VNC on Linux and viewing on PC
Jerome R. Westrick
jerry "at" Westrick.com
Thu May 27 18:43:01 2004
On Thu, 2004-05-27 at 18:49, Anchorman wrote:
> I posted this message yesterday, but didn't see it come across, so I'll post
> it again.
> I'm running KDE 3.1 on Debian Linux, and I just installed VNC on my Linux
> box so I wouldn't have to be hitting the switch in my KVM switch all the
> time, which messes up my mouse and keyboard settings.
> Anyway, I mostly run Windows PC's, and I've got the VNC viewer installed on
> my Windows 2000 machine. When I'm viewing another Windows machine, it seems
> to work just fine, but when I try to view my Linux machine, I can only see a
> single blank window on the screen. I've got several windows open on my
> Linux machine, and it's showing me a shell window, and my cursor is an "x"
> I can't see the background, menu's, or anything else.
> After playing with this a little, it seems that VNC starts it's own
> terminal, which basically means that I can't see the existing desktop. Is
> there any way to get VNC to show me the current desktop?
> Anyone have any ideas?
> VNC-List mailing list
> VNC-List "at" realvnc.com
> To remove yourself from the list visit:
Yes, there is, but setting it up is not as well documented as the
default method. I believe it's already implemented in KDE, but....
What you have is a classical "working against the tools" syndrome.
Let me explain.
Want you really want, is to only use your switch box in emergency cases.
In all other cases you want to run programs on your remote machine but
have them display on your local machine.
The "how" this is accomplished is not really that important is it?
As to how, there are several ways to accomplish this:
1) X-Windows supports this function as is, without vnc. Use this
scenario to seamlessly support remote programs running on remote
machines. Issuing the following command will start evolution on the
remote machinewith the display on your local machine:
ssh -X <user>@<remote> /opt/gnome/bin/evolution
(I'm using evolution this way right now.)
2) VNC started by user. you use this scenario when you want the full
remote desktop in a seperate window, but want the desktop (and all
programs running on it) to continue running even when you turn off your
local machine. First login to the remote machine as the user whoose gui
Then start a vnc server (change the files in ~/.vnc/* directory to
start up the Gui you wish)
Look at the output of the command. Among the lines you'll see a display
number. You can now connect to the user x-windows instance from a
remote machine useing the command
(This seams to be what you did. Although you forgot to configure the
files in the ~/.vnc/* directory)
3) VNC started via inetd. In this scenario, you turn linux into a
"Unix Terminal-Server". Each time you connect to the remote machine
the same prompt appears as if you where on the terminal connect to the
machine. ie. You get the standard login screen, and you can login as
normal. As many people can connect to the remote machine as your
machine has resources to handle. When you disconnect from vnc the
X-Windows session is killed.
4) You can use a special version of vnc to display the x-Windows session
running on the physical terminal.
There is nothing you can do on the physical terminal, that cannot be
done with ANY of theese methods.
The first method uses the least resources on remote as it does not
have to run a full x-windows session.
The second and forth methods leave an X-Windows Session eating resources
even when you are not using them. (The GUI as we all know is a resource
So my question to you is do you really want to display the X-Windows
session running on the physical terminal via a special (and hard to
install) vnc version?
Just use one of the other methods and turn off the X-Wiindows session on
the physical terminal.