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-<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
-<?oxygen RNGSchema="http://www.oasis-open.org/docbook/xml/5.0/rng/docbookxi.rng" type="xml"?>
-
- <chapter xmlns="http://docbook.org/ns/docbook"
- xmlns:xi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XInclude"
- xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" version="5.0">
- <title>Introduction</title>
- <para>
- Spice is an open remote computing solution, providing client access to remote displays and devices (e.g. keyboard, mouse, audio).
- At the moment, it's mainly used to get remote access to virtual machines. Spice provides a desktop-like user experience, while trying to
- offload most of the intensive CPU and GPU tasks to the client.
-
- The basic building blocks of Spice are:
- </para>
-
- <orderedlist>
- <listitem><para><link linkend="spice_server">Spice Server</link></para></listitem>
- <listitem><para><link linkend="spice_client">Spice Client</link></para></listitem>
- <listitem><para>Spice Protocol</para></listitem>
- </orderedlist>
-
- <para>
- The following sections provide basic information on Spice components and features, obtaining, building installing and using Spice.
- </para>
-
- <section>
- <title>Spice and Spice-related Components</title>
- <section xml:id="spice_server">
- <title>Spice Server</title>
- <para>
- Spice server is implemented in libspice, a VDI pluggable library.
- Currently, the main user of this library is QEMU. QEMU uses spice-server
- to provide remote access to virtual machines through the Spice protocol.
- Virtual Device Interface (VDI) defines a set of interfaces that provide
- a standard way to publish virtual devices (e.g. display device, keyboard,
- mouse) and enables different Spice components to interact with those
- devices. On one side, the server communicates with the remote client
- using the Spice protocol and on the other side, it interacts with the
- VDI host application (e.g QEMU).
- </para>
- </section>
-
- <section xml:id="spice_client">
- <title>Spice Client</title>
- <para>
- The Spice client is a cross-platform (Linux and Windows)
- which is used by the end user to access remote systems through Spice.
- The recommended client is <link xlink:href="https://fedorahosted.org/released/virt-viewer/">remote-viewer</link>
- (which is shipped with virt-viewer).
- <link xlink:href="https://wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Boxes">GNOME Boxes</link>
- can also be used as a Spice client. spicec is an obsolete
- legacy client, and spicy is only a test application.
- </para>
- </section>
-
- <section>
- <title>QXL Device and Drivers</title>
- <para>
- Spice server supports the QXL VDI interface. When libspice is used with
- QEMU, a specific video PCI device can be used for improving
- remote display performance and enhancing the graphic capabilities of the
- guest graphic system. This video device is called a QXL
- device and requires guest QXL drivers for full functionality. However,
- standard VGA is supported when no driver exists.
- </para>
- </section>
-
- <section xml:id="vdagent">
- <title>Spice Agent</title>
- <para>
- The Spice agent is an optional component for enhancing user
- experience and performing guest-oriented management tasks.
- For example, the agent injects mouse position and state to
- the guest when using client mouse mode. It also enables you to
- move cursor freely between guest and client. Other features
- of agent are shared clipboard (copy and paste between guest and host)
- and aligning guest resolution with client when entering fullscreen mode.
- </para>
- </section>
-
- <section>
- <title>VDI Port Device</title>
- <para>
- Spice protocol supports a communication channel between the
- client and the agent on the server side. When using QEMU, Spice agent
- resides on the guest. VDI port is a QEMU PCI device used
- for communication with the agent.
- </para>
- </section>
-
- </section>
-
- <section xml:id="features">
- <title>Features</title>
- <para>
- The server and client communicate via channels. Each channel is dedicated to
- a specific type of data. The available channels are following.
- </para>
- <section xml:id="multiple_channels">
- <title>Multiple Channels</title>
-
- <orderedlist numeration="arabic">
- <listitem>
- <para><emphasis role="bold">Main</emphasis> - control and configuration</para>
- </listitem>
- <listitem>
- <para><emphasis role="bold">Display</emphasis> - graphics commands images and video streams</para>
- </listitem>
- <listitem>
- <para><emphasis role="bold">Inputs</emphasis> - keyboard and mouse inputs</para>
- </listitem>
- <listitem>
- <para><emphasis role="bold">Cursor</emphasis> - pointer device position and cursor shape</para>
- </listitem>
- <listitem>
- <para><emphasis role="bold">Playback</emphasis> - audio received from the server to be played by the client</para>
- </listitem>
- <listitem>
- <para><emphasis role="bold">Record</emphasis> - audio captured on the client side</para>
- </listitem>
- <listitem>
- <para><emphasis role="bold">Smartcard</emphasis> - passthrough of smartcard data from the client machine to the guest OS</para>
- </listitem>
- <listitem>
- <para><emphasis role="bold">USB</emphasis> - redirection of USB devices plugged into the client to the guest OS</para>
- </listitem>
- </orderedlist>
- </section>
-
- <section xml:id="image_compression">
- <title>Image Compression</title>
-
- <para>
- Spice offers several image compression algorithms, which
- can be chosen on server initiation and dynamically at run-time. Quic is a
- Spice proprietary image compression technology based on the SFALIC
- algorithm. The Lempel-Ziv (LZ) algorithm is another option. Both Quic and
- LZ are local algorithms encoding each image separately. Global LZ (GLZ) is
- another proprietary Spice technology that uses LZ with history-based global
- dictionary. GLZ takes advantage of repeating patterns among images to
- shrink the traffic and save bandwidth, which is critical in a WAN
- environment. Spice also offers an automatic mode for compression selection
- per image, where the choice between LZ/GLZ and Quic is heuristically based
- on image properties. Conceptually, synthetic images are better compressed
- with LZ/GLZ and real images are better with Quic.
- </para>
- </section>
-
- <section xml:id="video_compression">
- <title>Video Compression</title>
-
- <para>
- Spice uses loss-less compression for images sent to the
- client. However, video streams are handled differently. Spice server
- heuristically identifies video areas and sends them as a video stream coded
- using M-JPEG. This handling saves a lot of traffic, improving Spice
- performance, especially in a WAN environment. However, in some
- circumstances the heuristic behavior might cause low quality images (e.g.
- identifying updated text area as a video stream). Video streaming can be
- chosen on server initiation and dynamically at run-time.
- </para>
- </section>
-
- <section xml:id="mouse_modes">
- <title>Mouse modes</title>
-
- <para>
- Spice supports two mouse modes: server and client. The mode
- can be changed dynamically and is negotiated between the client and the
- server.
- </para>
- <orderedlist>
- <listitem>
- <para>
- <emphasis role="bold">Server mouse</emphasis> - When a user
- clicks inside the Spice client window, the client mouse is
- captured and set invisible. In this mode, the server controls
- the mouse position on display. However, it might be problematic
- on WAN or on a loaded server, where mouse cursor might have some
- latency or non-responsiveness.
- </para>
- </listitem>
-
- <listitem>
- <para>
- <emphasis role="bold">Client mouse</emphasis> - Not
- captured and is used as the effective pointing device. To enable
- client mouse, the VDI host application must register an absolute
- pointing device (e.g. USB tablet in QEMU). This mode is
- appropriate for WAN or or for a loaded server, since cursor has
- smooth motion and responsiveness. However, the cursor might
- lose synchronization (position and shape) for a while.
- </para>
- </listitem>
-
- </orderedlist>
- </section>
-
- <section xml:id="other_features">
- <title>Other Features</title>
- <orderedlist>
-
- <listitem>
- <para>
- <emphasis role="bold">Multiple Monitors</emphasis> - any number of monitors is supported
- </para>
- </listitem>
-
- <listitem>
- <para>
- <emphasis role="bold">Arbitrary Resolution</emphasis> - when
- using the QXL driver, the resolution of the guest OS will be
- automatically adjusted to the size of the client window.
- </para>
- </listitem>
-
- <listitem>
- <para>
- <emphasis role="bold">USB Redirection</emphasis> - Spice
- can be used to redirect USB devices that are plugged in the
- client to the guest OS. This redirection can either be
- automatic (all newly plugged devices are redirected), or manual
- (the user selects which devices (s)he wants to redirect).
- </para>
- </listitem>
-
- <listitem>
- <para>
- <emphasis role="bold">Smartcard Redirection</emphasis> -
- data from smartcard that are inserted into the client machine
- can be passed through to the guest OS. The smartcard can be
- used by both the client OS and the guest OS.
- </para>
- </listitem>
-
- <listitem>
- <para>
- <emphasis role="bold">Bidirectional Audio</emphasis> - Spice supports audio playback and recording. Playback is compressed using the CELT algorithm
- </para>
- </listitem>
-
- <listitem>
- <para>
- <emphasis role="bold">Lip-sync</emphasis> - between video and audio. Available only when video streaming is enabled.
- </para>
- </listitem>
-
- <listitem>
- <para>
- <emphasis role="bold">Migration</emphasis> - switching channel connectivity for supporting server migration
- </para>
- </listitem>
-
- <listitem>
- <para>
- <emphasis role="bold">Pixmap and Palette caching</emphasis>
- </para>
- </listitem>
-
- </orderedlist>
- </section>
- </section>
-
-</chapter>