Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environments

What Does Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environments Mean?

Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environments (SPICE) is a virtual desktop protocol that allows users to see a computing desktop environment from both the computer-server machine and the Internet with the help of a gamut of machine architectures. The SPICE protocol does not rely on a remote procedure call standard or specific transport layer.


SPICE was developed by Qumranet, which was acquired by Red Hat Inc. in 2008.

Techopedia Explains Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environments

SPICE specifies a set of protocol definitions for channel synchronization and can be used to deploy virtual desktops from a server to remote desktop computers and thin client devices. The SPICE protocol specifies a set of protocol messages for accessing, controlling and receiving inputs and sending outputs from remote computing devices such as keyboards, video devices and mice across various networks.

The SPICE protocol communication session is divided into various communication channels so that the communication can be controlled and messages can be executed depending on the channel type, or remote device. The SPICE protocol definition also supports the addition and removal of communication channels at run time.

The current SPICE protocol definition specifies the following communication channels:

  1. The main channel functions as the main SPICE session connection.
  2. The cursor channel receives pointer shape and positions.
  3. The playback channel receives audio streams.
  4. The record channel sends audio capture.
  5. The display channel receives remote display updates.
  6. The inputs channel sends mouse and keyboard events.

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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…