How-To Install VNC Desktop on Ubuntu 14.04

Published on: Fri, Mar 6, 2015 at 7:10 am EST
Linux Guides Ubuntu

This guide will walk you through installing a VNC desktop on Ubuntu 14.04 with the free VNC software, TightVNC.

Step 1: Install components

We need to install the following components for a proper desktop with VNC.

  • xOrg
  • A desktop (LXDE)
  • An Ubuntu VNC server (TightVNC)

Run the following command to install them.

sudo apt-get install xorg lxde-core tightvncserver

Step 2: Setup VNC

We have to set up a VNC password for our VNC connection. This password is limited to 8 characters in length. Longer passwords will be truncated.

tightvncserver :1

Next, we need to config the xstartup because VNC doesn't know how to launch LXDE.

nano ~/.vnc/xstartup

In this file...

  • Remove the # before #x-window-manager &
  • Add the line lxterminal &
  • Add the line /usr/bin/lxsession -s LXDE &

Your config should now resemble the following:

#!/bin/sh

xrdb $HOME/.Xresources
xsetroot -solid grey
#x-terminal-emulator -geometry 80x24+10+10 -ls -title "$VNCDESKTOP Desktop" &
x-window-manager &
lxterminal &
/usr/bin/lxsession -s LXDE &
# Fix to make GNOME work
export XKL_XMODMAP_DISABLE=1
/etc/X11/Xsession

Save the file with Ctrl + O, then exit nano with Ctrl + X.

Step 3: Restart VNC

To restart VNC we have to shut it down with:

tightvncserver -kill :1

... and start it again:

vncserver :1 -geometry 1024x768 -depth 16 -pixelformat rgb565

Step 4: Connect to the VNC server

Start your favorite VNC Client and connect to your server's IP with the ending :1. For example: 123.123.123.123:1.

Enjoy your new VNC server!

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