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Thread: HOWTO: Set up VNC server with resumable sessions

  1. #141
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Re: HOWTO: Set up VNC server with resumable sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by trmentry View Post
    I just followed the instructions as well and when I connect to localhost or from another machine on the lan, I get challeneged for the vnc passwd. I enter it. It pops up the 1024x768 window with an X mouse cursor, but that's it. No logon afterwards.

    Running fresh install of Dapper.
    I think this happens because twm is not installed by default.

    ~/.vnc/xstartup is run when a VNC client is connected. It opens vncconfig, an xterm, and then tries to run twm.

    What I did was comment out the two lines in ~/.vnc/xstartup "for a normal desktop", AND 'sudo chmod +x /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc'. If I didn't make xinitrc executable, the second line that exec's xinitrc fails and I only get a checkered screen.

    xinitrc goes on to source /etc/X11/Xsession, which starts a normal desktop. The session is resumable.

    (It is worth noting that the above applies only to Ubuntu package 'vnc4server'. Package 'vncserver' is version 3.3.x and doesn't look for ~/.vnc/xstartup. Instead, it fires up /etc/X11/Xsession directly. I guess one can also edit xstartup to exec Xsession instead of xinitrc, leaving xinitrc non-executable.)

    I did not enable XDMCP in /etc/gdm/gdm.conf-custom or use xinetd. I start the vncserver manually through SSH, limited to localhost connections, and tunnel the VNC port.

    My questions:
    1. What are the vulnerabilities to having to +x /etc/xinit/xinitrc?
    2. Why twm and not a normal desktop by default? Is it purely a bandwidth concern or is there something more serious (security issues), or just nicer/sensible from an implementation perspective (normal desktop startup scripts doing desktop-y things that are unnecessary for remote login--like startup sounds)?
    3. Are there shortcomings to not using xinetd for VNC? I'm running the server on a semi-dedicated machine, so saving resources is not much of a problem. But even on personal machines, is VNC traffic heavy enough to warrant skipping over xinetd altogether?
    4. Does XDMCP provide a remote greeter/login screen upon connect?
    5. What connects opening an Xvnc session to XDMCP? What I mean is this: I tried enabling xdmcp in /etc/gdm/gdm.conf-custom, then started my vncserver as usual. But I saw no difference logging in through a VNC client (i.e.: no login screen). How do I tell that XDMCP is working?

  2. #142
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    8
    Distro
    Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    grey desktop in ubuntu VNC server

    Quote Originally Posted by dodob View Post
    Why twm and not a normal desktop by default? Is it purely a bandwidth concern or is there something more serious (security issues), or just nicer/sensible from an implementation perspective (normal desktop startup scripts doing desktop-y things that are unnecessary for remote login--like startup sounds)?
    From the RealVNC FAQ (my emphasis added):

    Why do I just get a grey desktop in my Unix VNC Server?
    You should run the vncserver script to start a VNC server, rather than the Xvnc program directly. vncserver runs Xvnc with appropriate options and starts some X applications to be displayed in the VNC desktop. The applications it tries to start are specified in $HOME/.vnc/xstartup, which can be tailored to your requirements. The default setup is to run the 'twm' window manager and a single 'xterm' window. If these applications fail to run, then you will see a grey 'rootweave' desktop. The most likely reason applications fail to run is that they are not in your path. Any error messages from this startup should appear in $HOME/.vnc/host:display#.log. For further information see the vncserver manual page.
    From the FAQ, it appears that it's none of your reasonable speculations. Looks like the RealVNC folks just started a bare-bones window manager with xterm in case the server was running without any graphical desktop environment. HTH.

  3. #143
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    13

    Re: HOWTO: Set up VNC server with resumable sessions

    Well Guys

    I ave been trying to follow some of the advice you have given

    From my windows box and on the ubuntubox when I

    vncviewer localhost:1

    The windows opens up I can see the X cursor

    but the whole damm thing is grey???


    so Umm what did I do wrong

    -TY

  4. #144
    Join Date
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    Kubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Re: HOWTO: Set up VNC server with resumable sessions

    Awesome Howtos man! Page one and page 7.
    aka anime4christ (I'm a guy, btw.)
    My personal boring website ^_^
    Jesus has changed your life. Save changes? (Y/N)

  5. #145
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Kubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Re: HOWTO: Set up VNC server with resumable sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by x0inx View Post
    Tichondrius, thank you for this great tutorial on vnc. People like you are making my switch to linux much easier and enjoyable. My only problem with x11vnc is that when I connect to :0, it does not prompt for a password like :1 does; it just goes straight to what is on my monitor. I am running Breezy AMD64.

    Thank you.
    Yeah, same problem here, anybody figured this out yet?
    aka anime4christ (I'm a guy, btw.)
    My personal boring website ^_^
    Jesus has changed your life. Save changes? (Y/N)

  6. #146
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    California
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    Distro
    Kubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

    Re: HOWTO: Set up VNC server with resumable sessions

    Never mind I figured it out:

    sudo gedit /etc/xinetd.d/x11vnc

    add this:
    -rfbauth /root/.vncpasswd

    at the end of this line:
    server_args = -inetd -o /var/log/x11vnc.log -display :0 -auth /var/lib/gdm/:0.Xauth -many -bg
    aka anime4christ (I'm a guy, btw.)
    My personal boring website ^_^
    Jesus has changed your life. Save changes? (Y/N)

  7. #147
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Re: HOWTO: Set up VNC server with resumable sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by detyabozhye View Post
    Awesome Howtos man! Page one and page 7.
    Howdy

    Ok so far ...I am not sure how it happened...

    somewhere between doin work and playing around with this and
    this forums support It's working.

    Wow you guys are Magical Even

    Unfortunately

    I have /usr/bin/x11vnc that I need to start up.

    How do I have that automatically started up with boot?

    I tried it myself by making a

    /init.d/xvnc1start

    did chmod 700 a+x

    update-rc.d xvnc1start

    and it did not work.

    So Where do I go now?

  8. #148
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    56

    Re: HOWTO: Set up VNC server with resumable sessions

    Ok, i've been using this for a while now, but i actually want back to the situation where i basicly control screen 0. This so that i can remote control my computer from a handheld device. How do i revert back to the old situation and then make it work in xfce?

  9. #149
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    4

    Re: HOWTO: Set up VNC server with resumable sessions

    Thanks Tichondrius!

    This worked for me using Xubuntu 6.06

    Quote Originally Posted by Tichondrius View Post
    Ok, to resume a session you started on your physical display (display :0) all you really need is to turn on Ubuntu's remote desktop feature using the Remote Desktop Preferences dialog box accessible from System->Preferences->Remote Desktop menu item. Just check the first two options there (allow other users to view your desktop and allow other users to control your desktop) and set the password in the bottom of the dialog box (check the REuqire password option), and you're done !
    The above uses the built in VNC capability that Ubuntu comes installed with, but the drawback is that it's a little slow, and you need to enable it for each user which wants to allow his desktop to be view or controlled remotely. Also this doesn't allow remote VNC clients to log in to GDM, only to view a GDM session that was started by someone actually using the physical display. So if currently no one is logged in, a remote user cannot connect to display :0 and start a new session.
    But don't worry - there is a better way which allows you to view the phyical display remotely and also log-in to a new session from GDM (using a remote VNC client) ! And it works faster (as fast as the regular VNC server), and works for all users. Here's how to do that :

    1. Install x11vnc package

    Code:
    sudo apt-get install x11vnc
    2. Add x11vnc service to xinetd:

    Code:
    sudo gedit /etc/xinetd.d/x11vnc
    Enter this into the new file:

    Code:
    service x11vnc
    {
            port            = 5900
            type            = UNLISTED
            socket_type     = stream
            protocol        = tcp
            wait            = no
            user            = root
            server          = /usr/bin/x11vnc
            server_args     = -inetd -o /var/log/x11vnc.log -display :0 -auth /var/lib/gdm/:0.Xauth -many -bg
            disable         = no
    }
    3. Restart xinetd (usually there is no need to reboot, but occasionally it might be required)

    Code:
    sudo /etc/init.d/xinetd stop
    sudo killall Xvnc
    sudo killall x11vnc
    sudo /etc/init.d/xinetd start
    4. From a remote machine use your VNC client to connect to display :0

    Code:
    vncviewer  vnchost:0
    Note that after loggging from GDM and also after logging out from the X-session back and going back to GDM, the VNC client gets disconnected for some reason. So you just need to re-connect and you will get back into the session you logged into. When logging out, the disconnect happens when gnome asks you to confirm your intention to log out, so it's best to turn off the log-out confirmation dialog box by going to System->Preferences->Sessions and un-checking the "ask on logout" option.

    Please tell me how this works out for you....I plan to add this to the HOWTO

  10. #150
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Beans
    62

    Re: HOWTO: Set up VNC server with resumable sessions

    How come I cant install the package
    vnc4server depends on xserver-common; however:
    Package xserver-common is not installed.
    I am using Dapper

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