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Virtual Machines in Your Browser (chipx86.com)
127 points by parth16 on Mar 13, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 18 comments

Wouldn't a more accurate title have been, "Remote access in your browser using HTML5"?

It's great, but I was thinking it was some weird way of using Native Client to create a real Virtual Machine in your browser, not just an interface. That would be really really cool.

There is jslinux, a linux vm running in js: http://bellard.org/jslinux/

That's an interesting idea about running Windows 8 on the iPad. It might actually be great for devs looking to see how their Windows 8 apps would work on a real tablet.

For those of us behind strict corporate firewalls, it might be a good way to check email and other things on a remote computer.

I'm kind of hoping Microsoft releases their own mobile app for this. Something where you could stream your desktop, or at least the tablet/metro version of it.

This is the kind of thing that will make me buy (finally!) buy a tablet. I don't understand why it needs a workstation backend, though. Honestly, as far as I can tell, the tech behind this should be capable of forwarding a physical machine just as well, no?

There are already RDP and VNC clients written in HTML5/Javascript available. If you want to get access to a physical machine, just use one of those.

This project adds support to VMware Workstation, etc, to do a similar thing, so that you don't need a custom VMware client app on your device.

I've tried them with very little 'practical' success. Have you found anything stable and fast (esp. on iOS)? I haven't found anything that gives anywhere near a usably fluid experience, sometimes even over WiFi.

I use the iOS app iTap RDP regulary and it works great, with minimal input lag.

This is impressive work, but I don't see anything that can be done that can not already be done with VNC (other than sound), in terms of the use cases he lists. You still need that Virtual Machine which most people don't have.

Splashtop Remote Desktop for iPad http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/splashtop-remote-desktop-for/... is specifically targeted at the same type of experience. I've used it to play games online, though not very successfully! They don't implement any security last I checked. http://support-remote.splashtop.com/entries/20132542-does-sp...

My iTunes affiliate account lists it as $2.99 instead of the $4.99 in the app store, so I'll drop this here even though it probably won't make a difference due to price change lag: http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=yRSEY6MKcYc&...

Edit: sorry, meant to reply to ComputerGuru http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3701052 -- Splashtop does support sound/streaming video though.

In theory, yes. In practice? Never.

If you stream a 720p YouTube video inside a VM and access it from Chrome or Firefox on a modern PC, you should see near-native quality and framerates. It’s not as fast streaming to an iPad just yet, but you’ll see some impressive changes there before long.

VNC isn't capable of providing a near-native experience for anything because it works from the top-down instead of from the bottom-up. Have you ever tried streaming 720p videos via VNC? The bandwidth it takes is ridiculous, and even on a gigabit LAN it doesn't provide the desired experience, let alone over the internet.

Also, I don't think there's a browser-based VNC implementation that will work on iOS or even Android (I don't mean Java plugins!) so there's that, too.

Video also requires sound, but I also hope that in the future there will be less reasons to even want to do that. Why not just stream that Video to the device then? (I understand there are reasons today like lack of flash on iOS, but it just seems silly.) So really I am depressed by the state of VNC/lack of successors. There is much room for innovation and I just doubt that anything can be solved with a VM. Better solutions in the OS would work in a VM and native. "It's up for disruption", as they say here.

That's because most existing VNC applications aren't designed for that purpose.

There's no reason you couldn't use a proper video compression algorithm in a VNC application where applicable, or just send the whole image as compressed video.

See also StackVM.


Hah, nifty!

For a hackathon this weekend we wrote a simple terminal and Ruby IDE using WebSockets. It's good stuff.

I'm pretty sure the sockets + thin-client with JS GUI will win the day.

You can do this pretty easily without leaving the realm of OSS via VirtualBox and one of a few frontends. Besides, this is more of a {RDP/VNC}<->WebSocket project.

This is really cool.

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