SPICE is the high performance protocol developed by the Israeli startup Qumranet. More than one year after the startup has been acquired by Red Hat, SPICE has become an open source project.
In April 2010 the remoting protocol has been included in the freedesktop.org project, an 10-years old effort to promote the X Window System.
This week SPICE reached version 0.5.2, showing some progress.
Despite 0.5.x is the unstable branch, this version brings in the first stable API.
It also introduces full support for off-screen surfaces and a 80% integration with QEMU.
The project homepage features a rich roadmap:
- Network tunneling (in progress) – using virtual network interface to enable sharing of network resources. Currently the focus is on printer sharing but is not limited to that.
- 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. It will also lay foundation for multi-head support
- Clipboard sharing (in progress) – allows clients to share their clipboards with Spice servers
- USB sharing (in progress) – allows clients to share their USB devices with Spice servers
- Direct Draw
- Client GUI – Enables user-friendly configuration
- Screen management – add support for enabling selection of the screen used by the client
- Configuration file – enables persistent user and administrative settings
- CD sharing – share your CD with Spice server
- Video acceleration
- 3D acceleration
- Support Aero
- Linux features parity
- OSX client
- Simultaneous clients connection
The next two stable releases are planned for August 2010 (0.6) and February 2011 (0.8).
This means that a stable SPICE 1.0 isn’t expected before H2 2011.
Another very interesting thing is the planned support for non-x86 architectures, which almost certainly means a plan to support the ARM platform. Considering the huge potential that the Apple iPad and other Android-based tables have for VDI, it doesn’t surprise much that Red Hat is interested in extending SPICE beyond the Intel domain.
Thanks to Linux-KVM.com for the news.