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rdesktop and xfreerdp rather sluggish
31-01-2014, 04:13 PM,
rdesktop and xfreerdp rather sluggish

I'm currently using an old P3 833Mhz PC as a terminal, running Thinstation (linux-based) to enable my Mum to rdesktop into her account on a decent PC running Windows 7. It all works rather well, except that youtube videos play at about 5fps and the sound breaks up, so she basically can't use youtube (or other streaming video sites).

I was hoping I might be able to replace the old PC with a RPi running your distribution. I found the desktop shortcuts don't do anything, whether I click, double-click or right click and select Open (at one stage the rdesktop icon did start working and a terminal windows appeared though but the freerdp one still wasn't doing anything. I'd obviously edited both for my purposes and copying and pasting the exec line to the terminal made the relevant programs run) so I tested rdesktop and xfreerdp manually from the terminal and with both, I found they were rather sluggish, particularly with screen redraws/refreshes, which it did several times when first logging in before it settled down and was usable, whereas with the PC it doesn't do this and is instantly ready as soon as it's logged on.

With xfreerdp, I tried several times with different switches, such as /rfx, /multimedia and neither of those. I understood that RemoteFX (or at least some of it's features) were added to Windows 7 a while ago, so if I could use that with xfreerdp I think it should allow for playing youtube vidoes, as the decoding would be handled on the server PC and just the resulting video piped over the network to the client. Even if I'm mistaken on this point though and there's no more chance of being able to play streaming video using the RPi as the client that there is with the PC as the client, I still hoped it might be possible to replace the PC with the RPi but the poor performance I saw makes me think that maybe it's just not powerful enough to be a suitable replacement. I note that it's overclocked already by your config.txt, so there doesn't seem to be much more that can be done on the hardware side to improve it.

I also couldn't find a way to make your desktop fill the 1080P screen. When booting/shutting down the animations (very nice by the way) do fill the screen, so I'm not sure why the desktop would be running at a different resolution. I tried specifying the resolution in config.txt but that didn't make any difference.

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