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I have a netbook and a server, to both of which I installed the identical Ubuntu 10.04 LTS distribution. On the server, I had the foresight to install and enable the SSH server before disconnecting the monitor and keyboard and mouse. I then ssh'ed in and enabled the VNC server as well. Now I want the full server experience on the netbook, but when I VNC in, I am greeted with the displayed screen. (names have been redacted)

image of vnc screen showing only one xterm

How do I start the rest of the default Ubuntu GUI experience? (the toolbars at the top) ((is that the window manager?))

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3 Answers 3

Try this:

vi $HOME/.vnc/xstartup

add following lines to the file

#!/bin/sh
unset SESSION_MANAGER
exec sh /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 &

Start vnc server: vncserver -geometry 1280x1024 -depth 24

If you are accessing you remote machine, then remember to forward the ports of vncserver.

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Don't use VNC. It's a horrible solution. Go with something like X2go (http://www.x2go.org/) instead. It's easily installed, extremely much faster than VNC and it's more flexible, providing things like PulseAudio. It also has a Firefox plugin so you can run applications from the server directly in the browser, etc.

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install xfce4 and use xfce4 session, gnome VNC Server on Ubuntu sometimes does not display correctly

sudo apt-get install gnome-core xfce4 firefox nano -y --force-yes

and use this xstartup file

#!/bin/sh
unset SESSION_MANAGER
unset DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS
startxfce4 &

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