Making TeamViewer for Linux Cute

January 22, 2015

Linux users represent an incredibly diverse user base. The reasons and advantages for running Linux are as varied as the multitude of different Linux distributions. Linux doesn’t just appear on the occasional server hidden somewhere in a basement or on a research scientist’s workstation.

Linux may have the reputation as the operating system of choice for tech geeks who take pride in being free from the constraints of Redmond- and Cupertino-based software, but today you’re nearly as likely to find it on some grandmother’s or banker’s computer (possibly installed by that tech geek) as you are anywhere else. The robustness, flexibility, and security of the operating system make it an attractive alternative for many. Simply put, there are numerous reasons why you might need TeamViewer on Linux – enough reasons for us to make it available to you.

A Retrospective

When TeamViewer for Linux was first created nearly five years ago, most features were made operational with only minor adaptations by running the Windows version on Wine. This approach had the advantage of quickly bringing TeamViewer’s tremendous functionality to Linux users without requiring years of development.

However, since the introduction of TeamViewer 5, the feature list has grown immensely. Voice over IP, webcam support, Wake-on-LAN, clipboard synchronization are but a few examples. Those features had to be implemented in native code, so that is exactly what we did.

Up until TeamViewer 7, native features came in the form of plug-ins. TeamViewer 8 featured the first fully-native process, a background daemon. It enabled us to implement new features like Wake-on-LAN (first introduced in TeamViewer 9) and also allowed us to add features that Windows users have appreciated for a long time, such as unattended access.

In TeamViewer 9, the process used to transfer your desktop environment to your partner and allow him to control it, was also made native, which improved overall quality in this area.

A Cute User Interface

The graphical user interface (GUI) still remains. To keep up with development on other platforms, we’re not completely rewriting it all at once. However, some of the new features in TeamViewer 10 for Linux were implemented in native code. Our GUI framework of choice is Qt (pronounced “cute”). It seemed like an obvious choice; it offers a modern framework that provides everything we need to give you all the cool features you want.

If you start TeamViewer 10 for Linux, you may be welcomed by the intro screen. Or if you’re a professional user and you have connection reporting enabled in the management console, you’ll notice the new design when commenting your support cases. Also, the chat windows are all new and shiny, with greatly improved functionality such as chat groups, chat history, and profile pictures. Now, you can even remotely support your mobile device (e.g. Android) with the Linux version.

If you are using any of these features, you’re using the new, “cute” part of TeamViewer for Linux. We hope you enjoy the new stuff as much as we enjoyed developing it. We can’t wait to add even more functionality and make TeamViewer for Linux cuter and even more useful at the same time!

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