Let's say I went to:

 System > Preferences > Remote Desktop

And enable Remote Desktop. Now let's say I have another machine on the network that is also running a VNC server. I want to VNC into my network from the outside, but I need each VNC server to be running on different ports.

How can I change Ubuntu's default port for Remote Desktop/VNC?

  • you seem to have some confusion about networking here. why do two different VNC services on different computers need to be running on different ports?
    – Sparr
    Jun 19, 2013 at 1:10
  • @Sparr Because my router port forwards by port number to a specific local IP address. e.g. 5600 could be, 5601 could be to So coming in, it could be mydomain.com:5600 -> or mydomain.com:5601 -> Jun 19, 2013 at 15:11
  • what model router? you should be able to tell it what the local port for each outside port is. so mydomain.com:5600 -> and mydomain.com:5601 ->
    – Sparr
    Jun 19, 2013 at 16:21
  • @Sparr Buffalo WZR-HP-g300nh running ddwrt, I just use Port Range Forwarding, so it directly forwards the external IP port to the internal IP address, which is fine by me Jun 19, 2013 at 17:32

3 Answers 3


Using a little information from the (now dead) Dave's Tech Blog, you can adjust the port setting by going into gconf-editor.

Under desktop > gnome > remote access there is a key that says alternative_port and is set to 5900. Just change the value to what you need. Then enable the key use_alternative_port.

The other option is if your router/firewall support uPnp you can adjust Vino to make the adjustment in the same section of gconf-editor.


You can also do this from the command line.
For example, to use port 5555, you would use these two commands:

gconftool-2 --set --type=bool /desktop/gnome/remote_access/use_alternative_port true
gconftool-2 --set --type=int /desktop/gnome/remote_access/alternative_port 5555

Note, if you follow the schema docs, the port should be in the 5000 - 50000 range:

[the alternative_port key is set to] the port which the server will listen to if the 'use_alternative_port' key is set to true. Valid values are in the range from 5000 to 50000.


Under desktop > gnome > remote access there is a key that says alternative_port and is set to 5900. ...of course to do this you need that key to actually exist

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