VNC is short for ‘Virtual Network Computing’. It’s a simple method for sharing a graphical desktop environment. For example, if you install VNC on your hosted server, you could connect to its graphical desktop environment remotely.
- These instructions are intended for installing TightVNC VNC Server on a single Ubuntu 14.04 LTS node.
- I’ll be working from a Liquid Web Core Managed Ubuntu 14.04 LTS server, and I’ll be logged in as a non-root user, but with sudo access. For information on giving a user sudo access visit our page on How to Add a User and Grant Root Privileges on Ubuntu 14.04.
- If you don’t already have a desktop environment installed on your server, than you can follow our tutorial on: How to Install the Xfce Desktop Environment on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.
As a matter of best practices, let’s reload the package database:
sudo apt-get update
At this point, installing the TightVNC VNC Server is as simple as running just one command:
sudo apt-get install -y tightvncserver
Use the following command to set a secure password:
Be sure to follow our best practices for passwords: Practice Safe Passwords: A Quick Guide to Password Security!
After the access password is set, you’ll be asked whether or not you want to set the view-only password. This feature is helpful for demonstrations via VNC. In that scenario, people logged in with the view-only password would not be able to control the VNC session with their mouse or keyboard, but would be able to view the session.
Running VNC server will also create a default startup script, start the applications specified in the default config file, and create a log file.
By default, TightVNC launches a default session listening on port 5901.
Running the command:
Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address Foreign Address State PID/Program name
tcp 0 0 0.0.0.0:5901 0.0.0.0:* LISTEN 27760/Xtightvnc
Port 5901 is called a display port; the VNC session listening on port 5901 is referred to with a display number, which in this case is :1. The general naming convention is: display number :x refers to display port 5900 + x.
To stop a session running on a specified display number (:1 in this case) use the following command:
vncserver -kill :1