VNC Installation & Configuration

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This article is a tutorial to setting up VNC on various platforms and environments.

Server Side

Mac OS X

  • On OS X 10.4, VNC is included, and can be turned on the System Preferences panel. This is very easy, however I don't know which VNC server is included in OS X, and thus I don't which features are available. I am not sure if many of the improvements of TightVNC (compression) are available, for example.
  • The server uses port 5900.

Gentoo Linux

  • To be able to connect to your existing KDE session, install kfrb. This module allows you (in KDE) to invite people to connect to your current KDE session. It works well but you cannot test it with a local client (which makes sense). I think it is recommended to use Krdc as a client to connect, as standard VNC clients probably don't work as well.
  • To connect to a new X session via VNC, install tightvnc with the server USE flag. This will install the server part of VNC (a Xvnc binary). You will also need to emerge the xinetd super-server. Then follow this HOW-TO at the Gentoo Wiki.
  • If something fails, check the xinetd logs (you need to setup logging via /etc/xinetd.conf), and the Xvnc logs. These logs will show up in /usr/adm if Xvnc is launched via xinetd, so you need to create this directory if it does not exist yet (and allow the user which will run Xvnc to write to it).
  • A common problem I ran into is the font path for Xvnc - try to run vncserver, it is a script that will probably find the correct font path for you. Then add it to the server args:
server_args = :4 -inetd -query localhost -once -desktop UtumnoVNC -geometry 1024x768 -depth 16 -fp /usr/share/fonts/misc/,/usr/share/fonts/Type1/

Client Side

  • On Gentoo, the best is probably to emerge tightvnc. To be able to connect to an existing KDE session, also emerge krdc (Remote Desktop Connection).
  • On Mac OS X, a recommended client is Chicken of the VNC. You can download it from Sourceforge.