Splashtop introduces remote Ubuntu to Android and iPhone

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
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor
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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