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Setting up VNC for Ubuntu server and Windows 7 client

Posted on 2015-02-14
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Last Modified: 2015-02-22
I'm a rookie with ubuntu.  I have 14.10 installed on an older Fujutsu tablet.  I did a clean install; no dual boot, no virtual anything.  I have followed what I think are the instructions for installing VNC on ubuntu (installed vnc4server, then ran {vncserver}).  I have tried both Tight VNC and Real VNC from my Windows 7 desktop.  I always get this message: "Unable to connect to VNC server using your chosed security setting.  Either upgrade VNC Server to a more recent version from RealVNC, or select a weaker level of encryption.

I want to put the ubuntu machine in the garage and do everything from my desktop.

I installed XRDP too, and as advertised Windows Remote Desktop connected, but the display on my desktop is just a sea of gray; do not see the ubuntu desktop, and local mouse does not move the mouse on the ubuntu server.
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Question by:Mike Caldwell
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Expert Comment

by:Gerwin Jansen
ID: 40609925
Try disabling the firewall on Ubuntu, from a terminal:

#sudo ufw disable
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Author Comment

by:Mike Caldwell
ID: 40609962
Did it, restarted, no change.  Also no change with Windows RDS, and I tried all of the Tight VNC encryption selections (Raw, Hextile, Tight, RRE, ZRLE}.  I also tried RealVNC with encyrption {Prefer off} and {Let VNC Server Chose)}.

Don't know if it is important, but I notice as ubuntu booted it said "sda5_crypt started"
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Expert Comment

by:Gerwin Jansen
ID: 40609978
The encrypt message is ok, you probably selected that during setup.

Can you ping the device? It may not being connected to the network?
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Author Comment

by:Mike Caldwell
ID: 40610001
Yes; note that RDS reaches it, just doesn't show anything.
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Author Comment

by:Mike Caldwell
ID: 40610122
BTW: I connect from the desktop to two other Windows machines using TightVNC,  so doubtful the router is making trouble.
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Expert Comment

by:Gerwin Jansen
ID: 40610234
Ok, missed that RDS is (partly) working, you can connect through ssh (PuTTY)?

If firewall is not up and VNC is running but you can't connect then it must be some incompatibility between VNC versions.
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 40610288
you need to use a different desktop not the 3D one and also set up a non root account to login as
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Author Comment

by:Mike Caldwell
ID: 40610518
David: I do not know what a 3D desktop is.  My desk machine is Windows 7.  Also, how do I set up a non-root account on the ubuntu machine?  If I am the only user, shouldn't I already have the highest level of permission?  Either way, how to make the nonroot account?
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Author Comment

by:Mike Caldwell
ID: 40611062
I made a new account under a different name, and ubuntu indicates that it is a "standard" account, which I guess mean non-administrator, thus non-root?  But the step to enable the account has no password and indicates "Account disabled."
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 40613469
these instructions worked for me
apt-get -y install ubuntu-desktop tightvncserver xfce4 xfce4-goodies
adduser vnc
passwd vnc
echo "vnc ALL=(ALL)       ALL" >> /etc/sudoers

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// or use nano to edit the file
su - vnc
vncpasswd
exit

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sudo nano  /etc/init.d/vncserver
---------------
and add the following lines:
---------------
#!/bin/bash
PATH="$PATH:/usr/bin/"
export USER="vnc"
DISPLAY="1"
DEPTH="16"
GEOMETRY="1024x768"
OPTIONS="-depth ${DEPTH} -geometry ${GEOMETRY} :${DISPLAY}"
. /lib/lsb/init-functions

case "$1" in
start)
log_action_begin_msg "Starting vncserver for user '${USER}' on localhost:${DISPLAY}"
su ${USER} -c "/usr/bin/vncserver ${OPTIONS}"
;;

stop)
log_action_begin_msg "Stoping vncserver for user '${USER}' on localhost:${DISPLAY}"
su ${USER} -c "/usr/bin/vncserver -kill :${DISPLAY}"
;;

restart)
$0 stop
$0 start
;;
esac
exit 0

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------
 sudo nano /home/vnc/.vnc/xstartup
-----------
#!/bin/sh
xrdb $HOME/.Xresources
xsetroot -solid grey
startxfce4 &

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---------------

sudo chown -R vnc. /home/vnc/.vnc && chmod +x /home/vnc/.vnc/xstartup
sudo sed -i 's/allowed_users.*/allowed_users=anybody/g' /etc/X11/Xwrapper.config

sudo chmod +x /etc/init.d/vncserver && service vncserver start
sudo update-rc.d vncserver defaults

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https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-setup-vnc-for-ubuntu-12
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 40613480
you may prefer gnome over the default unity
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install gnome-session-fallback

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Author Comment

by:Mike Caldwell
ID: 40614266
David, I just too rookie I guess to understand your suggestions.  Are they "do this one or that one", or "do all the above"?  For the first one, I got "Permission denied, are you root?"  

I don't know what file you mean to be edited using nano, nor how to open nano.  
sudo nano  /etc/init.d/vncserver did open an editor, but it is blank; no file to which to add the suggested text.

Wow; it takes all this editing just to set up VNC?  A user password?
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Accepted Solution

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Mike Caldwell earned 0 total points
ID: 40615588
Found how to do it on line, and was quite easy.  Just installed dconf, then followed the menu tree down thru desktop and unclicked encryption.
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 40615612
what was the link that you followed?
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Author Comment

by:Mike Caldwell
ID: 40621745
Don't know, I didn't write it down or save as a bookmark, just followed the simple instructions and I was done.  It did not involve any of the suggested steps.  Sorry I didn't save it.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Mike Caldwell
ID: 40624006
I was not able to understand the proposed instructions.  They seemed quite involved with several steps, including editing statements when I did no t know how to open the editor.  So I did a Google search, found simple step by step instructions, and worked just fine.  So I would not want to send someone that finds this later down that path.  Actually I think it would be best to just kill this question altogether.
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