How to Install & Configure VNC Server on Ubuntu 22.04|20.04

In this article, we’ll learn how to install and configure a Virtual Network Computing (VNC) server on Ubuntu 22.04 and 20.04. VNC allows you to access a remote desktop environment from another computer to control and manage your Ubuntu system remotely. Follow along as we go through the steps to set up a VNC server on your Ubuntu machine.

Prerequisites

Before we begin, ensure that you have the following:

  1. A system is running Ubuntu 22.04 or 20.04.
  2. Access to a user account with sudo privileges.

Step 1: Installing the VNC Server

To get started, follow these steps to install the VNC server on your Ubuntu machine:

1.1. Update and upgrade the system

First, update your package list and upgrade your system by running the following commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

1.2. Install the VNC server software

Next, install the TightVNC server package:

sudo apt install tightvncserver

Step 2: Configuring the VNC Server

With the VNC server installed, we’ll now configure it:

2.1. Create a new VNC user

Create a new user specifically for VNC connections. Replace vncuser with your desired username:

sudo adduser vncuser

2.2. Configure the VNC password

Log in as the new VNC user and set a password for the VNC connection:

su - vncuser
vncpasswd

2.3. Set up the VNC session

Create a new VNC session for the user by running the following command:

vncserver :1

This will create a new VNC session on display number 1.

Step 3: Configuring the Firewall

To allow VNC connections, you’ll need to configure your firewall:

3.1. Open the necessary ports

Open the necessary ports on your firewall for the VNC server:

sudo ufw allow 5901/tcp

Step 4: Starting the VNC Server

Now that everything is set up start the VNC server:

vncserver :1

Step 5: Connecting to the VNC Server

With the VNC server running, you can now connect to it from another computer:

5.1. Install a VNC client

On the computer, you’ll use to connect to the VNC server and install a VNC client like RealVNC Viewer, TightVNC Viewer, or TigerVNC Viewer.

5.2. Connect to the VNC server

Open your VNC client and enter the server address in the following format:

IP_ADDRESS_OF_YOUR_SERVER:1

Replace IP_ADDRESS_OF_YOUR_SERVER With the actual IP address of your Ubuntu machine running the VNC server. You will then be prompted to enter the password you set up earlier.

Step 6: Securing Your VNC Connection

To ensure the security of your VNC connection, it’s recommended to use SSH tunneling:

6.1. Use SSH tunneling

On the client machine, create an SSH tunnel with the following command:

ssh -L 5901:localhost:5901 -N -f -l vncuser IP_ADDRESS_OF_YOUR_SERVER

Replace vncuser with your VNC username and IP_ADDRESS_OF_YOUR_SERVER with the actual IP address of your Ubuntu machine running the VNC server.

When connecting with your VNC client, use localhost:1 the server address instead of the actual IP address.

See our Introduction to SSH Tunneling

Conclusion

Congratulations! If you have done everything right (as described above), you can now remotely access and manage your stuff from another computer. Remember to use SSH tunneling to secure your VNC connection.

FAQs

Can I use a different VNC server software?

Yes, multiple VNC server software options are available, such as x11vnc and RealVNC Server. The installation and configuration process may vary depending on the software you choose.

Can I connect to the VNC server from a different operating system?

Yes, VNC clients are available for various operating systems, including Windows, macOS, and Linux. Ensure you have a compatible VNC client installed on your computer to connect to the VNC server.

Can I set up multiple VNC sessions?

Yes, you can create multiple VNC sessions by changing the display number in the vncserver command. For example, to create a session on display number 2, use vncserver :2.

How do I stop the VNC server?

To stop the VNC server, use the following command, replacing :1 with the appropriate display number:

vncserver -kill :1

Can I change the resolution of the VNC session?

Yes, you can modify the VNC session’s resolution by editing the ~/.vnc/xstartup file and adding the following line before the x-window-manager command:

xrandr -s WIDTHxHEIGHT

Replace WIDTH and HEIGHT with the desired resolution values.

 

Gyula Virag
Gyula Virag

Gyula is a developer and a passionate geek father with a deep love of online marketing and technology. He always seeks challenging adventures and opportunities to create something permanent in the digital world.

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