IntelliJ extremely slow to redraw screen when used over remote desktop

I VPN into my office to try to work from home.  When I do this... IntelliJ is very slow to render, and it redraws the screen whenever I open/close a pane, or scroll in a document which is making it unacceptable to use remotely... Is there a way to fix this or some workaround that I could use?

I've already toned down my remote desktop settings (I'm only using 256 colors and I have sounds/themes/etc. turned off) but redrawing is still too slow



IIRC all Swing based Java applications have such problems, because the
window content is plain graphic for the VPN application - compared to native
applications, whose window content are buttons, text fields, ... (at least
this is my understanding of the problem).



I use IntelliJ 9.0.3 on Windows XP over remote desktop and it works great. But my coworker is using IntelliJ on Windows 7 and it is extremely slow.


I also use IntelliJ 9.0.3 on Windows XP over remote desktop and it extremely slow :(

I also use IDEA running on Linux with X-server (XMing) on Windows XP
and it again extremely slow :(


That does not match my experience.

I had been using IDEA 9.x for many months over a remote desktop connection, and never had any major issues with slow repainting.
This is all despite having really shitty 1Mbps ADSL broadband connection. The client and server PCs were running Windows XP Pro, for reference.

For the last couple of months I have been using EAP builds of IDEA 10 and again, it's been very responsive over remote desktop connection.

After civilisation has finally reached our area, last Friday I made a switch to 30Mbps fibre VDSL broadband, and after that I do not notice any difference between local and remote.


I want to chime in here and say that both myself and at least 4 other co-workers spread out across the US experience the same horrible redraw problems with IDEA over Windows RDP. Repainting any part of the screen is unusably slow. It's like watching the scanlines draw in pixel-row by pixel-row when doing absolutely anything in an editor or debug console.

This isn't limited just to IDEA, though. It's any app which doesn't use native drawing. Eclipse/SWT works just fine on the same RDP session, while IDEA is almost unusably slow due to constant row-by-row repainting. SublimeText, which is using OpenGL rendering or something, has horrible repainting issues.

This absolutely is an issue. I have no idea what JetBrains can do about it, though. My suspicion is that short of scrapping Swing, we're out of luck.


Another user here seeing very slow redraws over remote desktop (I'm using PhpStorm). Anyone at JetBrains listening? Any hope for this to be addressed? Thanks...


Dumb thought - but rdp on windows has an option to set connection speed. does it make sense to set to something better then default 56kb? From my expirience - everything was fine with 8 & 9 over rdp

if you use vista you could expirience problem not encountered with WinXP because of TCP autotuning in rdp v>6.0 which ships with Vista. See details and solution here


Thanks for the reply, but it's definitely a problem with IntelliJ. Every other app runs at great speeds over remote desktop. IntelliJ is the only one that is slow.


Will be dumb again, but did you try to change look and feel and appearence settings in idea. design was changed in X and some cool widgets(animations, etc) can generate a network volume. Consider to play with idea look and feel along with display quality on the remote desktop, maybe this will help. i definetely remember we did some configuration to remove effects and i read even article for this.


See the comments above, the problem appears to be due to the Swing library that's being used. Even the simple help viewer has the same problem.


idea is swing based for all the time i know it. and it was such with 8&9. Swing ships with jre. So either problem is with concrete widget/effect, which probably could be turned off with idea ui settings, either with a concrete jre version you're using (if problem with swing in general). in the second case the option is to rollback to proven java runtime.


I'm 99% sure it's a problem with how JetBrains is using Swing. They need to disable double buffering when running in a remote environment. See for more info. Anyone from JetBrains reading this?


I see the same behavior, but it got much worse when I went to Windows 7 on the "server". Every time I use remote desktop, all my other windows work fine, but all I see from IDEA is the menu bar and maybe one little window inside the entire IDEA window. This happens from two different "client" machines: WinXP SP3, and a Mac running OSX 10.6 (with the Microsoft Mac RDC). Is there some -X option I can specify so that Swing won't optimize so much?

Jim Babka

Permanently deleted user

anyone who have such problem
could you please try to compile open source version of IDEA
with suggested fix from given sun bug link


Russell Davis posted a workaround in that I can confirm works.

I'm using IDEA 10.0.2 and Win 7 (server and client). I have IDEA_JDK set to my JDK install of 1.6.0_23 (I'm not using the bundled version, but I suspect the same will work without a custom JDK).

The workaround is to set the Java system property sun.java2d.noddraw=false. For me the easiest solution was to modify file (since I already had customizations, I placed it in my home directory). Initially I commented out the sun.java2d.noddraw=true line, thinking that would "disable the disabling", but it didn't have an effect for me unless it was explicitly set to false.


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