Remote desktop (initially known as virtual network
computing) is a technique originally designed to control (or manage) a
computer remotely through the desktop, and currently is the
basis of thin client technology. Nowadays almost every
operating system includes a native remote desktop protocol. Windows,
Linux or Mac operating systems are not exceptions.
- Virtual Network Computing (VNC) is probably the
first technique commonly used to manage remote desktops. It is based on
a protocol called Remote FrameBuffer (RFB).
- Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). A proprietary
protocol developed by Microsoft and included natively in most Windows
operating systems as terminal services.
- Independent Computing Architecture (ICA) designed by Citrix Systems. Another
proprietary protocol initially designed to improve the poor remote
desktop services provided by Windows in the beginning.
- X Display Manager Control Protocol (XDMCP) is the
remote desktop protocol provided by an X Window System (commonly called
as X or X11). X is the desktop environment used in Unix-like operating
systems. Note that X is primarily a protocol and it does not contain any
specification for application user interface design. Instead, an X
Window Manager is used.
- NoMachine has
developed a significant enhancement for the use of remote desktops
connections in an X Windows System. This is provided by the NX
technology. NX is not really a protocol but an adaptation of
the X Windows System with two new features: 1) compression of the
communication to minimize the amount of information transmitted by the
remote desktop, and 2) routing of information through a secure
communication channel (e.g. by using a secure shell protocol, SSH).