So I am trying to get the Vino VNC Server to startup on boot, meaning I don't have to login to have the VNC Server start. I am on Ubuntu GNOME 15.04, and I have already added


to 'Startup Applications'. However, the VNC Server still won't start as soon as I boot up. I have to login in order for the VNC Server to start. What should I do? Do I need to create a systemd unit file? If so, how do I do it?

Edit: This question is different from this becuase I need Vino Server to work, while that guide suggests x11vncserver.

  • possible duplicate of How can I start a VNC server before log on?
    – Mark Kirby
    Jun 14, 2015 at 10:39
  • @markkirby I've edited the post on why my post is different, also, the suggestion of automatic login is not something that I can risk.
    – The Man
    Jun 14, 2015 at 10:51
  • I too would like to know how to get Vino to start on boot.
    – Matt
    Feb 27, 2018 at 16:17
  • Have a look at these answers here Feb 28, 2018 at 9:00
  • @MarkKirby - The OP you linked is not about vino, but "a VNC server", and actually most of the answers do not deal with vino. So I guess it is not a dupe. Mar 26, 2021 at 2:59

4 Answers 4


Must have SSH enabled and root access to the server, then, SSH to it using your normal user account and edit the /etc/gdm3/custom.conf file making the following lines in [daemon] section look as this:


Save and reboot the server by running "sudo shutdown -r now". Once gdm restarts, it will automatically login as the specified user, and your vino-server process will then start, so you can VNC into the system again. Don’t forget to remove those auto-login lines from /etc/gdm3/custom.conf file when you’re done.

Edited from https://encodable.com/tech/blog/2009/03/02/How_To_Access_A_VNC_Remote_Desktop_After_The_Server_Reboots

  • 1
    This works! Thank you! Jul 23, 2021 at 6:25
  • 1
    This is the only thing that worked for me after wasting so much time trying to manually start vino using systemctl --user start vino-server.service. I was constantly getting the error vino-server.service: Start request repeated too quickly.
    – Maghoumi
    Sep 16, 2021 at 20:40
  • 1
    If I understand correctly, one should change /etc/gdm3/custom.conf to allow for (auto-login + vino-server), and once in the session revert the changes for security reasons. Is that correct? Dec 23, 2021 at 12:26

create a systemd unit or service to run vino server at startup

  1. cd /etc/systemd/system/
  2. sudo vim vinostartup.service
  3. [Unit]
    Description = description about the service
    After = network.target
    ExecStart = /usr/lib/vino/vino-server
    WantedBy = multi-user.target
  4. Enable the service

    sudo systemctl enable vinostartup.service
  5. Verify it using below command vinostartup.service will be there

    ls multi-user.target.wants/
  6. If you don’t want to wait until next boot (it’s already enabled) we can start the service

    sudo systemctl start vinostartup.service
  • 3
    Thanks but doesn't work, unfortunately :(
    – Matt
    Mar 1, 2018 at 17:19
  • Thanks it did not work Jun 21, 2020 at 9:03
  • This process does NOT work, atleast in Ubuntu 18.04 Jun 22, 2021 at 6:42

vino-server could not start with systemd successfully,it will look for a mir server and return a socket error on my ubuntu desktop.It looks like the gnome developers have recently added a systemd compile option to the project
The correct way to do this is to use the Startup Application in you desktop distro
Find the autostart program of yout distro from here archlinux autostarting page base on your own desktop enviroment

Here is the full instructions of configuring vino server

For example: I use an xfce desktop
Navigate to : Start->Applications Menu->Settings->Sessions and Startup->Application Autostart and find the 'Desktop Sharing' and enable it or you can just add /usr/lib/vino/vino-server to it

Before that you may have to config the vino server
I have no gnome settings pannel on my xfce desktop so i run

$ vino-preferences

from the terminal to config the connecting setting

And you may have to disable the encrytion to enable vnc clients to connect to you computer

$ gsettings set org.gnome.Vino require-encryption false

restart and DONE

  • 4
    Startup Application in a desktop won't start until you login though. The question asks how to start the server BEFORE login.
    – endolith
    Dec 10, 2018 at 3:49
  • 1
    I don't think Vino can start without user login. The Ubuntu VNC docs basically say to switch to x11vnc for that.
    – moodboom
    Jun 8, 2020 at 20:52
  • @endolith - It may be the case that vino-server cannot start without a session started. Check the highest voted answer... I think it also suggests doing both things (login + vino-server), even if automatically. Dec 23, 2021 at 12:28

I think you can go to Control Center, then Startup Application and add a new item with the command:

/usr/lib/vino/vino-server &
  • This doesn't happen until after you login
    – endolith
    Dec 10, 2018 at 3:50

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