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Installing and removing VNC Connect

These instructions explain how to install VNC Connect (version 6+) on supported Debian-compatible computers.

VNC Connect consists of a VNC Server app for the remote computer you want to control, and a VNC Viewer app for the local device you want to control from.


You can perform all the operations on this page at the command line. Check out our example script.

Upgrading to VNC Connect from legacy versions

If you are upgrading from VNC 5.x and have a valid Personal or Enterprise license key, installation should be seamless. You do not need to stop VNC Server, and any configuration changes you have made will be preserved. If you wish to enable cloud connectivity, perform this post-install step.

If you have an out-of-date Personal or Enterprise license key for VNC 5.x, you must purchase a subscription as a new customer.

If you have a Free license key for VNC 5.x, you can migrate to a new, free Home subscription providing you install VNC Server desk-side. You cannot migrate over a remote control session.

If you wish to upgrade from VNC Enterprise Edition or VNC Personal Edition 4.x, we recommend you first contact Support.

Downloading VNC Server

Download the appropriate VNC Server DEB installer for the architecture of the remote computer you want to control.

If you do not have administrative privileges, or want to specify non-default installation locations, download the appropriate generic installer instead, and run the script provided.

Installing using desktop tools

Open <VNC-Server>.deb using a suitable package manager, and follow the instructions. Administrative privileges are required.

Installing at the command line

Installing at the command line or via SSH may be quicker and more convenient providing defaults are acceptable. To do this, run the following command as a user with administrative privileges:

dpkg -i <VNC-Server>.deb

Licensing VNC Server

You must license VNC Server running on the remote computer or remote access will not be available. You don’t need to license VNC Viewer.

Setting up the environment for VNC Server

VNC Server in Service Mode

Wayland is not supported, so if the remote computer is running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS+, edit the /etc/gdm3/custom.conf file, uncomment WaylandEnable=false, and reboot in order to remotely access the login screen.

VNC Server in Virtual Mode

To use VNC Server in Virtual Mode with the latest Ubuntu distributions, you may need to change the desktop environment.


If SELinux is enabled, run vncinitconfig -register-SELinux to register policy modules.

Starting VNC Server

To start VNC Server in Service Mode, run the appropriate command below as a user with administrative privileges:

systemctl start vncserver-x11-serviced.service #systemd
/etc/init.d/vncserver-x11-serviced start #initd

For other command line operations and modes, see these instructions.

Downloading VNC Viewer

Download the VNC Viewer DEB installer to the computer you want to control if you have administrative privileges to install, or the standalone binary if not.

Getting connected

If you have a:

Removing VNC Connect

Using desktop tools

To uninstall VNC Server, open a package manager, conduct a search for the realvnc-vnc-server installed package, mark the package for complete removal, and apply the change. Administrative privileges are required. To uninstall VNC Viewer, repeat this operation for realvnc-vnc-viewer.

At the command line

Run the following command as a user with administrative privileges:

apt-get purge realvnc-vnc-server realvnc-vnc-viewer


To completely remove (benign) configuration and other files or settings that may remain, follow these instructions.