Problems with VNC on Mandrake

Michael Ossmann michael.ossmann "at"
Tue, 19 Mar 2002 17:17:49 +0000

On Tue, Mar 19, 2002 at 09:59:22AM -0600, Daugherty, William wrote:
> What do you mean by I need to know which virtual X server I am
> invoking VNC.

Every X server has a display number associated with it.  Display numbers
look like:

:2  (this is the same as localhost:2)

There can only be one X server running for each display number.  You are
probably running another X server (XFree86) on your local physical
display which provides your local desktop environment.  It is running on
display :0 which is why you were getting:

> Fatal server error:
> Server is already active for display 0

You should be able to get Xvnc on another display, such as :1.  The
easiest and best way to do this is to use the vncserver script which
automatically finds a free display, but you could also run:

  Xvnc :1

> I appologize for my lack needy questions but this is not documented
> very well for trying to run on Linux.  Does anyone know where I can
> find some highly detailed documentation?  Something other than the
> lame docs that I downloaded from the VNC site would be prefered.  I
> also read the README that came with the linux relase of VNC but I got
> very little usable information related to my problem.

The documentation assumes some knowledge of the X Window System.

> [root "at" crichton vnc]# ./vncserver
> vncserver: couldn't find "Xvnc" on your PATH.

The best way to fix this problem is to add the directory in which Xvnc
resides onto your PATH variable, e.g. if the directory is /opt/vnc/bin
then type:


and then run vncserver.  You'll have to adjust your PATH like this in
every new shell before you run vncserver unless you edit it in a shell
startup script such as ~/.bash_profile or /etc/profile.

> Well this was strike 2.  Like an idiot I went ahead below and removed
> the file in question without first finding out what it is or does.
> Bad move normally I know.  But I was tired and I got "rm" and Enter
> happy.  Please tell me I did not screw up majorly on this one.

Well, if your local desktop is still working, then you're pretty much
okay.  If you experience any trouble (like certain graphical apps not
displaying) then simply restarting your X server will fix it.  (I think
you can do that from the Mandrake login screen - if there is no button,
then a ctrl-alt-backspace should do the trick.  Alternatively you can
just reboot.)

Mike Ossmann, Tarantella/UNIX Engineer/Instructor
Alternative Technology, Inc.
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