Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am running a Ubuntu 11.10 virtual machine under KVM hypervisor, bridged and connected to the local network. I installed VNCServer in the virtual machine and tried remote desktop, What happens is when i remotely connect to the virtual machine (through VNC i used to add the :1 tag), the desktop is greyed out and i can access only the terminal (Pressing Ctrl+Alt+T in desktop). From terminal i can open firefox and other GUI installed software. The thing is I cannot see my desktop. At the terminal whenever i press the letter 'd' it is going to desktop.

And, When i tried to access the remote machine only with the IP (with no vnc tag in remote desktop viewer) it returns .. "cannot connect to host XX.XXX.XX.XX was closed".

Pl help me thro' this problem


share|improve this question

If you are using KVM you should use spice . spice is a built into KVM, works out of the box, and has better performance.

Use vmvga with ubuntu guests.

To connect, use spicy, a graphical agent.

Advantages include:

  1. Better performance.
  2. Higher resolution.
  3. No need to install and configure anything in the guest.
  4. You can steam audio / video over a LAN.
  5. You can copy - paste (clipboard not files) from host to guest. You will need to install the spice-vdagent in the guest.

You can password protect the connection (enter a password in the password box).

You connect to the host (not guest) IP, starting with port 5900 . this is nice as the guests often use dhcp for ip addresses.


enter image description here

Screen cast (from out LUG)

The screencast is using Fedora, but same technology in Ubuntu

share|improve this answer

It has been a long time since I used VNC but it looks like you are starting a new VNC session. When you initially start the session vncserver executes this script:


you need to edit that and tell VNC server what desktop session you want it to start for you. For example, to get gnome session you would add something like this to the script:

# Start a GNOME desktop
exec gnome-session &

Just a side note, since I discovered SSH with XServer forwarding I have not been using VNC. In most cases (at least for me) forwarding one particular application that I work on to my desktop works much nicer than transferring the whole desktop environment from one machine to another.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.