I have Ubuntu Server LTS 14.04 and I want to know whether it's possible to install vnc4server and make it work with ubuntu-desktop (and not xubuntu-desktop) without installing xfce4.

I think I have to configure the vnc4server configuration file but I'm a beginner with all this.

Please, don't suggest that I use xrdp or gnome-core. I just want to run a VNC Server using only the original ubuntu-desktop installation. I use VNC Viewer to connect to my servers, but I don't have any problem with suggestions that I use something different than vnc4server if it's going to work with ubuntu-desktop.

2 Answers 2


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 &
  • 1
    I said that I want to run the VNC via the original ubuntu-desktop, does what you suggested run with ubuntu-desktop? May 31, 2014 at 22:48
  • 1
    those are just gnome packages to help vnc4server load properly or else you wont see your desktop correctly Jun 1, 2014 at 4:20
  • Awesome....been searching for ages and this worked like a charm!! May 14, 2015 at 21:57
  • 8
    Desktop is up (which is great), but Unity launcher & keyboard shortcuts doesn't work ... May 25, 2015 at 14:17
  • 1
    Yup, no unity love following these directions. (sadface) just a plain gnome desktop
    – RoboKaren
    Nov 7, 2016 at 6:39

I had to add gnome-session & prior to gnome-panel & to get any window management to work. Without it, I could only view the default desktop.

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