Fix VNC (Vino-server) screen refreshing in Ubuntu 12.04

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin's default VNC server for remote desktop sharing is vino (vino-server). Out of the box under the Unity interface it is incredibly slow to refresh for me. To speed it up I've tried to disable the background desktop wallpaper on client connection and to optimise the settings. Here are the tweaks I tried...


Disable xdamage
This does seem to improve screen refreshing up for me when using Unity. It basically disables the XDamage extension of X.org, apparently it may not work properly on some video drivers when using 3D effects - I experienced no issues.

In a terminal run:
gsettings set org.gnome.Vino disable-xdamage true

Disable the desktop background wallpaper
This doesn't seem to work for me, your mileage may vary. In a terminal run:
gsettings set org.gnome.Vino disable-background true

After making the changes I rebooted the PC to ensure the vino-server restarted.

Or edit config with GUI
This didn't seem to work for me nonetheless you can edit these settings via GUI using DConf. DConf is a low-level key/value database designed for storing desktop environment settings.

1. Install dconf-tools
sudo apt-get install dconf
sudo apt-get install dconf-tools

2. Run the dconf-editor
sudo dconf-editor

3 Edit the keys/values
The VNC server called Vino has configuration keys under:
Desktop > gnome > remote-access

After making the changes I rebooted the PC to ensure the vino-server restarted. To no avail in this case.

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