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What is it?

TightVNC is a VNC (Virtual Network Computing) Unix server and viewer. It is a remote display program that allows you to view the desktop of a remote computer from anywhere on a LAN or over the Internet. To improve security of sessions VNC can be piped through SSH (Secure SHell).

How to Install on Arch

To install TightVNC type the following:

pacman -S tightvnc

Now you need to set it up to work as either a server or client/viewer.

VNC Server on Linux (Arch)

First open up a terminal and type in: vncserver

You will now be prompted for a password: You will require a password to access your desktops.

Password: Verify:

Then you will be asked if you would like to enter a view only password. This allows two different ways of accessing a desktop on your system. - Allow a user to log into your VNC server and be able to fully use the desktop. - Allow a user to log into your VNC server and be only allow to view the desktop. I chose 'n' no for this example.

Would you like to enter a view-only password (y/n)? n

Now the vnc server desktop is created:

New 'X' desktop is hostname:1

Creating default startup script /home/user/.vnc/xstartup Starting applications specified in /home/user/.vnc/xstartup Log file is /home/user/.vnc/hostname:1.log

The problem now is that the VNC server is running but it is not running any desktop. If you were to log in now from a different computer you would only see the console.

Adding a Desktop to a VNC server

Since we want to use desktop with the VNC server kill the existing server that is running: $ vncserver -kill :1

Since it was the first VNC server we created it had the number :1. On Linux systems you can have as much VNC servers running as you want. To kill a specific server you will need to specify its number.

The first time we ran the vncserver and .vnc directory was created with some files inside of it. We will now go into this directory and edit these fills as to add a desktop to the VNC server.

$ cd /home/user/.vnc $ nano xstartup

  1. !/bin/sh

xrdb $HOME/.Xresources xsetroot -solid grey xterm -geometry 80x24+10+10 -ls -title "$VNCDESKTOP Desktop" & twm &

Change the file to the following to enable a GNOME desktop:

  1. !/bin/sh

xrdb $HOME/.Xresources xsetroot -solid grey exec gnome-session &

  1. exec kde & #for a kde desktop
  2. exec icewm & #for an icewm desktop, etc