Network Zero Clients : How to Minimize Bandwidth

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Copyright © 2006-2016 Userful Corporation. All rights reserved.
(Updated 2016.03.03)


See documentation for the latest products:


This document provides techniques to reduce the bandwidth between network zero-client devices and host PC. As each of the techniques have some impact on user experience, they are only recommended as a temporary solution or as a troubleshooting isolation technique.

Method #1: Show only window border while dragging

This technique toggles the Window Manager to show the window border (and not update window contents) when dragging windows around the screen.
Note: This only impacts Linux Desktop and Cloud Desktop sessions, not VDI sessions.

  1. Open terminal as root user on host PC
  2. Move to the autostart directory by typing following command:
  3. cd /etc/xdg/autostart
  4. Create a new file on the command line:
  5. cat > userful-reduced-resources.desktop
  6. Copy and paste the following content exactly into the terminal:
  7. [Desktop Entry]
    Name=Userful Reduced Desktop
    Comment=Metacity should use "reduced resources" when rendering the desktop
    Exec=gconftool-2 --type bool --set /apps/metacity/general/reduced_resources true
  8. Press "CTRL+D" to close and save the file
  9. Reboot the system

Method #2: Change color depth to 16bpp and/or reduce display resolution

In the Control Center > Display Management screen

  • Change the color depth for all zero client devices from 32bpp to 16bpp. For most users the difference with 16bpp is barely noticeable.

(Note: Do not change color depth for onboard host station).

  • Although the impact is much more visible if you don't require a full 1080p screen, lower the monitor resolution (e.g., to 720p) and achieve a considerable bandwidth reduction.