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I'm looking for a Remote Desktop solution. It must:

  1. Cost nothing
  2. Support both Linux and Windows (unlike UltraVNC)
  3. Have no ads or popups (unlike TeamViewer or AnyDesk, like NoMachine)
  4. Preferably be able to connect over LAN (unlike TeamViewer Free, like NoMachine)
  5. Support Intel Hardware decoding (QuickSync) on Windows client (unlike NoMachine)

NoMachine uses VP8 and does not support QuickSync. I don't know if TeamViewer or AnyDesk supports QuickSync or what codec they use, but in any case they are much less CPU heavy in comparison to NoMachine which causes a lot of fan noise.

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The "cost nothing" requirement might be the issue here... However radmin might work as mentioned here there is a cost free 30 day demo version, so maybe this would be an option for you.

Another option which you might test is RemoteFX:

Microsoft® RemoteFX™ is included as part of the RD Virtualization Host role service, and it enables the delivery of a full Windows user experience to a range of client devices including rich clients, thin clients, and ultrathin clients. RemoteFX renders content by using graphics processing units (GPUs) that are present on the server and then shared across multiple virtual desktops. RemoteFX renders a range of content including DirectX and all types of multimedia, and it is optimized for LAN-based networks.

This is part from Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 and included in RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol). It is also backported on Windows 7 Enterprise when installing the RDP 8.0 update. So if you are using Windows 7 home or something like that it will not work as you need Windows 7 Enterprise (or Ultimate) as outlined by Microsoft.

Additional it looks like that the machine where you wish to use RemoteFX on must have at least Windows 2008 R2. You can follow this howto here which explains how to enable RemoteFX on that server so that you can then connect to it via RDP (from your Windows 8 Enterprise / Ultimate Workstation with RDP update). This YouTube video here also showing some limitations from RemoteFX but it make use from the Hyper-V stuff which isn´t really required in a simple setup as mentioned before. You might wish to check also this question here for additional infos.

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  • Do you know if there's any free solution satisfying the requirements above if you ignore Windows support, i.e. Linux-to-Linux only? – tsorn Sep 28 '17 at 18:17
  • Not a cost free one. I know that Parallels RDP Client for Linux added RemoteFX so you can use RemoteFX from a Windows Server on a Linux client. However my Linux knowledge is not an expert level here, so there might be other good options which I do not really know. If you need that the other side around (use the GPU features remotly on a linux system) I´m out here. But I think that this might be a bigger issue as most GPU features aren´t that much supported on Linux. Most GPU driver are Windwos only. – BastianW Sep 28 '17 at 18:50
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You may try to use FreeRDP, a free implementation of the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), released under the Apache license.

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