Brian Genisio
Fri Jan 11 09:14:00 GMT 2002

Yeah, with 100ms - 350ms, I know for a fact that Netscape is very slow.  I am
not sure if you know much about the X protocol, but a simple X program, such as
xterm will send about 20 protocol messages out... Many of the X protocol
messages are roundtrip and serial... Because of this, if you have (pseudo)code
that does something like this :


Then you have AT_LEAST 4 round trip messages, assuming 1 message per call.
(This is very often not the case)  With low latency, this is not a problem, but
let's assume a latency of 250ms.  4 round-trip messages will take 1 second!!! 
This is huge.

Netscape, unfortuanately, is nowhere near a simple application.  I have done
some playing (using xmond), and found that Netscape makes tens of thousands of
X protocol calls.  Of course, not all of them are round trip, but the ones that
are will hurt :(  You can do the math... It could take close to forever for
Netscape to come up... and when it does, it will be so painful to use, that it
wont be worth it.

You might find a more efficient browser... lnyx, (like you mentioned) would be
one.  You might also try dillo (  It is a very simple
browser that will be much more effiecient to use over a latency such as that.  

If dillo is not enough for you (It might not be), I know that Opera (
boasts to be the fastest Web browser on earth... so we would hope that it has
some more streamlined X communication, but I cant say for sure.

Good luck,

--- Raber Chris <> wrote:
> > 
> > Yes, but did you try it anyways?  Most Linux
> distributions 
> > set XDMCP up as
> > default when it sets up X.  I would simply try it,
> before you 
> > worry about
> > setting it up on the Linux system.
> I did try it. I got "too many retransmissions" errors.
> > 
> > Another thought about the Netscape problem you are
> having... 
> > How much time are
> > you giving it to come up?  How far away is the
> remote 
> > machine?  (What is the
> > ping rate?)  If you have a ping rate of 70ms or so,
> Netscape 
> > will be dog slow,
> > and could take as long as 10 minutes to come up....
> X 
> > programs dont work too
> > well over networks with latency (ie cable modem).
> This is probably the issue. My ping latency is between
> 100 and 350 ms! I am over DSL and through a VPN to the
> server I am connecting too.
> Sounds like my expectations were not in line with
> reality on this. Now where is that lynx browser... ;-)
> > 
> > The other thought, if you think your window manager
> is the 
> > problem... kill off
> > twm, and run a window manager from the remote
> machine, and 
> > try it again.
> > 
> > Brian
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