How to use VNC
The idea of a VNC connection is that a client connects to a server installed in a remote computer. Then, the client receives a duplicate of the remote computer's display screen from the server. This is really useful when an interactive connection to a remote computer is needed.
For instance, if you have a connection to a cluster via SSH and you need to download some data from a web page where a manual installation is needed, a VNC connection is the best solution for you.
RealVNC is one of the most useful and complete platforms to perform a VNC connection as one can see in this comparison. It has an open version which is all you need for non-commercial interactive connections, as well as, some other options paying the commercial version.
Install VNC Server in a remote machine
In order to install a VNC Server in a cluster machine, you need to have an SSH connection to the cluster. For instance, if you want to install a VNC Server in colibri, the steps are the following:
1) A first SSH connection to colibri or the cluster machine where the VNC Server is going to be installed:
2) Find the URL from where to download the Real VNC Connect
- Go to https://www.realvnc.com/en/connect/download/vnc.
- Then, choose the Operating System of your remote computer.
- In the download botton, right-click and copy the URL.
In the case of colibri, the URL is https://www.realvnc.com/download/file/vnc.files/VNC-Server-6.3.2-Linux-x86-ANY.tar.gz.
3) Install Real VNC Connect using the previous URL
Type in the terminal
In the case of colibri, type in the terminal
This downloads a TAR file. In the case of colibri the file is VNC-Server-6.3.2-Linux-x86-ANY.tar.gz.
3) Untar the file using
In the case of colibri
tar -xvf VNC-Server-6.3.2-Linux-x86-ANY.tar.gz -C .
This creates a directory named after the TAR file with all the server installation inside. In the case of colibri the folder is called VNC-Server-6.3.2-Linux-x86.
. one can specify a directory where to install the VNC Server.
4) Run VNC Server to be visible for the VNC Viewer
- Go inside the directory with all the server installation.
In the case of colibri
cd VNC-Server-6.3.2-Linux-x86 vncserver
And this will show in the terminal the next message
New 'colibri.ucdenver.pvt:x (username)' desktop is colibri.ucdenver.pvt:x Starting applications specified in /export/share_home/username/.vnc/xstartup Log file is /export/share_home/username/.vnc/colibri.ucdenver.pvt:x.log
This creates a background server desktop connection colibri.ucdenver.pvt:x where x is any number assigned. Normally starting by 1 and so on.
5) Now you are prepared to connect to the server.
Connect to a VNC Server using VNC Viewer
1) Download and install VNC Viewer in your local machine from
depending on your local Operating System.
2) Start a new connection and specify the VNC Server as the previous server desktop.
In the colibri case is
x is the number of desktop.
3) Introduce your password in colibri or the remote machine.
4) Enjoy your interactive connection to colibri or the remote machine!