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RfbPlayer: TightVNC Session Playback

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What Is It?

RfbPlayer is a program able to replay saved VNC sessions. Strictly speaking, it plays back RFB sessions – RFB is a protocol used in VNC and TightVNC.

RfbPlayer is written in Java. Just like the TightVNC Java Viewer, it can be used either as a Web-embedded applet or as a standalone applicaion. When used as an applet, RfbPlayer can load session files from the Web site. It allows showing demonstrations to the Web site visitors who just enjoy playback in their browsers and do not have to download or install anything to their computers.


There is no comprehensive documentation on RfbPlayer. Below on this page, you can find a brief help on recording sessions and running the player. Also, there is a small README file found in the distribution. For more details, please read the source code. Note that RfbPlayer is free software and it's available as is, with no warranty and no free support.

Licensing Terms

RfbPlayer is available under the terms of the GNU General Public License.


The RfbPlayer distribution includes both sources and the JAR file (ready to run). Use this link to download:

Running RfbPlayer

Running as an application (from the command line):

java -jar RfbPlayer.jar URL file:test.fbs
java -jar RfbPlayer.jar URL http://remote.host/test.fbs

And example of running it as an applet (HTML code):

<APPLET ARCHIVE="RfbPlayer.jar"
  WIDTH="800" HEIGHT="632">
<PARAM NAME="URL" VALUE="http://remote.host/test.fbs">

Recording VNC Sessions

There is a number of programs that can record VNC sessions and save them in the FBS (FrameBuffer Stream) format.

  • TightVNC Java Viewer, versions prior to 2.0. It can save sessions when run as a standalone application (not an applet). TightVNC Java Viewer is available from the download page (versions 1.3).
  • VNC Reflector. It acts as a proxy running between servers and viewers, and it can save screen data received from the server. It always uses 24-bit color in saved sessions. It's a Unix-style program (although there is a Cygwin port for Windows available) and it's free (BSD-type license).
  • rfbproxy utility. It's a simple program designed for Unix which can both save and replay saved VNC sessions. In the record mode, it sits between a server and a viewer, and simply records all the data received from the server. It's free software (GPL-licensed).

File formats are basically compatible between these programs (especially if 24-bit color format is used for recording).

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