Jul 20, 2023

This program merges the capabilities of x2x and vncviewer. It will allow a machine with an X display and a machine with a VNC server running on its main screen to act as if they were two displays connected to one machine. When you move your mouse pointer off the screen in a direction of your choosing, the pointer will appear on the other screen instead.

Before we delve into the intricacies of x2vnc, let’s get ourselves acquainted with the basic premise. As FreeBSD users and enthusiasts, it’s critical to have an understanding of the essential tools and softwares that can make working with FreeBSD smooth and constructive. One of these vital tools is x2vnc in the category of x11-servers. This article will provide a practical, step by step guide on how to use x2vnc effectively along with enlightening its manifold benefits. We expect, by the end of the article, FreeBSD users would have an intimate understanding of x2vnc and be able to utilize its full potential.

A Brief Introduction

x2vnc is a program that allows the operator to utilize two displays. It’s designed specifically for people with two or more computers attached to separate monitors. The mouse pointer can be smoothly moved from one screen to the other using x2vnc, making it feel like you’re working with a single big screen. This fantastic tool can be highly beneficial for people working with several complex applications at once or managing multiple servers.


Before we can start using x2vnc, it’s necessary to install the software. The FreeBSD Ports tree offers an effortless and straightforward way to install x2vnc.

cd /usr/ports/x11-servers/x2vnc/ && make install clean

Or you can install it via the package manager

pkg install x2vnc

Once the installation is complete, you can verify it by typing x2vnc --help in the terminal. It should display a list of command line options.

Configuration and Usage

x2vnc does not offer a graphical interface for configuration; it is run from the command line. Therefore, it’s essential to understand its syntax and options. A typical command to start x2vnc looks like this

x2vnc -east otherhost0

In this command, ‘-east’ specifies the direction in which the other display is located. You can replace it with ‘-west’, ‘-north’, or ‘-south’, depending on your setup. ‘otherhost0’ is the hostname and display designation of the computer where vncserver is running.

Remember, one of the computers should be running a VNC server. If you’re new to VNC Virtual Network Computing, we have an excellent [guide]https//freebsdsoftware.org/net/tigervnc.html on setting up TigerVNC, a high-performance, platform-neutral implementation of VNC.

Once x2vnc is running, move your mouse pointer to the edge of the display. The pointer will then pop up on the other screen, and you’ll be able to control the other computer as if it were a part of the same system.

The Benefits of x2vnc

The key benefit of x2vnc is the seamless integration it provides between multiple systems. It essentially creates an extended workspace across different systems and monitors. This feature can immensely aid multitasking and managing complex applications running simultaneously on multiple systems.

On top of that, if you work on an intricate network setup with numerous FreeBSD installations on different machines, x2vnc simplifies device management. It’s like having a super-charged KVM Keyboard, Video, Mouse switch, but without the need for any extra hardware.

Moreover, the simplicity and light-weight nature of x2vnc is a massive win. It only takes a small amount of system resources, leaving the majority of your computing power free for your important tasks.

For more complex tasks, consider integrating other FreeBSD Ports like [nmap for network scanning]https//freebsdsoftware.org/security/nmap.html or [htop for system process management]https//freebsdsoftware.org/sysutils/htop.html to create an even more powerful and flexible environment.

While there could be other methods to manage multiple displays, the simplicity, low system requirements, and outstanding performance of x2vnc make it an attractive option for both beginners and experienced FreeBSD users.

In conclusion, x2vnc is an excellent tool for managing multiple FreeBSD systems or to connect a FreeBSD machine with a system running a different OS. The possibilities are vast, and the benefits are undoubtedly commendable. We hope that this guide would start your journey with x2vnc and motivate you to incorporate it into your FreeBSD workflow for a seamless multi-machine experience. FreeBSD Ports like x2vnc are perfect examples of how open-source software can offer flexible solutions to computing problems. Happy FreeBSD-ing!

Checkout these related ports:
  • Xwayland - X11 server as Wayland Client
  • Xwayland-devel - X11 server as Wayland client (development snapshot)
  • Xorg-server - X.Org X server and related programs
  • Xarcan - X11 server as Arcan client
  • X2x - Program to link multiple X servers together
  • Xfstt - TrueType font server for X11