Tight VNC

Remote desktop sharing on Unix and Linux.

VNC is a protocol for remotely accessing a machine running an X server (graphical interface). It sends the display, mouse and keyboard interactions between the VNC server (the machine you want to control) and the VNC client (the machine you want to work from).

RealVNC and TightVNC are two different VNC server/client packages. I like TightVNC because it has good compression on low bandwith links.

Start the VNC server with:

vncserver

in which case default options and a new display number will be assigned to you.
Typical options you may want to change, are the geometry and display number:

vncserver -geometry 1280x800 :84

You can also specify defaults in the configuration file ~/.vnc/tightvncserver.conf
For example:

$geometry = "1280x1024";
$depth = 16;
$desktopName = "thomas";
$fontPath = "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/misc/,/usr/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi/";

At the client side, you start the vncviewer program (the VNC client) to connect to the remote host. You should use the format 'host:display'.

Copy text between client and server; using the clipboard
It is possible to copy and paste between the client and the server. However, some issues can arise with this (see http://www.lugs.org.sg/pipermail/slugnet/2002-July/000590.html which lists "Q25 Can I cut and paste between the viewer and the server?" from a VNC FAQ.)

When you use RealVNC, the solution is to run the vncconfig program, like this:

vncconfig -nowin &

However, vncconfig is not included with TightVNC. Using vncconfig from RealVNC together with a TightVNC server (1.3.10), I received the following error:

No VNC extension on display :84

Don't panic though, there is an easy solution for TightVNC users, as listed at the above link: autocutsel (http://www.lepton.fr/tools/autocutsel). With this tool, you do no longer need vncconfig from RealVNC.

Simply run autocutsel like this:

autocutsel -s PRIMARY -fork

and copying works like a charm.

You can put this command in ~/.vnc/xstartup. The commands listed in that file will be started automatically when a new vnc server is started.