserver. Under the X11 model, headless servers don't exist: the Xserver is always accessing the display hardware. To display remotely, you log into a remote host with the DISPLAY environment variable pointing to the Xserver on your local workstation or Xterminal. X11 clients then make a connection to whatever is in the DISPLAY variable. A compute server does not run the Xserver at all, only X client applications.

This model wasn't good enough for some people, so they developed other models. The concept behind VNC is screen sharing. VNC lets you take over the display of one computer from a remote location and control it like a puppet. But that first system already has to have a display running before you can take it over. There's no display running on a compute server, so nothing to take over.

The way they deal with this is to make their own "headless" Xserver that has no display at all, only a buffer in memory. It's called Xvnc. If Xvnc is running on the remote host, then the DISPLAY variable can point to it and applications can connect to that. Xvnc is useless: it has no keyboard and no display, so clients just do nothing. But VNC can take it over like a puppet, to let it be remote controlled from elsewhere in the network.