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Thread: HOWTO: Share desktops with x11vnc instead of Built in Remote Desktop

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb HOWTO: Share desktops with x11vnc instead of built-in Remote Desktop

    This explains how to share individual logged in users desktops using x11vnc instead of the built-in "Remote Desktop" feature of Ubuntu. The reason for this is because "vino" which is used by the "Remote Desktop" option is inadequate for a lot of people (no clipboard support), no accessible configuration options, and quite slow.

    This is a decent companion to sharing a VNC -> GDM connection (both these howtos work together!) http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=42941

    OK, we have a two step process here, getting x11vnc to run automagically on a user's login and then installing autocutsel; Autocutsel is used to make sure the VNC Clipboard gets updated from both just selecting and right-click copying. You do not have to install autocutsel, it just makes things work a little nicer.

    Before you do anything else, you need to enable the universe repositories: http://www.ubuntuguide.org/#extrarepositories

    Setting up x11vnc
    1. Install x11vnc: sudo apt-get install x11vnc
    2. Set the password: vncpasswd ~/.vnc/passwd (vncpasswd is included with vnc-common, which is installed by default)
    3. Make it auto-start when the user logs in and show which port we're running on (useful if you run multiple vnc servers) the port will be put in ~/.vnc/port.txt:
      1. sudo gedit /usr/local/bin/sharex11vnc Paste in the following:
        Code:
        #!/bin/sh
        
        x11vnc -nap -bg -many -rfbauth ~/.vnc/passwd -desktop "VNC ${USER}@${HOSTNAME}"|grep -Eo "[0-9]{4}">~/.vnc/port.txt
        
        # comment out the following if you don't want a popup telling you which port you're using.
        zenity --info --text="Your VNC port is `cat ~/.vnc/port.txt`"
      2. sudo chmod 755 /usr/local/bin/sharex11vnc
      3. System->Preferences->Sessions->Startup Programs then click Add and type in sharex11vnc


    Installing autocutsel:
    1. Download tar.gz from http://www.lepton.fr/tools/autocutsel/
    2. Move file: sudo mv /home/user/location/autocutsel-0.8.0.tar.gz /usr/src
    3. Extract file: cd /usr/src;sudo tar -xzvf autocutsel-0.8.0.tar.gz
    4. Install packages required to compile and install autocutsel into a deb package:
      1. sudo apt-get install gcc checkinstall libx11-dev libxaw8-dev This may take a while if you don't already have gcc or the xlibs installed installed.
      2. cd autocutsel-0.8.0
      3. ./configure --prefix=/usr
      4. sudo checkinstall -y --nodoc The resulting deb will be installed and the package will be left in the current directory
    5. Make it auto-start when the user logs in:
      System->Preferences->Sessions->Startup Programs then click Add and type in autocutsel


    The best VNC client for windows is UltraVNC http://ultravnc.sf.net - I recommend it for all your VNC needs.
    Last edited by intangible; July 6th, 2005 at 08:29 AM. Reason: forgot a sudo
    Computer science has as much to do with computers as astronomy has to do with telescopes.
    - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra


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  2. #2
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    Re: HOWTO: Share desktops with x11vnc instead of Built in Remote Desktop

    Once you've set this up, to have it startup for additional users:
    1. create a password as them: vncpasswd ~/.vnc/passwd
    2. add sharex11vnc and autocutsel to thier System->Preferences->Sessions->Startup Programs (or thier startup scripts).
    Computer science has as much to do with computers as astronomy has to do with telescopes.
    - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra


    Intangible's Desktop

  3. #3
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    Re: HOWTO: Share desktops with x11vnc instead of Built in Remote Desktop

    Great GUIDE thanks a lot!

  4. #4
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    Re: HOWTO: Share desktops with x11vnc instead of built-in Remote Desktop

    Quote Originally Posted by intangible
    This explains how to share individual logged in users desktops using x11vnc instead of the built-in "Remote Desktop" feature of Ubuntu. The reason for this is because "vino" which is used by the "Remote Desktop" option is inadequate for a lot of people (no clipboard support), no accessible configuration options, and quite slow.
    [...]
    Great! Now I would like to connect remotely to another Kubuntu. I also have a Kubuntu installed. How exactly do I do this?
    Thx!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Re: HOWTO: Share desktops with x11vnc instead of built-in Remote Desktop

    The same problems. None of VNC to GDM HowTo's posted in this forum by now work with CLEAN Ubuntu Breezy install. Tried all of them.

    Server seemed to work, but no connections from clients, even from localhost. The same time Remote Desktop (vivo) works just fine.

    It would be nice to have guaranted to work on Breezy VNC to GDM HowTo finaly.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu

    Re: HOWTO: Share desktops with x11vnc instead of built-in Remote Desktop

    libxaw8-dev seemed to be missing but libxaw7-dev worked fine for me. I also needed build-essential on my basic 'server + xubuntu' install. Thank you.
    Last edited by chaumurky; November 14th, 2005 at 03:09 AM.
    If anyone asks you to
    sudo rm -rf /
    you would be better to just format the partition. It's faster and at least you may be able to recover all your LOST DATA!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: HOWTO: Share desktops with x11vnc instead of Built in Remote Desktop

    This guide is for connecting to a session that has logged in directly, and the other guide is for starting new sesssions remotely, right?

    Well, what I had going on my FC3 install that I just formatted was a vnc user that would be logged in at startup (the local monitor still shows the login screen, but the user is active), all the users session programs would start up (I had azureus run on login), and I could connect to the users desktop via vnc to perform tasks and such.

    Neither of these guides seems to do quite what I'm looking for. I believe I followed this guide under FC3:
    http://www.fedoraforum.org/forum/showthread.php?t=42062
    but config files and stuff are different from FC3

    So any way to get a single VNC user active at boot, with his gnome session started automatically, and be able to log on from VNC or locally, like I used to have set up?




    edit: didn't notice that this howto was listed under 5.04, as I'm running 5.10, but any help would still be appreciated

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 6.06

    Re: HOWTO: Share desktops with x11vnc instead of Built in Remote Desktop

    If you followed this guide, the only additional change you need to make is to make a specific user login at startup through gdm (just sudo gdmsetup).

    Let me know if you're having problems.
    Computer science has as much to do with computers as astronomy has to do with telescopes.
    - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra


    Intangible's Desktop

  9. #9
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    Plattekill NY
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    5

    Re: HOWTO: Share desktops with x11vnc instead of Built in Remote Desktop

    This works great on my local network. I need to change the port to run on port 21. I have the port forwared on my router. I have this working under Windows running UltraVNC server using port 65557, so I connect using mywebaddress.com:65557 and it connects. From work they only have port 21 and 80 open so that is what I have to use to access my home workstation from work.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Australia
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    22
    Distro
    Ubuntu Breezy 5.10

    Re: HOWTO: Share desktops with x11vnc instead of Built in Remote Desktop

    Good HowTo intangable. i'm a 7 day linux newbie and i got it working, learnt a few things on the way as well.
    Thanks to chaumurky for the tip on Build-essential, needed to install that to get autocutsel to work on my new ubuntu 5.10 .

    Now is there any chance i can get a HowTo on getting this to run inside ssh automatically(or any other security so its not plain text transfers). I started looking myself but my the hack it looks like i will have to do is prodably the hard way and good chance it will not work with alot of HELP?? posts in the future.

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