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Desktop on Ubuntu Server

Posted on 2010-09-07
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Last Modified: 2013-11-15
Hi

I have installed desktop on my Ubuntu Server using apt-get install ubuntu-desktop. The server is hosted somewhere so I don't have its physical access and I connect it through VNC (using ssh tunnel).

But the VNC viewer shows just a black dotted screen (screenshot is attached).

Can you please help me in sorting this out? It would be difficult for me to reboot the machine since it is being used 24/7.
vnc.png
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Question by:systemsautomation
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12 Comments
 
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:TobiasHolm
ID: 33616255
Hi!

Found this:

"... It seems that vncserver is not able to export display :0 but it opens another one where a window manager has to be loaded all over again and we don't want that.. ;)


In that case, install the package called x11vnc - which exports the current display, not a new one.."

Regards, Tobias
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Author Comment

by:systemsautomation
ID: 33616325
Thanks

I installed x11vnc. Typed vncserver :1 at command line. Tried to connect through VNC Viewer but same result.

In fact I am not clear on "which exports the current display, not a new one.."
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:fmarzocca
ID: 33616399
I usually get connected with my ubuntu vnc server by running this script from the client:

#!/bin/sh

ssh -f -L 5900:localhost:5900 fabusernameio@<server-IP> \
        x11vnc -safer -noxdamage -ncache 10 -localhost -nopw -once -display :0 \
        && sleep 5 \
        && vncviewer localhost:0
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 33616547
First of all, Ubuntu server by default doesn't have a GUI installed, and it doesn't need one, so why are you trying to use VNC on it? You should be able to manage everything directly through SSH in a terminal. If there are X based apps on the Server, just install X on your local PC (or if you are using a Windoze box start xming and login via SSH using putty), and you will be able to start those X Apps on your local PC without needing the complete GUI on the server.
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Accepted Solution

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TobiasHolm earned 500 total points
ID: 33616689
Read how to use x11vnc here: http://www.karlrunge.com/x11vnc/x11vnc_opts.html

"Typical usage is:   Run this command in a shell on the remote machine "far-host"   with X session you wish to view:       x11vnc -display :0   Then run this in another window on the machine you are sitting at:       vncviewer far-host:0Once x11vnc establishes connections with the X11 server and starts listeningas a VNC server it will print out a string: PORT=XXXX where XXXX is typically5900 (the default VNC server port).  One would next run something likethis on the local machine: "vncviewer hostname:N" where "hostname" isthe name of the machine running x11vnc and N is XXXX - 5900, i.e. usually"vncviewer hostname:0".By default x11vnc will not allow the screen to be shared and it will exitas soon as the client disconnects.  See -shared and -forever below to overridethese protections.  See the FAQ for details how to tunnel the VNC connectionthrough an encrypted channel such as ssh(1).  In brief:       ssh -t -L 5900:localhost:5900 far-host 'x11vnc -localhost -display :0'       vncviewer -encodings 'copyrect tight zrle hextile' localhost:0Also, use of a VNC password (-rfbauth or -passwdfile) is strongly recommended.For additional info see: http://www.karlrunge.com/x11vnc/                    and  http://www.karlrunge.com/x11vnc/faq.html "

Regards, Tobias
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:fmarzocca
ID: 33616699
Tobias, yes it is what my script does.
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Author Comment

by:systemsautomation
ID: 33616743
I want to install virtual box on the server which is hosted somewhere. If I open vbox at my machine using ssh -X I have to keep the connection always open to keep vbox running. I will not be able to turn off my machine or otherwise the VMs running will also go down.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:TobiasHolm
ID: 33616773
Did you get your VNC up'n running to your server?

I think the VirtualBox is another question?

If you install VirtualBox on your server you should be able to run virtual machines there without connection from your client.

Regards, Tobias
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Author Comment

by:systemsautomation
ID: 33616807
tobias thanks for your help. I will try your solution in awhile and let you know. My earlier reply was to answer rindi's question.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:TobiasHolm
ID: 33616878
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Expert Comment

by:taym78
ID: 33621925
I would forget about VNC and run NX (by nomachine).  It is a better option that is very secure and much faster (even over slower networks or the internet).  You can download load it from their website.  It's fairly simple for a basic setup.  It can get a little more complex when you generate your own encryption keys to secure your sessions.  Over a remote connection, like the internet, I've have never seen a program that is faster than NX.  Their compression algorithms can't be matched.
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:taym78
ID: 33621941
Oops that didn't take that link right. It's at NoMacnine.com.
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