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Thread: Lubuntu with x11vnc, how to autostart before login

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    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Smile Lubuntu with x11vnc, how to autostart before login

    Hey all,
    For a while now I have been trying to figure out how to get x11vnc started Before logging in to Lubuntu. After trying many different things, I have finally figured it out! This info can also be used to auto-start other VNC servers as well (tightVNC, etc.) This is also good information for how to auto-start apps in general. I'm sure there are a few of you out there who have been trying to figure this out, and I'm sure I'll want to do this on another machine some time and by tomorrow I'll forget how I did this, so... here's how it's done:

    In order to get this to work I used X11VNC v0.9.13. I had trouble getting this to work fully when using v0.9.11 and v0.9.12. I downloaded v0.9.13 directly from and then compiled it following the instructions on that same page.

    Lubuntu uses LXDM as a desktop manager.

    The config files for LXDM are:

    /etc/lxdm/default.conf [default LXDM settings config]
    /etc/lxdm/lxdm.conf [general LXDM settings config]
    /etc/lxdm/LoginReady [runs when LXDM starts, before logging in]
    /etc/lxdm/PreLogin [runs after clicking Login, but before validating credentials]
    /etc/lxdm/PostLogin [runs after validating credentials]
    /etc/lxdm/PostLogout [runs after logging out]
    /etc/lxdm/PreShutdown [runs after initiating shutdown, but before shutting down]
    /etc/lxdm/PreReboot [runs after initiating reboot, but before rebooting]
    /etc/lxdm/Xsession [X general settings config]

    The descriptions between the brackets [ ] are what I came up with after some experimenting with these files. If you have any suggestions or if I am incorrect with any of these, please let me know.

    Depending on when you want your app to auto-start, edit the appropriately named file.

    In this case, since I want to have X11VNC running at the logon screen, I'm going to edit the LoginReady file.

    Here I'm assuming that you already have x11vnc installed. If not installed, install x11vnc using your favorite method.

    now that x11vnc is installed open a terminal, we'll get it to auto-run.

    Since x11vnc needs X to run, to get x11vnc to run before logon we have to "adjust the XAUTHORITY environment variable to point to the correct MIT-COOKIE auth file while running x11vnc as root"

    at the command prompt, type in: sudo nano /etc/lxdm/lxdm.conf

    Edit this line:
    ## set this if you don't want to put xauth file at ~/.Xauthority

    For a single user machine, xauth_path=~/.Xauthority should work

    For a multiple user machine like mine, change the xauth_path to a folder that is accessible before login. I used /tmp

    save the change.

    at the command prompt, type in: sudo nano /etc/lxdm/LoginReady

    Change this:
    # Note: this is a sample and will not be run as is.

    to this:
    # X11VNC AutoStart
    sudo x11vnc -auth /tmp/.Xauth1000 -forever -rfbport 5900

    make sure you run x11vnc as root (use sudo) otherwise it won't start until after logging in, which defeats the whole purpose of this setup.

    Save changes, and reboot. Your x11vnc server should auto-start at the Lubuntu(LXDM) login screen allowing you to connect to the machine via VNC and then log on.

    You may notice however, that this configuration does not have a password set on the VNC connection.

    To set your VNC server to require a password:

    in a terminal window type:
    sudo x11vnc -storepasswd Password /etc/x11vnc.pass
    but replace "Password" with your password. This saves your password in a file located at /etc/x11vnc.pass

    After setting your password with the above, at the command prompt type in: sudo nano /etc/lxdm/LoginReady and add -rfbauth /etc/x11vnc.pass to your startup string and your VNC server should now require a password.

    The startup string that I use in my LoginReady is here:

    sudo x11vnc -auth /tmp/.Xauth1000 -forever -rfbauth /etc/x11vnc.pass -rfbport 5900

    Last edited by sgadecki; March 29th, 2012 at 08:32 PM. Reason: added x11vnc version info.

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