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I have a server and my laptop. I want to be able to start vnc server on the server and then connect from my laptop. Both are running ubuntu 11.10 64 bit desktop

On my server, i installed tightvncserver. I set it up with a password, no view only password. I ssh to the box and typed

vncserver :42

Now on my laptop, I installed gtkvncviewer and ran it. It popped up a box. I entered the picard:42 (the name of the server in my /etc/hosts file) and the password. I tried with and without the user. It always disconnects immediately.

Can anyone point out what I'm doing wrong? Is it because I'm not running a GUI session currently on picard? If so, how can I start the Xwindows session remotely to connect with vncserver?

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i've added some hints how to proceed - does it work now? – tohuwawohu Apr 11 '12 at 9:08

Which is the default runlevel? AFAIK this is configured in /etc/init/rc-sysinit.conf. Setting DEFAULT_RUNLEVEL to 2 should make the server start the X environment. Alternatively, you could use ssh to start a complete gnome session on the server, displaying it on the client, using ssh -X remote-user@server gnome-session. But this will require some bandwith, so it may be better to start the desired application directly.

EDIT: here's the x11vnc command line to start the vnc server and let the remote user log into a gnome session:

sudo x11vnc -safer -localhost -once -nopw -auth /var/lib/gdm/:0.Xauth -display :0

(From the Ubuntu Communitiy docs on VNC)

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Yes, 2 is the default run level and it is starting X Windows on the box. But I'm not sure why VNC is not working. – Thom Apr 10 '12 at 14:34
hmm - some points: if you've installed x11vnc, i would expect x11vnc -safer -display :0 as command to start the server. Then: Did you try to increase debug output using the -v option (x11vnc -v -display :0)? Finally: If the -voption doesn't give any errors, you can re-check if the server is running using sudo netstat -atpn. This will give you a list of services running and listening for connections. – tohuwawohu Apr 10 '12 at 16:04

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