MeshCentral - Desktop Multiplexor

This week, MeshCentral added an important new capability that has been requested by many users, the ability to multiplex a single remote desktop session to many browsers at once. In the past, if many different browsers would connect to see the same computer at the same time, the traffic was not efficient, and the slowest browser would drag everyone else down.  With the latest release of MeshCentral, there is a new option to enable a desktop multiplexor module that actively understands the remote desktop protocol and perform data caching and arbitration between the different viewers. Let’s look at the details:
  • Desktop tile caching. Once enabled, MeshCentral will cache all graphics data that is currently visible for the desktop session. It keeps an ordered list of what data is visible from oldest to newer and can replay the entire desktop when a new viewer joins the session. As new images come in, the server looks at what previous images are not longer visible and updates the list. When a new viewer joins the session, the current list of images is replayed so that existing agent and viewers don’t see any added traffic.
  • Per-viewer flow control. Each browser looking at the same remote desktop session may operate with different latencies and bandwidth. In the past, the MeshAgent had to slow down to the slowest of the connections. With the new desktop multiplexor, each session gets its own flow control. The way this works is the as the server keeps an ordered list of visible images, dropping hidden images as times goes on. Each browser starts at the back of the image list and races forward as fast as it’s capable.
  • Settings arbitrage. In the past, the viewer that last requested a compression setting would get this granted. Since the agent is capable of only one compression setting, all other viewers would see the setting change. With the new desktop multiplexor, the server now performs arbitrage between the different viewer requests. For example, the agent will not be told to go into thumbnail mode unless all viewers are requesting this mode.
This feature certainly makes MeshCentral much more useful for educational, remote support and other industries where you need many people looking at the same screen at the same time. The feature is not enabled by default, you must add “desktopmultiplexor” : true in the settings section of the MeshCentral config.json file. Feedback appreciated. If you see any problems and need support on something, please create a new issue on GitHub or help other users.


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