Red Hat SPICE protocol advances but release could be a year away

The open source remote access project will include 3D acceleration, network tunneling, and perhaps iPad, iPhone, and Android tablet support

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The project's website lists other important planned features, such as:

  • Network tunneling (in progress) -- Using a virtual network interface to enable sharing of network resources. The current focus is on printer sharing but it is not limited to that alone.
  • Off-screen surfaces (in progress) -- Supports off-screen surfaces as infrastructure for future DirectDraw, video acceleration, and 3D acceleration. GDI and X11 will also benefit from this feature, and it will lay the foundation for multihead support, which is becoming more popular.
  • Clipboard sharing (in progress) -- Allows clients to share their clipboards with SPICE servers to support copy and paste between client and guest
  • USB sharing (in progress) -- Allows clients to share their USB devices with SPICE servers. This may include things such as booting from and/or accessing USB mass storage devices, Web cameras, printers, smartphones, and smart cards.
  • Direct Draw
  • Client GUI -- Enables user-friendly configuration.
  • Screen management -- Adds support for enabling selection of the screen used by the client.
  • Configuration file -- Enables persistent user and administrative settings.
  • CD sharing -- Enables you to share your CD with SPICE server.
  • Video acceleration
  • 3D acceleration
  • Aero support
  • Linux features parity
  • Mac OS X client support
  • Simultaneous client connections

One other planned feature of particular interest centers around the client and its future support for non-x86 platforms. With VDI popularity growing and more end-users turning their management desires to smart devices such as Apple's iPad and iPhone and Android-based tablet devices, it is no wonder that this group is looking to expand beyond the x86 platform for client support.

In the future, the SPICE project plans to provide additional solutions that include remote access for physical machines and a VM front end for local users (render on and share devices of the same physical machine).

According to the group, the next stable release, version 0.6.0, is planned for Aug. 16. After that the group plans a follow-up stable release, version 0.8.0, for Feb. 15, 2011. At that rate, it sounds like a 1.0 release shouldn't be expected until sometime during the second half of 2011.

You can find out more information or participate in the SPICE open source project by visiting the SPICE project's website.

This story, "Red Hat SPICE protocol advances but release could be a year away," was originally published at Follow the latest developments in virtualization and cloud computing at

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