How To Install and Access TightVNC Remote Desktop In Linux?


TightVNC is a very handy remote desktop application which is based on VNC protocol. TightVNC is mostly used for Linux systems in order to manage a remote desktop environment with GUI. In this tutorial, we will look at how to install and configure properly to run desktop environments like KDE, GNOME, XFCE, etc. with TightVNC.

Install Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, Kali

We can use the following command to install deb based distributions.

$ sudo apt install tightvncserver
Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, Kali
Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, Kali

Install CentOS, Fedora, RHEL

We can use the following command to install rpm based distributions.

$ sudo yum install tightvncserver

Start VNC Server

Now we need to specify a desktop environment for our VNC session. Actually, we have not created a VNC session yet but we will create a new one to create default configuration files. We run the following command by providing a password for the VNC session.

$ vncserver
Create VNC Session
Create VNC Session

We can see that during VNC server start a password is specified which will be asked to the VNC clients want to connect this VNC server. Then the question wheter we want to create a view-only password. View-only password can be used to only view VNC sessions but can not control it. New VNC server session is create with the number 1 which means the server port is 5901 which is also called as ubuntu:1.

xstartup Configuration File

All VNC Server related configuration is held in a file named xstartup which is located in the user’s home directory .vnc folder. Let’s print the default configuration. In this case, the VNC configuration file is located /home/ismail/.vnc/xstartup.

$ cat .vnc/xstartup
xstartup Configuration File
xstartup Configuration File

Set Desktop Environment For KDE

In order to enable KDE desktop environment with a new VNC session, we need to add the following line to the xstartup file.

startkde &

Set Desktop Environment For GNOME

In order to enable GNOME desktop environment with a new VNC session, we need to add the following line to the xstartup file.

gnome-session &

Set Desktop Environment For XFCE

In order to enable GNOME desktop environment with a new VNC session, we need to add the following line to the xstartup file.

startxfce4 &

Set Desktop Environment For LXDE

In order to enable GNOME desktop environment with a new VNC session, we need to add the following line to the xstartup file.

lxsession &

Kill VNC Server or Session

As we have started a VNC server or session to create default configuration files. We need to kill it we can kill the VNC server with the -k option and the session ID. In this example, we will kill the session ID 1 .

$ vncserver -kill :1
Kill VNC Server or Session
Kill VNC Server or Session

Start Server or Session

Now we can start a new server with the command vncserver where the default configured desktop will be fired-up.

$ vncserver

Connect with VNC Client

VNC servers start with port number 5900 and count one by one with the session ID. For example, if we have given session ID 3 the port number will be configured as 5903 . We can connect with a VNC client which is explained in the following tutorial in detail.

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Best VNC Viewer Clients For Linux

192.168.115.123:5901
Connect with VNC Client
Connect with VNC Client

10 thoughts on “How To Install and Access TightVNC Remote Desktop In Linux?”

  1. I have been accessing our LINUX CentOS computer remotely from several windows bases computers for approx 4 years now with Tightvnc. For the last week, I will get an ‘Authentication failure’ when I try to login remotely. The only way I can fix the issue is to reboot the host computer. Any idea what my be causing this issue & how to fix it?

    Reply
  2. I have a question: On my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 wifi I tried to install Linux Distro Ubuntu using Linux Deploy and VNC Remote Desktop Viewer as stated in the Youtube Video. All went fine except for the VNC Viewer when trying to display Ubuntu Desktop. The message I get is: “The port that the Computer is listening to can not make a connection”……? So, Ubuntu never opens..! The VNC app I got from Google Playstore.com and it said before downloading that the app may not be fully optimized for your device….. Does your application have any faults to this application of installing Linux on my Tab 2..?
    Thanks in Advance….James..

    Reply
  3. Can i limited the port, for example if i run “vncserver” with root user that start with port “1” but if i run again this command “vncserver” it again run the vnc service in port “2”

    we need to limited the root or any other user fix port “1” and if we run “vncserver” so service not start in other ports

    Reply
  4. Can i limited the VNC port, for example if i run “vncserver” with root user that start with port “1” but if i run again this command “vncserver” it again run the vnc service in port “2”

    So now we need to limited this if vnc service run in “1” port with root user so if root user again run this command service not run or run in same “1” port

    It is possible ?

    Reply

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