Desktop sharing works just fine when a user is logged in, but I am using Ubuntu 12.04 as a media server and I want desktop sharing launched automatically. Is there a way to do this without automatically logging into the desktop? Much thanks!
No, the VNC server that comes with Ubuntu is not designed for that. There are many other solutions though. I would probably recommend X2Go or FreeNX, but there are also VNC servers that allows you to do this, such as X11VNC.