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I've done the following but all I get in VNC Viewer is a blank orange screen, any help appreciated.

  1. apt-get -y install ubuntu-desktop tightvncserver

  2. adduser vnc passwd vnc

  3. echo "vnc ALL=(ALL) ALL" >> /etc/sudoers

  4. su - vnc vncpasswd exit

  5. cd ~ nano .vnc/xstartup


# Uncomment the following two lines for normal desktop:
. /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc

[ -x /etc/vnc/xstartup ] && exec /etc/vnc/xstartup [ -r $HOME/.Xresources ] && xrdb $HOME/.Xresources xsetroot -solid grey vncconfig -iconic & x-terminal-emulator -geometry 1280x1024+10+10 -ls -title "$VNCDESKTOP Desktop" &

#x-window-manager &


THEN nano /etc/init.d/vncserver

THEN paste in the following, then save:

#!/bin/sh -e ### BEGIN INIT INFO # Provides: vncserver # Required-Start: networking # Default-Start: 3 4 5 # Default-Stop: 0 6 ### END INIT INFO PATH="$PATH:/usr/bin/" # The Username:Group that will run VNC export USER="vnc" #${RUNAS} # The display that VNC will use DISPLAY="1" # Color depth (between 8 and 32) DEPTH="16" # The Desktop geometry to use. #GEOMETRY="x" #GEOMETRY="800x600" GEOMETRY="1024x768" #GEOMETRY="1280x1024" # The name that the VNC Desktop will have. NAME="my-vnc-server" OPTIONS="-name ${NAME} -depth ${DEPTH} -geometry ${GEOMETRY} :${DISPLAY}" . /lib/lsb/init-functions case "$1" in start) log_action_begin_msg "Starting vncserver for user '${USER}' on localhost:${DISPLAY}" su ${USER} -c "/usr/bin/vncserver ${OPTIONS}" ;; stop) log_action_begin_msg "Stopping vncserver for user '${USER}' on localhost:${DISPLAY}" su ${USER} -c "/usr/bin/vncserver -kill :${DISPLAY}" ;; restart) $0 stop $0 start ;; esac exit 0

Then ctrl-x to save, Y for Yes, and enter to accept file name.


chown -R vnc. /home/vnc/.vnc && chmod +x /home/vnc/.vnc/xstartup sed -i 's/allowed_users.*/allowed_users=anybody/g' /etc/X11/Xwrapper.config


chmod +x /etc/init.d/vncserver && service vncserver start


update-rc.d vncserver defaults



FINALLY: go in there with tightvnc viewer client, and voila, blank kool aid tangerine orange screen.

any help appreciated, of course it's been 3 x 8 hour evenings so far :}

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

you didn't set gui session for xstartup file, that is why you see blank screen when try try to remotely connect to your desktop/server via vnc on ubuntu, if you want gnome, install these packages

# apt-get install gnome-panel gnome-settings-daemon metacity nautilus gnome-terminal

and use this xstartup file



[ -x /etc/vnc/xstartup ] && exec /etc/vnc/xstartup
[ -r $HOME/.Xresources ] && xrdb $HOME/.Xresources
xsetroot -solid grey
vncconfig -iconic &

gnome-panel &
gnome-settings-daemon &
metacity &
nautilus &
gnome-terminal &
share|improve this answer
Thanks Biana, at the end back in Feb 2014 I ended up finding instructions for something that gave me gnome core, so I gave in and went with that.. next time out I will try yours. Many thanks. – Randal Oulton Jun 6 '14 at 12:07
all set now for some reason i had some settings on mine that were hiding my window title bars. your xstartup here works fine – Nicholas DiPiazza Feb 11 '15 at 13:18

From what i've seen you cant vnc into unity. Install a different desktop environment and you'll be good. Heres how woth xfce:

share|improve this answer
Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. – Seth Mar 11 '14 at 1:25
Quoting: From what i've seen you cant vnc into unity. Can you reference to link stating that users cannot vnc into unity? – AlikElzin-kilaka Apr 29 '14 at 12:45

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