Splashtop introduces remote Ubuntu to Android and iPhone

Splashtop introduces remote Ubuntu to Android and iPhone

Summary: Want to run an Ubuntu Linux game or check on your Ubuntu server remotely from your Android or Apple smartphone or tablet? Splashtop's Streamer for Linux software is for you

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With Splashtop, you can connect to your Ubuntu computer from your Android or Apple smartphone or tablet.

Ever been 500 miles away from your Ubuntu Linux server and the only computing device you had to manage it was an Android smartphone or an Apple iPad? Splashtop is working on the program. for you: Splashtop Streamer for Linux.

The beta Splashtop Streamer, when used with Splashtop 2 a remote desktop app. for Android devices, iPad, and iPhone and iPod Touch, will enable you to connect remotely to Ubuntu 12.04 systems. It does not support, at this time, other versions of Linux or Ubuntu. Splashtop 2 already supports Mac OS X and Windows.

The company claims that "For Ubuntu users, Splashtop Streamer offers a supercharged, high-performance alternative to Virtual Network Computing (VNC) and other remote desktop software. Due to its efficient protocol, algorithms and optimizations, Splashtop has been shown in performance benchmarks to deliver up to 15x higher video frame rates and up to 10x lower latency times than its competition. Splashtop sessions are secured with SSL and 256-bit AES encryption, allowing it to serve as a secure pipe between devices, in some cases allowing users to eliminate their need for separate VPN solutions."

Splashtop Streamer for Ubuntu is designed to enable users to remotely connect to an Ubuntu computer and do the following:

  • View and edit files remotely (no transferring or syncing)
  • Run favorite Linux programs
  • Stream  music collection
  • Watch videos at up to 30 frames per second with low latency
  • Perform on-the-fly trans-coding of various video and audio formats
  • Play graphics-intensive games
  • Use input methods for typing characters in various languages

In addition, the Ubuntu version of Splashtop Streamer will let you fine-tuning of the video frame rate and setting of port numbers through manual editing of a configuration file. This functionality is not available in the Mac or the Windows version of Splashtop Streamer.

The company sees three audiences for the program: "1) Linux system administrators, many of whom use Ubuntu to manage their networks, 2) Linux gamers, who are overwhelmingly passionate and tech-savvy computer users, and 3) general desktop and workstation users of Ubuntu who tend to own Android devices and other client platforms supported by Splashtop."

In a statement, Stephane Verdy, a Canonical product manager said, "Splashtop's remote desktop software is an innovative product, and we welcome it into the Ubuntu Software Center. We believe that the Ubuntu community will not only embrace the product as users, but also combine it with other software to come up with creative mobile solutions for business and play."

Remote desktop access is, of course, nothing new for Linux users. Like its forefather Unix, Linux was designed for remote use. Programs such as Vinagre, a VNC client; Remmina, which can be used with VNC and Secure Shell (SSH); and TeamViewer have long made it easy to use Linux systems over the Internet. If Splashtop can deliver on its performance claims Splashtop Streamer combined with Splashtop 2 will be well worth any Linux administrator's time.

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Topics: Ubuntu, Android, iPhone, iPad, Linux, Networking, Servers, Smartphones, Tablets

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19 comments
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  • Interesting but.......

    I won't trust Splashtop again after they forced you to login through their servers when the first introduced v2 even if you were streaming over your own LAN and wanted to charge you a monthly fee. Go see the Itunes store for the comments when they did that, the backlash was huge and they eventually re-introduced no login required for LAN.

    This was handy for W7 on IOS but they really pissed me off doing that and I will not use them again
    Alan Smithie
    • Appreciate the feedback... v2 has best of both world (log in and no login)

      Hi Alan, Appreciate your feedback. Indeed, Splashtop v2 was designed to use our cloud to authenticate users; this is needed in order to seamlessly create a secure tunnel using our global relay servers running on Amazon US, Europe, and Asia. This has resulted in faster discovery and connectivity, more reliability, enhanced security, and higher performance, when traverse across networks (v1 was using Gtalk infrastructure where Google has shown to change the API breaking our product, and all Gtalk traffic were routing through Google data center in Mountain View, California, where we couldn't control the reliability, security, nor performance. Many users have told us they love v2. For users who prefer no login, we have brought back that option. We are sorry that we abset in the process. We hope you will give Splashtop another chance. best regards,
      -mark CEO Splashtop
      SplashtopChief
  • There's an app for that?

    My combination of tablet / PC is Microsoft Surface RT and Microsoft Windows. No 3rd party apps with complicated sign in processes required. They both support RDP natively.

    There is a lot of fuss about lack of apps on Surface but you highlight a perfect example of how Surface can do so much more out of the box than other tablets. No apps required for remote desktop or office functionality, they are already provided for you and they just work.
    toddbottom3
    • Do you still need to port forward?

      Or have they found a way around that?
      Michael Kelly
      • Unless you were living in a cave,

        you'd have heard of sth. called Live Mesh.
        cym104
        • Not more proprietary stuff

          "Windows Live Mesh was part of the Windows Live Essentials 2011 suite of software. However this application has been replaced by SkyDrive for Windows application in Windows Essentials 2012." - Wikipedia

          Man, RDP, LiveMesh - do you Windows users ever get tired of proprietary solutions to universal problems that lock you in even tighter to being stuck with one vendor forever? Have you people ever heard of "VNC", an open protocol that solves your problem for free and doesn't lock you into one server or client so you can choose the best one for your needs rather than being forced to use on giant monopoly's solution?
          jgm@...
    • How is does a consumer use this rdp app

      that you say is on Surface with home PC running Windows 7 home version?
      daikon
    • Splashtop is still needed on WinRT and Win8....& it's faster & simpler...

      Today, many people use Splashtop on their Windows PCs to remote into other Windows PCs or MACs today.... whether it's for remote supporting a family member's PC, or remote accessing office PCs running corporate apps. PC-to-PC has been popular usage for GotoMyPC, TeamViewer, LogMeIn, and others. Splashtop has been leading the mobile-to-PC usage due to its touch optimization and performance.... we see even if it's a Windows tablet, people still have multiple devices, and will need Splashtop.

      Various people have correctly pointed out various Splashtop advantages:
      * Simple : just install and login... you are connected... no IP configuration, no worry about version of Windows (home, starter) that don't have RDP server, no port forwarding..
      & Splashtop Streamer is not just available for Windows, but also for MAC and Linux.... Splashtop app is available for Windows, MAC, iOS, Android, webOS, RIM Playbook, etc... consistent user experience across device

      * high performance across any network: RDP doesn't work well over WAN.... Splashtop is fully optimized for remote access over 3G/4G networks... and fully secure (SSL encrypted) without port forwarding....


      Splashtop for Surface and Win8 is coming soon... in fact, we have been fortunate that Microsoft also loves Splashtop and has been actively supporting our team to bring the best in class Splashtop experience soon to Surface / Win8.....

      best regards, -mark CEO Splashtop
      SplashtopChief
    • toddbottom3

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Nice combo... HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
      TimeForAChangeToBetter
    • Not impressed

      This isn't required for Linux either; it's a custom program with a different protocol that claims to be much faster than what's already out there. And of course they support RDP... it's (sigh) yet another proprietary protocol of Microsoft's. Also, improvements are not available downlevel, so you can't use new features when connecting to an older version of the OS. Yay, closed proprietary protocols??!?

      >No apps required for remote desktop or office functionality,

      Well, there are, they're just bundled.

      > they are already provided for you and they just work.

      Well, as long as we don't count the numerous RDP security vulnerabilities, the fact that you can't log in to an account on a regular Windows machine remotely because you have to pay extra for a server version to do that, you're locked into proprietary technology that isn't allowed to be upgraded on older versions of the OS, and there's no VBA support included in the Surface Tablet, then yes, I guess it just works.

      Oh, and you can't buy a version of WinRT so no running it on Raspberry Pi, the new computer-on-a-stick USB thingies, ShivaPlugs, your old WebOS tablet, or anything else because (sigh) you're just not allowed. That and apparently it's not very robust?

      When your OS has things like VNC included and runnable with just a click (allowing remote login to any account rather than just desktop sharing like RDP), SSH for secure terminal connections (or even forwarding a GUI), and SSHFS for having a remote connection appear as a regular drive allowing file sharing both on a local network and over the Internet, then I'll be impressed. That's overs of magnitude above RDP and Samba. Sorry, but Linux still trumps WinRT in this regard and even desktop Windows. Heck, Linux has its whole, real operating system running on ARM and not a sawed-off version where developers aren't (sigh) *allowed* to target the Win32 libraries. Most Linux software runs fine with a recompile, including LibreOffice, which doesn't lose it's scripting languages - BASIC, Python and Javascript - just by switching architecture.


      Anyway, what Splashtop is promising is much faster performance than the conventional protocols, so no one has an a substitute for that built in if they deliver as promised.
      jgm@...
  • Splashtop apps are well worth the invested in time and money, IMO

    I've used Splashtop remote as an audio and video VNC app bridging my iPad and OS X desktops for the past three years.

    This company has always improved it's product (which had a very high rating to begin with) over time.

    Those interested in the the product features outlined by SJVN in this should be well pleased. Note: I have not used this product mentioned in this article. However, I would have absolutely no reasons to doubt that it delivers an exceptional user experience. I know it's high praise or conjecture but my experience would warrant those opinions about this company and it's products.
    kenosha77a
  • I guess Linux fragmentation isn't a problem

    "It does not support, at this time, other versions of Linux or Ubuntu"

    I guess Linux fragmentation isn't a problem.

    Considering it doesn't support all those other Linux builds, this seems to be a bit of a problem.
    Cynical99
    • First time you got something right

      “I guess Linux fragmentation isn't a problem”

      There is always a solutions to a problem.

      Teamviewer works just fine, go figure.
      RickLively
    • Gotta start somewhere

      Recall from Steven's earlier articles that Valve Steam has launched it's desktop Linux support with Ubuntu and is also currently in beta.

      Fragmentation is not a problem for Opera Software. The proprietary Opera browser supports most desktop Linux distros AND FreeBSD (along with Windows, OS X, iOS and Android).

      Google's solution is to provide its proprietary Chrome browser for a limited number of Linux distros: Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora and openSUSE (along with Windows, OS X, iOS and Android). In addition, since source code for the open-source Chromium browser is available, most Linux distros and BSDs offer the Chromium browser in their repositories.

      Other ISVs (e.g., IBM's SPSS), as does Google with Chrome, offer their proprietary software for a small number of desktop Linux distros. This means that if one wishes to use an ISV's software, they must use a supported Linux distro such as the Red Hat Enterprise Linux desktop/workstation, SLED, Ubuntu desktop or Debian desktop.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
  • NoMachine had better watch out?

    Reading, it looks cool, but proof is in the pudding. I didn't like it last time I tried.

    NoMachine can't be beaten when it comes to connecting to Linux, and if they had an iPad client out already (www.nomachine.com/coming-up.php), they would probably be laughing right now. The problem is, they still don't have one. But they will, and when they do, I will most certainly be downloading it. I've tried their Preview to get to my remote Mac and Windows and I must add, I was pleasantly surprised.
    bobbrown55518
    • NoMachine had better watch out?

      I use the open source x2go native clients for windows, mac or linux connectivity to linux x2goserver. x2go was much simpler to setup than nomachine on client & server and audio, printing, file shares etc all work great.
      There is also a python version of x2go (both client & server) also available.
      x2go utilizes some of the nomachine libraries (nxproxy etc) but their implementation worked better for me.
      bmullan
      • Thank you!

        I hadn't heard of x2go before and will check it out. Thanks!
        jgm@...
  • Splashtop .. having a hard time getting it to even work

    I installed the Ubuntu Splashtop v2 streaming server on Ubuntu 12.10 after downloading and installing one dependency it required that was an older version that of a library than what 12.10 had installed.
    So far I've tried the splashtop client on 2 different android tablets... neither worked in regards to making a connection. After that I was cautious and only paid for 1 month of Splashtop v2 for my Android jellybean phone and it didn't work either.

    Everything was on the same wireless net. So I think I'll wait a while to see if some of the kinks get ironed out before I spend any more time or any money on the Splashtop products.
    bmullan
    • Linux

      Works flawlessly on my Mac and Android. Running Kubuntu 12.10 and couldn't install the 12.04 deb because of the dependency issue you raise. Guess I won't bother installing it either, if it doesn't work.
      cmorticum