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Announcing TightVNC Version 2.5

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Part 1. Announcing TightVNC Version 2.5

New Installer, New Viewer, Plus Improved Performance

April 19, 2012 — GlavSoft company has released new version of TightVNC, its free remote control software.

Version 2.5 is a major milestone on the TightVNC development road. It's the first version of TightVNC where the complete source code of each component is available to both open source community and commercial software vendors. It's available either freely (GNU GPL) or commercially (perpetual source code license, pay once — use forever).

Here are the most important improvements introduced in TightVNC 2.5 for Windows:

  • completely new viewer (more details below),
  • new MSI-based installer (parameter-based automation made simple),
  • native 64-bit versions of all components, and
  • dramatically improved performance in both server and viewer.

For more details on What's New, see the part 2 of this document.

What Is TightVNC? — Free Cross-Platform Remote Control Software

TightVNC is a free software package that shows the desktop of a remote PC and allows to control it with local mouse and keyboard, just like it was a local computer.

TightVNC includes three components:

  1. Server for Windows — makes it possible to control a PC remotely,
  2. Viewer for Windows — the client part which allows to view and control remote PCs,
  3. Java Viewer — a cross-platform "run-anywhere" client.

TightVNC is interoperable with wide range of VNC-compatible server and client software. For example, TightVNC viewers can connect to standard VNC, TightVNC, UltraVNC, x11vnc, Apple Remote Desktop in Mac OS X, Xen/HVM, VMWare, Qemu etc.

Download Now! Yes, It's FREE!

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More Details on Licensing: Free and Commercial

All components of TightVNC version 2.5 are available either as free software (GNU GPL license) or commercially. Commercial license is required if you would like to use TightVNC source code in your proprietary programs or scripts. Also, it may be a reasonable option if the GNU GPL license is not acceptable for some other reasons.

Please visit this page to read more about commercial licensing.


Part 2. What's New

The biggest change in version 2.5 is new TightVNC Viewer for Windows. It has been redesigned and implemented from the scratch. The primary design goal was to develop a remote control SDK and build the viewer on top of it. And we've done just that.

So not only we provide new version of the viewer, we also give software developers an easy way to add remote control functionality to their products (both free and commercial).

The SDK has a simple interface which hides all the complexity of the underlying protocols. It's written in C++, has minimum dependencies on Windows systems and will be made truly cross-platform in its future versions.

Want to embed our components in your programs? That's simple! Use our components freely if your software is free and GPL-licensed, or purchase a commercial license if your software is closed source.

What's New in Viewer for Windows

  1. Native 64-bit version for improved performance in x64 systems.
  2. Fast screen drawing and optimized decoders.
  3. New ZRLE decoder for improved compatibility with wide range of VNC-compatible servers.
  4. Desktop scaling that can be easily controlled via the toolbar.
  5. New feature to pause screen updates. You can freeze the remote desktop at any moment, e.g. to make a screenshot, examine details or demonstrate the screen to other people.
  6. Unicode-enabled compilation. Unlike previous versions of TightVNC Viewer, this one fully supports Unicode and has no problems with using multiple national languages in user input, screen labels, file names etc.
  7. Easily reusable source code.

What's New in Java Viewer

As compared to version 2.1, Java Viewer adds just one new feature, although it's a big one:

  1. Desktop scaling that can be easily controlled via the toolbar.

What's New in Server for Windows

  1. Full support for 64-bit systems. Besides obvious benefits of using native architecture, this allows to attach so called “message hooks” to 64-bit applications. In a simple language, message hooks help at detecting screen activity, so that we can get updates almost immediately instead of polling the complete screen once per second or so.
  2. Support for mirror video driver (DFMirage). This makes screen reading ultra-fast in all supported versions of Windows, from Windows 2000 to Windows 7. DFMirage driver is a separate product, but it's free for TightVNC users (and it's available commercially if needed).
  3. Improved performance when sharing a desktop with Windows Aero enabled. With Aero, each screen reading operation is expensive, and we can improve performance by reading more pixels in less operations.
  4. Improved logging. Most importantly, new version reports all incoming connections to Windows Event Log. Also, logging to text files has been improved — the service writes to the same log file from all its child processes. There's always just one log file, so it's easier to locate an error message or e-mail the log to technical support service.
  5. New option to configure extra ports mapped to arbitrary screen areas. If a client connects to such an extra port, it will be shown the corresponding part of the screen only.
  6. New command-line options to share full desktop, primary monitor, selected monitor, a window, or an arbitrary rectangular area.
  7. Optimized video processing for specific window classes. You can tell TightVNC to treat certain windows as video by providing a list of window class names. Once a matching window is detected, its contents will be sent to clients continuously, with minimum delays.

New MSI-based Installer

  1. Parameter-based silent installation. You can pre-configure TightVNC Server via MSI parameters and perform mass installation via a batch file or Group Policy.
  2. Both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) versions of the installer are available.

Part 3. What's Next?

TightVNC is actively developed. Our goal is to make remote control software available for all. Thus, we'll be porting our software to a bunch of different platforms and operating systems. Also, we have plans to redesign the user interface, improve the protocols, add more security, and so on.

Stay tuned! And thank you for your interest in TightVNC!

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