Posts tagged vnc

Linux and VNC
posted on 2015-05-03 11:39:03

previous VNC problems

Linux and VNC was a pain point in the past for me, as a regular VNC (read vncserver) will give you headaches when trying to view the current display. You can open a second session, but you will not see the currently running Xsession.

Enter x11vnc

For the next steps, root privileges are assumed, and that you are in the same network as your VNC machine.

Install x11vnc package for your OS via its package manager and create a startup script like this one:

cat << EOF > ~/vnc && chmod a+x ~/vnc
x11vnc -env FD_XDM=1 -auth guess -ncache 10 &

Now you can just ssh into the machine in question, run ./vnc and have a proper vnc server running. It will even work at the login screen of the display manager, even before a user is logged into the desktop environment of the target machine.

On your maching (not the vnc server) do vncviewer (assuming you have an installed package providing the viewer), do:

vncviewer <hostname-or-ip-of-server>:5900

If it connects Fullscreen, try pressing F8, for getting a menu so you can get into windowed mode or exit the session, when done.

This also will kill the running x11vnc instance, so if you want to connect with vnc again, ssh into the maching and rerun the ./vnc script above.

security considerations

This setup does only suffice for an internal network, as no authentication measures are in place. You aren't even asked for a password when connecting.

Also running the application as root should considered bad practice.

For further securing your setup in case you need it, you might have to create an auth cookie:

xauth generate :0

and use it accordingly, as well as running it with a proper user and user rights.

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