I'm looking for (free software) alternatives to Parallels Remote Application Server [1][3] or VMware Horizon (formerly called Horizon View) [2]. A software that can be used to access Windows or Linux applications via application virtualization just by using a browser.

I think Citrix Virtual Apps (formerly called Citrix XenApp) can do the same (not 100% sure).

Does a free software solution exist that can do something like this?

1 Answer 1


Novnc is what you need.

It is effectively a proxy between the Javascript Websocket API of the browsers, and a VNC server.

It is up to you, how do you create the VNC service. I personnaly created a script, which combines an Xvfb and an icewm into a systemd service. On this way, I could create browser accessible virtual linux desktops on hosted virtual servers.

The disadvantage is, the configuring it correctly is more complex as you would expect. Novnc has a server-side and a client-side API, you need to serve both correctly. Furthermore, also the security between the browser-novnc, and on the novnc-vncserver communication requires some work in a productive setting. But it can be done.

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I hunted this image from the Internet, it is not my system.

This answer explains, how can you export only a single window with x11vnc.

  • That looks to be a powerful solution to access a full desktop via a browser, but I wonder if it is possible to just access to a single application via a browser.
    – Neverland
    Aug 30, 2020 at 18:31
  • 1
    @Neverland Right. x11vnc has support to share only a single window, very likely all of its alternatives have, too. I extended the answer.
    – peterh
    Aug 31, 2020 at 0:56
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    @Neverland You will probably need some consultation on the unix.stackexchange.com and on the stackoverflow.com to make this all working together.
    – peterh
    Aug 31, 2020 at 12:31

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