TightVNC over SSH on Slackware 13

Author: Steven Neiland

Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

While windows comes with Remote Desktop built in (for servers and business level editions), Linux operating system do not have a remote desktop system immediately available. Fortunately this is simply a product of there being multiple different remote desktop type tools available.

In this post I am going to show you how to setup my personal favourite Linux Remote Desktop tool called 'TightVNC' on Slackware Linux. (VNC = Virtual Network Computing) TightVNC is an open source tool which consists of a vncserver and a vncviewer/client. TightVNC has both a linux and windows edition.

Step 1: Download TightVNC package

The first step in setting up TightVNC is to install the package in Slackware. This is made simple as Slackware now comes with a TightVNC. However it is not installed by default, instead you can find it in the extras directory of the install cd/dvd. Alternatively you can download it from the slackware website. Simply navigate to your version of slackware -> extras -> tightvnc and download the txz file.

Step 2: Install the TightVNC package

Installing tightvnc is now a simple matter of navigating to the directory where you downloaded the txz file and running the pkgtool

cd /[path to tightvnc install package]/
//select current
//select yes to install tightvnc[version].txz

Step 3: Test the vnc server

To test if the server is working we first start the vncserver on the machine we want to connect to using the following command. Broken down the command translates as, start vncserver and name this instance '1'.

vncserver :1

Once the server is running we then start the vncclient on the client machine. I used the windows client, but if you are connecting from another linux machine use can start the vnc client using the following command.

vncviewer [ipaddress of the remote machine]:1

Step 4: Further Configuration of the VNC Server

While the above command to start the vncserver is all you need to start it, you can supply additional arguments to configure the service. For example the following code tell the server to run with a screeen resolution of 1024x768, allow multiple users to view/control simultaneously and have a dpi of 96 on the virtual server.

vncserver -geometry 1024x768 -alwaysshared -dpi 96 :1

A complete list of the tightvnc options can be found here.

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