The result of a blogging accident

SDL VNC Server module

I keep writing things related to VNC, and coding in C. It’s seriously starting to worry me.

I’ve spent the last couple of days writing a new SDL video output module, which acts as a VNC server using libvncserver. Here are the patches against SDL 1.2.14. To use VNC support, you need to run ./configure with --enable-video-vnc, and once built and installed, run the SDL application with the environment variable SDL_VIDEODRIVER="vnc".

What works:

  • 16, 24 and 32-bit true-colour displays.
  • Mouse events.
  • Keyboard events.

What’s left to do:

  • Fix mouse cursors so they display correctly.
  • 8-bit (paletted) displays.
  • Handle surface locking properly.
  • Reduce/eliminate tearing on frequent screen updates.
  • Run the libvncserver event loop inside SDL’s event loop system.
  • Implement a password on the VNC server and some sort of simple access control.
  • Implement a view-only mode.
  • Allow setting the display number manually.
  • pygame applications.
  • Fix screen resolution change colour issues.

What will never work:

  • OpenGL surfaces.
  • CDROMs, Joysticks and Sound over VNC.
  • YUV video output.

I’ve had a lot of success with using the Origyn web browser (a WebKit/SDL-based web browser) and cgterm (a SDL C64/C128 telnet client) with this output method. Any SDL application that doesn’t use OpenGL surfaces should be able to run with this output module.

Some pictures:

|[origyn web browser in tightvnc]| |[cgterm in tightvnc]|

tightvnc]| image:: /static/projects/sdlvnc/sdl-video-vnc-v1-owb_small.png .. |[cgterm in tightvnc]| image:: /static/projects/sdlvnc/sdl-video-vnc-v1-cgterm_small.png