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VNC client using HTML5 (Web Sockets, Canvas) with encryption (wss://) support.
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README.md

noVNC: HTML5 VNC Client

Description

noVNC is a VNC client implemented using HTML5 technologies, specifically Canvas and WebSocket (supports 'wss://' encryption).

For browsers that do not have builtin WebSocket support, the project includes web-socket-js, a WebSocket emulator using Adobe Flash (http://github.com/gimite/web-socket-js).

In addition, as3crypto has been added to web-socket-js to implement WebSocket SSL/TLS encryption, i.e. the "wss://" URI scheme. (http://github.com/lyokato/as3crypto_patched).

Requirements

Until there is VNC server support for WebSocket connections, you need to use a WebSocket to TCP socket proxy. There is a python proxy included ('wsproxy'). One advantage of using the proxy is that it has builtin support for SSL/TLS encryption (i.e. "wss://").

There a few reasons why a proxy is required:

  1. WebSocket is not a pure socket protocol. There is an initial HTTP like handshake to allow easy hand-off by web servers and allow some origin policy exchange. Also, each WebSocket frame begins with 0 ('\x00') and ends with 255 ('\xff').

  2. Javascript itself does not have the ability to handle pure byte strings (Unicode encoding messes with it) even though you can read them with WebSocket. The python proxy encodes the data so that the Javascript client can base64 decode the data into an array.

  3. When using the web-socket-js as a fallback, WebSocket 'onmessage' events may arrive out of order. In order to compensate for this the client asks the proxy (using the initial query string) to add sequence numbers to each packet.

Usage

  • To encrypt the traffic using the WebSocket 'wss://' URI scheme you need to generate a certificate for the proxy to load. You can generate a self-signed certificate using openssl. The common name should be the hostname of the server where the proxy will be running:

    openssl req -new -x509 -days 365 -nodes -out self.pem -keyout self.pem

  • run a VNC server.

    vncserver :1

  • run the python proxy:

    `./utils/wsproxy.py -f source_port target_addr:target_port

    ./utils/wsproxy.py -f 8787 localhost:5901

  • run the mini python web server to serve the directory:

    ./utils/web.py PORT

    ./utils/web.py 8080

  • Point your web browser at http://localhost:8080/vnc.html (or whatever port you used above to run the web server).

  • Specify the host and port where the proxy is running and the password that the vnc server is using (if any). Hit the Connect button and enjoy!

Browser Support

I only currently test under Linux. Here are the current results:

  • Chrome 5.0.375.29 beta: Works great. Native WebSockets support. Very fast.
  • firefox 3.5, 3.7: Works. Uses flash WebSockets emulator. Large full-color images are slow.
  • Arora 0.50: Works. Broken putImageData so large full-color images are slow.

  • Opera 10.10: Unusable: drops web-socket-js events.

  • Opera 10.60: Broken: throws "WRONG_ARGUMENTS_ERR" on connect.
  • Konqueror 4.2.2: Broken: flash WebSockets emulator never connects.

Integration

The client is designed to be easily integrated with existing web structure and style.

At a minimum you must include the vnc.js and default_controls.js scripts and call their load() functions. For example:

<body>
    <div id='vnc'>Loading</div>
</body>
<script src='include/vnc.js'></script>
<script src="include/default_controls.js"></script>
<script>
    window.onload = function () {
        DefaultControls.load('vnc');
        RFB.load(); };
</script>

See vnc.html and vnc_auto.html for examples. The file include/plain.css has a list of stylable elements.

The vnc.js also includes other scripts within the include sub-directory. The VNC_uri_prefix variable can be use override the URL path to the directory that contains the include sub-directory.

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