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headless_ubuntu_server_with_a_thin_vnc_gui

Headless Ubuntu server with a thin VNC GUI

Ubuntu 10.04

As root, do:

# apt-get update
# apt-get dist-upgrade
# apt-get install --no-install-recommends xfce4 vnc4server xfce4-terminal xfonts-base xubuntu-icon-theme gksu synaptic

Run vncserver once to create the initial setup. You can connect to it now and see a pretty minimal interface – just a terminal window. Kill it with "vncserver -kill :1".

Edit ~/.vnc/xstartup, comment out or delete what's there, and put:

xfce4-session
vncserver -kill $DISPLAY
exit

This way the VNC session is destroyed when you log out.

To run the vnc server:

$ vncserver

You can also use X-forwarding with SSH to launch GUI apps from the command line. On Windows, first install an X client such as Xming. Then set PuTTY to connect to the server with "X11 forwarding" enabled within the SSH options. For Linux clients, connect with the -X option. Either way, you'll be able to run GUI apps and have them appear on the local machine.

client$ ssh -X server
server$ xfce4-terminal &
(it appears!)

Ubuntu 9.04

Install Ubuntu. I used 9.04. Then, as root, do:

# apt-get update
# apt-get dist-upgrade
# apt-get install --no-install-recommends xfce4 vnc4server xfce4-terminal xfce4-icon-theme gksu synaptic

Edit ~/.vnc/xstartup, comment out or delete what's there, and put:

xfce4-session
vncserver -kill $DISPLAY
exit

This way the VNC session is destroyed when you log out.

To run the vnc server:

$ vncserver
headless_ubuntu_server_with_a_thin_vnc_gui.txt · Last modified: 2010/04/29 17:56 by tkbletsc