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How to Install VNC Server on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

Posted on by J. Mays | Updated:
Reading Time: 2 minutes

VNC is short for ‘Virtual Network Computing’. It’s a simple method for sharing a graphical desktop environment. For example, if you install VNC on your hosted server, you could connect to its graphical desktop environment remotely.

TightVNC

Pre-Flight Check

Step #1: Install the TightVNC VNC Server

As a matter of best practices, let’s reload the package database:

sudo apt-get update

At this point, installing the TightVNC VNC Server is as simple as running just one command:

sudo apt-get install -y tightvncserver

Step #2: Add a Password for the VNC Server

Use the following command to set a secure password:

vncserver

Be sure to follow our best practices for passwords: Practice Safe Passwords: A Quick Guide to Password Security!

After the access password is set, you’ll be asked whether or not you want to set the view-only password. This feature is helpful for demonstrations via VNC. In that scenario, people logged in with the view-only password would not be able to control the VNC session with their mouse or keyboard but would be able to view the session.

Running VNC server will also create a default startup script, start the applications specified in the default config file, and create a log file.

Step #3: Additional Information and Options

Note:
Even with a password VNC is still inherently insecure. It is best to force all VNC traffic through a VPN or an SSH tunnel.”

By default, TightVNC launches a default session listening on port 5901.

Running the command:

netstat -plant

Shows:

Proto  Recv-Q  Send-Q  Local Address  Foreign Address  State  PID/Program name
tcp    0       0       0.0.0.0:5901   0.0.0.0:*        LISTEN 27760/Xtightvnc

Port 5901 is called a display port; the VNC session listening on port 5901 is referred to with a display number, which in this case is :1. The general naming convention is display number :x refers to display port 5900 + x.

To stop a session running on a specified display number (:1 in this case) use the following command:

vncserver -kill :1

Need more information about setting up TightVNC? We can help! You can always open a ticket with a Support Technician by emailing support@liquidweb.com, or calling in to our support line at 1-800-580-4985 (or using our international line at 1-517-322-0434) or, open a chat with us and we’ll be happy to Get the info you need to quickly resolve your issue!

About the Author: J. Mays

As a previous contributor, JMays shares his insight with our Knowledge Base center. In our Knowledge Base, you'll be able to find how-to articles on Ubuntu, CentOS, Fedora and much more!

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