[slicer-users] Use of Slicer through VNC

Isaiah Norton inorton at partners.org
Wed Aug 11 11:11:20 EDT 2010


Slicer is available for - and runs well on - Windows; if you haven't 
tried that yet, please do. The Slicer build system is cross platform so 
any development should be portable between systems.

I have used VNC and cygwin X server for remote viewing of Slicer. With 
VNC I've seen similar issues; setting the color depth the same as host 
may improve things, but it could still look different because rdp is 
essentially pushing jpegs of the screen and this is not really designed 
for proof-quality consistency. X server should provide more consistent 
color quality and considerably better performance with a good network, 
but neither solution will give native render speeds. The reason is that 
even a gigabit network connection has magnitudes slower throughput than 
the local bus, so there is no way to efficiently push all of the render 
data. For 2d and light 3d viewing this may be fine, but for more complex 
3d scenes and volume rendering I don't know of any way around this 
network bottleneck.

To run linux on existing windows machines there are some virtualization 
options which might be useful. Parallels is available for mac (version 
5) or windows (version 4); it supports opengl, and is reported to give 
only 2-3% performance penalty vs. native. VirtualBox and VMware are two 
other solutions - reportedly slightly slower than parallels - and each 
with own +/-. They all support the Intel VT extensions on capable 
processors which may (or not) improve speed depending on the setup. Of 
course, there are lots of detailed comparisons and benchmarks available 
online. VirtualBox is the only one I've used, simply because it's free. 
I've run Slicer on linux/virtualbox/linux and linux/virtualbox/mac, and 
the performance is pretty good - certainly better than network display.

Hope this helps,


On 08/11/2010 10:12 AM, Luca Clemente wrote:
> Dear Sirs,
>     we are a software company working in the medical field using Linux 
> as a OS to develop our programs.
> We had the problem of viewing and managing 3D objects and Slicer3 is 
> the right tools to do it and we are very happy to have choosen it.
> But we have the following problem: we are using our system on a 
> network with PC connected to it with different OS installed on them 
> (many times Windows) so to use our procedure we use for it VNC or 
> sometimes the Xming X-Server. In both of the cases even if we are able 
> to open and use Slicer3 in the Client connected with RDP the quality 
> of the image on the screen (I mean colors as weel definition) are not 
> the same if we use Slicer3 directly on the Linux Server.
> Do you have any explanation for this or may be suggest us a possible 
> solution to avoid this problem?
> Thank you in advance to everybody will take care of our request
> Luca Clemente
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Dr. Clemente Luca - T.I.M. Srl
> Via Ilaria Alpi, 3 int. 4 I-33082 Azzano Decimo (PN) - Italia
> Tel +39-0434-621900
> Fax +39-0434-423854
> HTTP: www.zerobase.it <http://www.zerobase.it>
> e-mail: luca.clem at zerobase.it <mailto:luca.clem at zerobase.it>
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