Install VNC w/ Ubuntu Desktop on VPS

Similar to RDP for Windows servers, Ubuntu desktop and TightVNCServer will allow you to connect to a remote desktop running on your Linux VPS. This tutorial will guide you through the setup of a basic desktop and VNC server.

Before anything, update your system:

# apt-get update

# apt-get upgrade

Install Ubuntu Desktop:

# apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

Setup gdm:

# apt-get install gdm

# /etc/init.d/gdm start

Install and configure TightVNCServer:

# apt-get install tightvncserver

# vncserver :1 -geometry 1024×768 

# vncserver -kill :1

Open the VNC configuration file with vi:

# vi  ~/.vnc/xstartup

Press “a” to enter edit mode, then add the following to the bottom of the file:

gnome-session &

Log in to SolusVM and reboot the VPS. Then, access the VPS via SSH again, and start the VNC server:

# vncserver :1 -geometry 1024×768 

You should now be able to use a desktop VNC client to access the remote desktop at:

  • IP Address: [your server’s main IP]
  • Port: 1 (or 5901, 5902 for desktop :2, etc)
  • Password: [password you set earlier]

Note that some VNC clients will not have a Port setting; instead, you will need to enter IP Address: xx.xx.xx.xx:1

In case you forget your password, or want to reset it later:

# vncpasswd